Tanauan town lines up simple activities for ‘Yolanda’ commemoration

TANAUAN, Leyte – This town will commemorate the 2nd anniversary of supertyphoon “Yolanda” by remembering those who perished in the 2013 catastrophe and a celebration of life for survivors.

Mayor Pelagio Tecson said the activity on Sunday morning would kick off with wreath laying ceremony at the “Surge of Hope” monument, built in a junction in Calogcogv village. The site is a common grave for 200 victims in the community.

Funded by Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), the monument’s main structures are two spiral curves measuring 14 feet, the estimated height of the typhoon surge. It was “made in a way that the more observant will see an infant curled up securely within the curves,” according to Smart.

On the left are abstracts of aid workers and volunteers while on the right are similar figures, but this time depicting the survivors. In the middle stood a mass of figures that are building and holding each other up, releasing a flock of birds to the sky, topped with a rainbow and more birds.

“The monument also serves as beacons of hope, a reminder to never to give up even when faced by devastation and challenges,” Tecson said.

To lead the ceremony are brothers Jericho Petilla, former Energy secretary and Dominique Petilla, Leyte governor.

After the activity in Calogcog village, officials will proceed to the town plaza for the wreath laying at the Yolanda Memorial Wall where more than 1,300 names of the 2013 catastrophe victims in the town are inscribed.

A commemorative program will follow at the town’s plaza. At night, there will be fireworks display performance of local talents in the same venue. The entertainment will also highlight showing of gratitude to those who helped rebuild the typhoon-ravaged town.

“It will be simple, yet very meaningful commemoration. This is to remember our love ones who perished during Yolanda and celebrate life for survivors,” Tecson told PNA.

The national government tagged the town as model in post-Yolanda rehabilitation as it managed to immediately transfer affected families to permanent shelter and rebuild vital infrastructures. This was done through a partnership with government agencies, non-government organizations and private firms.

Tanauan, a town 24 kilometers south of Tacloban City, is one of the badly-hit coastal areas in Leyte province when the super typhoon struck on Nov. 8, 2013. Yolanda fierce winds and storm surges killed about 1,500 residents. Sarwell Q. Meniano/PNA