‘Let’s focus on lessons of the tragedy’
TACLOBAN CITY—Angelika Nikka Cadalino was just 5 years old when she lost her mother when Supertyphoon “Yolanda” ravaged this city, considered the ground zero of the storm in 2013.
Six years have passed but the pain lingers on. Angelika still misses her mother Eda and struggles with the trauma she felt when their house at Barangay 70 in Anibong District here was washed out due to the storm surge generated by Yolanda.
On Friday, Angelika and other survivors visited the mass grave at Barangay Basper to pay their respects to their loved ones who died due to the monster typhoon.
Rows of white crosses were placed on top of the more than 2,200 bodies that were buried there on Nov. 1, 2014. Families of those who were buried at the 1.2-hectare mass grave chose their own graveyards where they believed their loved ones were located.
Angelika placed a candle on top of the tombstone of her mother. She is now with her aunt, Nenita Novila, 56, who took her as her own daughter.
“She (Angelika) still has this trauma. She cries and shakes whenever there is bad weather,” Novila said.
On Friday, a memorial park located within the sprawling mass grave was inaugurated by city officials led by Mayor Alfred Romualdez. Engraved in granite-made materials were the names of those who perished during the onslaught of Yolanda. A 25-foot white cross was also placed, dripping with electric-induced water.
Tacloban City and several local government units in Eastern Visayas suspended work and classes in observance of Yolanda’s sixth anniversary.
Romualdez, in his message, said people of Tacloban should focus on the lessons of the tragedy.
He also urged the people to be “missionaries and teachers” on how to protect the environment.
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