A young woman in the hardest-hit city of Tacloban sobbed as she recounted her experience during the storm, which included clinging to a roof rafter while holding her 11-month-old son on her head.
"All I hear [is] many cry, many people crying," she emotionally told CNN while her baby played contentedly on her lap. "Many people say, 'Help, help.' "
Her husband and many of her relatives did not survive the punishing storm, and she is clearly scared about the future.
"Now I don't know where we go. The most important is that we survive," she said while wiping away tears. "It's very dramatic. It's very hard."
Yet in the midst of the devastation, there are glimmers of hope – and new life.
On Monday, doctors safely delivered a new baby girl in a makeshift hospital. The entire hospital burst into applause after little Bea Joy made her debut.
"It was a perfect delivery in a very imperfect environment," a medical professional involved in the delivery told CNN.
"She is my miracle," mom Emily Ortega, 21, told Agence France-Presse. "I had thought I would die with her still inside me when high waves came and took us all away."
Jay Rommel Labra / EPA / Landov