‘Sendong’ memorial opens in Oro-A A +A
Saturday, October 27, 2012
A MEMORIAL in honor of those who perished from “Sendong” last year was inaugurated inside Golden Haven Memorial Park in Barangay Bulua Thursday morning.
The blessing of the marker was led by Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma together with Senator Manny Villar and his wife Cynthia.
The Villar couple owns the firm that develops Golden Haven Memorial Park.
The marker, bearing the names of those who were identified and confirmed dead, consists of 13 pillars with its base made of black granite and travertine. It occupies an area of around 716 square meters accented by a water fountain.
It has a dedication that reads: “In loving remembrance of those affected by Tropical Storm Sendong that ravaged Cagayan de Oro on December 17, 2012: Those who perished and those that they left behind, the unsung heroes who risked their lives so others may live and those who generously gave so much that others may start a life anew. May pain and loss be not in vain and serve as a reminder to everyone to care for nature so that She may continue to nurture us. May the Lord help us all.”
The marker was donated by Villar Foundation and will be opened to the public on All Saints’ and All Souls’ days next week.
“The marker will stand as a tribute to the lives of those we lost during Sendong,” said Ms. Villar, who sits as the foundation’s chairperson.
She said the memorial will stand as a lasting tribute -- not to the death -- but to the lives of those whom they have lost, as well as to the people who have helped the city recover.
“This is to remind us that we should take care of the environment to prevent disasters in the future,” Ms. Villar said.
She claimed that Sendong was one of the worst natural calamities that ever hit Mindanao and one of the deadliest typhoons to hit the country in the last 12 years.
“Sendong, which many say was caused by climate change and deforestation, shows the pressing need for Filipinos to protect the environment. May this memorial would also serve as a reminder of the bitter lessons learned from the tragedy, particularly those concerning environment,” Ms. Villar said.
She assured that through the Villar Foundation, they would continue to help the survivors and families of the victims.
The Foundation is involved in various environmental-related projects particularly its flagship program “Sagip Ilog” that has won numerous international awards, including the United Nations Best Water Management award last year.
Thursday’s inauguration was attended by hundreds of ‘Sendong’ survivors, local government officials, members of rescue groups, religious groups, the academe and benefactors who have helped the victims.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 27, 2012.