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2 Leyte towns to commemorate Yolanda Day

Relatives light candles for Ormoc flashflood victims yesterday. LALAINE JIMENEA

LEYTE , Philippines  —   The local governments of Tacloban and Palo are preparing to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda on Nov. 8. 

In Tacloban, the rites started on Saturday with the blessing of a memorial at the Coca-Cola Rotunda, a gateway to the city.

Several activities will be held nightly including a candle-lighting ceremony to be led by Leyte Rep. Yedda Romualdez.

The event will be joined by members of the Leyte First Movement, Tingog Sinirangan, Greenpeace, One Tacloban and barangay leaders.

Romualdez has filed a bill seeking to declare Nov. 8 of every year as Yolanda Commemorative Day.

The bill has yet to pass two readings at the House of Representatives and Senate.

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In Palo, the celebration will start on the night of Nov. 7 with a program dubbed Pagdumdum, Paghalad ug Pag-Ampo (remembering, offering and praying). 

A tribute will be held for Yolanda victims in the form of songs, poetry and dances.

Candle-lighting and wreath-laying ceremonies will be held at the town plaza.

Mayor Remedios  Petilla and her sons — Leyte Gov. Dominic Petilla and former energy secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla — will deliver messages during the event. 

On Nov. 8, Naval Bishop Rex Ramirez will celebrate mass at the Palo Metropolitan Cathedral, which will be followed by the blessing of the Palo Memorial.

1991 flashflood victims honored

Meanwhile, the city government of Ormoc honored the 8,000 victims of a deadly flashflood that devastated the city in 1991 .

Local officials and residents held a motorcade from the city hall to the Flashflood Memorial, where  three mass graves are located.

They lit candles and offered flowers and prayers.

Vice Mayor Leo Carmelo Locsin Jr. said the city would continue to remember the day, so its lessons would remain among the residents.

“We will continue to learn, to know that the world we live in is strong, but also vulnerable,” Locsin said.

 

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