TACLOBAN CITY, (PNA) -Survivors of super typhoon Yolanda in Leyte province took another round of painful recollection of the disaster during its second commemorative event on Sunday.
“Today we are gathered together to remember the departed, to console the survivors and to pray for the unrested souls from the fateful day of typhoon Yolanda,” said Noel Ian Baño of coastal Cogon village in Palo town.
On Saturday evening, Baño joined a candle lighting activity in prayer and remembrance of the victims in their village.
He said that 168 people had perished in their neighborhood during the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda.
“We may have lost our loved ones but we commemorate and honor them today, we pray for their souls and uplift them to heaven,” he added.
More than 6,000 people died during the storm, who were mostly from coastal areas in Tacloban, Palo and nearby towns.
“As we look back, and as we recall those events and the disaster that almost reduced us to the ground, memories linger. There are lessons learned, there are blessings in disguise gained, and there are challenges that we have to overcome,” wrote Msgr. Ramon Aguilos of the Palo Archdiocese in a Catholic news site, UCAN.
“In the midst of devastation there now rise the more powerful forces of the Spirit–sacrifice, generosity, compassion, love. Beyond the staggering destruction we are now seeing challenges, the opportunity for healing and recovery, for renewal and transformation,” he added.
“Yolanda was a shocking manifest of an ever changing world, where we can no longer predict the ferocity of our storms and the temerity of our climate. And we, the Philippines, is one among many island nations who will bear the brunt of mega disasters if the world will do nothing about it,” said Albert Mulles, a survivor from Tacloban who wrote the book “Haiyan: Untold Story: A Story of Hope and Survival”.
“We can only hope for the solidarity of the international community just like it was in the aftermath of Yolanda in order to preserve what we have fought so long and hard to keep our homes and our nation,” he added.
In Tacloban city, the local government has line up various activities to commemorate the event, from holy mass, unveiling of markers, a “Concert of Hope”, premier showing of documentary film, and ringing of church bells and siren blast, among others.
A group of survivors, People Surge, also held its separate protest march and vigil in the city to express “solidarity” with the victims.
“In the silence of our hearts, may that day be marked for posterity–never to be forgotten—never to be erased.
“May all who come this way remember—that on this piece of earth—the whole world converged to make Tacloban the template of a people’s firm resolve to rise above their sorrow and create the new landscape of their future. May God forever bless our beloved city,” said Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez, in his commemorative message.
On Sunday evening, survivors will light 50,000 candles from Tolosa to Tacloban “in prayers and remembrance” of those who died. (PNA)