TACLOBAN CITY – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will lead today’s 9th year of the onslaught of Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ that pummeled this city and other parts of Leyte and Samar.
The President is expected to arrive at the mass grave where the more than 2,000 people from this city who perished during the monster typhoon were buried.
“President Marcos will attend the commemorative activities which will be highlighted by 10:00 a.m. Holy Mass to be presided over by Diocese of Naval Bishop Emeritus Filomeno G. Bactol and a wreath-laying ceremony at the gravesite where 2,273 Yolanda victims from Tacloban City are buried,” a statement from the City Information said.
The President will be joined by other top national government officials like Senator Francis Tolentino and House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, who is the congressional representative of Leyte’s first district.
The President will be welcomed by Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez during his visit to the mass grave located at the Holy Cross Memorial Garden at Barangay Basper.
The City Information Office said that the world-renowned Madrigal Singers will sing during the celebration of the Holy Mass at the mass grave site.
About 500 invited guests and families of Yolanda victims are expected to be present during the commemorative activity.
The mass gravesite will only be open to the general public after the commemorative program.
Meantime, the local government unit of Tanauan also prepares a whole-day activity for the 9th Yolanda commemoration.
Activities of the commemoration will start at the ‘Surge of Hope’ Yolanda memorial in Brgy Calogcog.
A wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the Surge of Hope at 5:30 am and will be followed by another wreath-laying ceremony at the Memorial Wall located at town plaza.
A commemorative program will follow at the Tanauan Amphitheater with Mayor Gina Merillo delivering a message to be joined by Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla who will deliver his solidarity message and Usec. Ramon Cualoping as guest speaker.
A mass will follow the program then the blessing of the memorial wall.
After the mass, poster-making and spoken poetry competition organized by the Tanauan Gays Association follows, then the Yolandance competition at the EVSU Tanauan campus.
The commemoration will culminate with a candle lighting activity on the evening which is being spearheaded by Tanauan Pasaka and the TAU Gamma Phi and fireworks display.
In Palo town, the 9th Yolanda commemoration will start with a mass at 6:00 am at the Palo Metropolitan Cathedral. This will be followed by a short activity at the mass grave site inside the cathedral compound.
The tribute includes candle lighting, offering of flowers, and releasing of doves.
Meantime, the provincial government will also hold a separate a commemorative program at 5 pm at the new provincial capitol complex, also in Palo, to honor provincial government employees who died during the mega storm.
Gov. Petilla will lead the wreath-laying and candle lighting after delivering his Yolanda commemoration message after the mass.
Moreover, in relation to the 9th Yolanda commemoration, local chief executives in Tacloban, and towns of Tanauan, Palo, and in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, among others, suspended classes and work for the commemorative program.
ROEL T. AMAZONA with LIZBETH ANN A. ABELLA