Washi, dubbed "Sendong" in the Philippines, killed more than 1,200 people and left painful memories in the hardest hit areas, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City.
The approach this week of Bopha, a far more powerful storm than Washi, had residents fearing fresh devastation. Local authorities took preemptive action, relocating thousands of people to evacuation centers and setting up emergency supplies.
But in the end, northern Mindanao was spared the worst of Bopha's fury. It was the less prepared communities of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, further south and east, that bore the brunt.
An ethnically mixed area, the Compostela Valley was inhabited by a multitude of tribes until the 20th century, when a logging boom brought waves of migrants from further north in the Philippines.
The timber trade, and later the mining industry, changed the geological and demographic landscape, stripping away the forests and driving many tribes into the hills.
The valley is also known for its rich, fertile plain, where rice, corn, bananas and coconuts are grown.
But on Thursday, the headline of the Philippine Star, a national newspaper, gave it a new, grim title: "Valley of the dead."