“Before Haiyan, all we had on Grindr was mehhhh – four or five people. After Haiyan, boom – white men!” Jericho*, 28, finds it hard to recall much of a social scene in Tacloban before Typhoon Haiyan. A senior manager at one of the Filipino city’s most expensive hotels, he recounts a routine that consisted of going to the gym in the morning and walking home along empty streets after dark in a city where “everyone knows everyone.”
2013's Typhoon Haiyan was clearly a disaster, but it was also a powerful gust of change, not least in Jericho’s social life. While some residents have left Tacloban to cope with trauma or find work, the city has welcomed an influx of professional aid workers, able-bodied gap year volunteers, and fellow Filipinos seeking opportunities and hoping to help in the recovery.
“Overnight,” Jericho says, “my Grindr became the United Nations.”
In the immediate aftermath of Haiyan, patchy mobile phone signal notwithstanding, survivors longing for intimacy turned to Grindr to arrange discreet meet-ups with aid workers, who themselves sought distraction. Grindr is also used to forge platonic friendships, especially as foreign visitors, local volontourists and disaster researchers (author included) longed for social spaces to unwind from physically and emotionally demanding relief work. Read More via IRIN