Pinatubo survivors remember 1991 eruption
BACOLOR, Pampanga — More than 3,000 survivors of Mt. Pinatubo’s 1991 eruption and succeeding lahar flows walked together to the San Guillermo (St. WIlliam the Hermit) Church here on Wednesday (June 15) to remember the disaster and celebrate their resiliency in overcoming the tragedy.
The commemorative walk, which began at the half-buried Cabetican Church, was held on the 25th anniversary of the June 15, 1991 blasts.
The survivors marched with the image of the Virgen de los Remedios, patroness of Pampanga, borne by Knights of St. Peter from the coastal town of Apalit. They were joined by Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda and businessman Levy Laus, chairman of the Mt. Pinatubo executive committee, which has organized events for the anniversary of the blast, the second world’s largest in the 20th century.
Bacolor was almost erased from the map as lahar overflowed from the Pasig-Potrero River draining from the volcano.
At the lahar-buried San Guillermo Church, they celebrated Mass led by Archbishop Emeritus Paciano Aniceto.
Aniceto congratulated the survivors for keeping faith in God during the disaster, thanking also Philippine officials, foreign governments and nongovernment organizations for helping the people rise up.
In Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales, which bore the brunt of the eruption and lahar rampages, around 20 upland and lowland resettlements have been built by government, still hosting about 100,000 families displaced by the disaster that lingered until the 1997 lahar season. SFM