PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. led on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, the commemoration of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which severely battered the country, particularly Eastern Visayas, in 2013, claiming thousands of lives and destroying billions worth of properties.
Marcos offered a wreath and attended the blessing of the Yolanda Memorial Mass Grave at the Holy Cross Memorial Garden in Tacloban City, Leyte.
In his speech, Marcos said the commemoration is being held yearly to remember the victims, especially the fatalities of Yolanda, which was considered by the Philippine government the “most powerful storm to make landfall in recorded history that struck the Philippines.”
“I come here because I have to commemorate those uncounted dead that up to now we do not know how many that number is. We must come to this commemoration so that we will remember those who we were told not to remember. If you remember during the count of the casualties, the count was stopped and we knew that there were still thousands out there and for those countless thousands, we come here, we commemorate,” he said.
“Because if we no longer commemorate, their memory dies and it is up to us to keep that memory alive because as I’ve said in a way, we were told to forget about them and we will not forget about them and we cannot forget about them and I know you do not forget about them,” he added.
Marcos said the Yolanda tragedy is also a demonstration and manifestation of the strength and courage of the Filipinos during such time.
He said the crisis showcased the Filipinos’ kindness, bravery and camaraderie that helped the affected families recover.
“Now, to see Tacloban, which has in fact, we have been hearing this build back better, Tacloban has built back better and it is a wonder site to see. It gives us hope that even there are tragedies and disasters in other places, we know the Filipino spirit will always burn bright...,” he said.
Marcos also expressed gratitude to the international community and the non-government organizations that extended assistance to the affected families.
He ended the event by offering silence and prayers to the Yolanda fatalities.
According to the Official Gazette (officialgazette.gov.ph), over 6,000 people perished due to the onslaught of Yolanda. (SunStar Philippines)