DULAG, Leyte-Ten year old Jan Ruiz of this town continues to carry the burden of remembering his aunt and some cousins who were drowned when supertyphoon Yolanda hit them last year. During the observance of the All Souls Day on November 2, Ruiz lit a candle and offered prayers for his aunt and other relatives who perished during the onslaught of Yolanda. In Tacloban, storm survivor Eileen Ballesteros said the observance of the first year anniversary of the strongest typhoon to make landfall should be marked with the survivors resilience and strong faith in God. “It is a day to thank God for another chance to live and be helpful citizens. It is a day of mourning too for those who lost their loved ones. One year is yet too short to see the recovery from such huge devastation and overcome the loss of loved ones,” Ballesteros, who is also a columnist of this paper, said.
“There can be no closure yet until all the marks that the devastation has left are completely eradicated from the people’s perception and remembrance,” she pointed out. Another storm survivor Efleda Bautista, recalling her experience on the wake of Yolanda’s onslaught, also felt “overwhelmed and saddened” by the realization that this disaster could not have happened if the people were fully warned on its impacts. Bautista eventually turned into a convenor of People Surge, a broad coalition involving storm survivors which is demanding for due assistance from the government. “Even until now I cannot believe the devastation that befell on us,” she said, adding that the government’s lack of serious action to the victims proved to be more difficult for the recovery of the survivors. “So we are demanding justice, and then on the absence or slow response in terms of relief and rehabilitation and the corruption issues in the midst of relief and rehabilitation efforts,” Bautista said. (RONALD O.REYES)