Cities gear up for Pinatubo anniversary

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Thursday, June 2, 2011


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Preparations are now in full swing in Pampanga for the 20th anniversary of the infamous Mount Pinatubo eruption.

In this city, Pinatubo memorial executive committee chair Levy Laus said there will be a cycling caravan and fun run prelude to the actual commemoration day on June 15.

Around 1,200 bikers are set to join the 66-kilometer cycling caravan on June 4, while approximately 200 runners will participate in the 10-kilometer fun run on June 11.

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Laus said interfaith services will signal the start of the June 15 rites, which will be followed by a thanksgiving banquet to be attended leaders from the city and province.

The thanksgiving banquet will feature a cultural presentation that depicts events from the time Mt. Pinatubo erupted to the point where Kapampangans were able to rise up from the catastrophe.

Observance in Angeles City, meanwhile, will be guided by the theme "Turning Tragedy into Triumph".

Among the activities slated are the Padyak Para sa Pag-Bangon (June 4); Takbo para sa Pagkaka-isa (June 5); On-the-spot poster making and painting contests (June 14, SM City Clark); ceremonial groundbreaking for the commemorative Phoenix monument (June 15, Marquee Mall/North Luzon Expressway rotonda in Barangay Pulung Maragul); La Heart and La Art competition (June 15, Marquee Mall); photo and video exhibit (June 15, Marquee Mall); book launch (June 15, Marquee Mall); job fair (June 15, Robinson's Place-Angeles); On-the-Spot Essay writing contest (June 16, SM City Clark); Rap and Dance competition (June 17, SM City Clark); inauguration of Ospital Ning Angeles Renal Care Unit (June 18) and mini-concert featuring Noel Cabangon (June 18, SM City Clark).

Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan said they will "painfully remember the devastation, and at the same time, give tribute to our joint efforts by celebrating how we got back on our feet from the throes of the calamity."

The mayor likened the city with the phoenix bird that victoriously rose from the ashes of destruction.

Regarded as the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century, Mount Pinatubo's climactic explosion happened on June 15, 1991. Its ash falls reached as far as the Indian Ocean.

Timely forecasts of the eruption by scientists from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and US Geological Survey enabled people living near the volcano to evacuate to safer distances, thus saving at least 5,000 lives.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on June 03, 2011.

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