TACLOBAN CITY, (PNA) — A solemn commemoration of the second year anniversary of “Yolanda” on Sunday was observed simultaneously by survivors in remembrance of those who perished in the history’s strongest typhoon.
In Palo, Leyte, a wreath laying activity was held at the grounds of the Palo Cathedral led by Archbishop John Du, where hundreds of victims are buried in a mass grave.
The mass grave beside the cathedral is now enclosed in a swath of green lawn while granite markers bearing the names of the fatalities cover the sides of the grave site. Miniature angels stand guard for all those buried.
Blue and white balloons forming a giant rosary were flown into the air after the ceremony.
“The rosary signifies our hope of a better tomorrow and faith in the Almighty that He will guide us through all the ordeals as the whole Yolanda communities continue to reclaim their normal lives back,” Palo Mayor Remedios Petilla said.
The lady mayor led the commemoration activities in Palo town together with son, Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla.
In the nearby Barangay San Joaquin in Palo where hundreds of residents also died, the Catholic Church and local residents held a commemoration for the dead who were buried in the church grounds of San Joaquin Parish.
The church grounds which became the burial site for hundreds of victims who died from this village has been turned into a memorial site. A small chapel now stands on the site, where family members can offer their prayers.
About 376 victims of the typhoon are buried in a mass grave dug out at the churchyard.
In Tanauan town, also one of those areas heavily devastated during the onslaught of Yolanda, officials commemorated the fateful event with a wreath-laying ceremony at the “Surge of Hope” Yolanda memorial located at the highway junction in Barangay Calogcog, likewise the grave site for hundreds of typhoon victims.
Tanauan Mayor Pelagio Tecson led the wreath-laying in honoring the dead, together with former Energy secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, who was the keynote speaker for the ceremony.
“This memorial will remind us not only of the lives lost to Yolanda but also of those who helped so survivors can get on with their lives and bounce back from the devastation,” Tecson said. (PNA)
LAP/SQM/AHLETTE C. REYES/EGR