Yeb Saño: #ClimateWalk a continuing journey
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – “The [climate] walk is never over. This is a continuing journey. Our destination was never Tacloban; our destination is the hearts and minds of our people and everyone else around the world,” Climate Change Commissioner Yeb Saño told Rappler on Saturday, November 8.
“And we were able to reach that destination,” said Saño, who led hundreds of residents, and government and non-govermental organizations in commemorating Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) which made landfall one year ago today.
The memorial service – dubbed as "Pagumdum in Waray (Remembeing)" “Remembering” was held at the Holy Cross Memorial Park.
“We are honored to be here in Tacloban today on the first anniversary of super typhoon Yolanda’s historic landfall,” Saño said. “Because this walk has always been envisioned to be a tribute, a homage to people confronting the realities of climate change.”
The climate walk spanned 38 days and 1,000 kilometers, ending in Tacloban. Saño estimated that more than 20,000 people participated in the walk from start to finish, including those who joined today’s walk crossing San Juanico bridge.
He also thanked those who supported the movement via social media, and those who organized their own walks across communities nationwide which were not part of the original route. (WATCH: #ClimateWalk: 40-day walk to Tacloban begins)
“We know in our hearts that there are many people whose lives have been touched by the walk. We are honored to walk with all of them," Saño said.
How do they proceed from here? Saño said for now, he would rather "relish this present moment."
“The truth is, and to be very honest, what we learned from the walk is how to take life one day at a time. And right now, I can only think of November 8,” Saño said. (READ: #ClimateWalk: Because justice demands it)
Saño called the movement a global awakening that speaks about “caring for others and making our lives simpler so that other people can live.”
“The walk has been a call for unity and we hope we were able to achieve that,” he added.
Today’s memorial service offered prayers to Tacloban’s “brothers and sister” who lost their lives to Yolanda. The memorial also commemorated those who helped the people affected by Yolanda.
The mass was officiated by Palo Archbishop John F. Du. It was attended by representatives of various local and international organizations, and politicians like Senator BongBong Marcos and former First Lady Imelda Marcos, relatives of Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
During the mass, Romualdez said, "Yolanda taught us the value of life....It is our mission to make Tacloban a liveable city."
Prior to the mass, people marched from the Tacloban Convention Center to the City Hall. An evening candlelight vigil will be held across different parts of Tacloban.
On the eve of Yolanda’s anniversary, People Surge – a group of Yolanda survivors – organized a protest and an overnight vigil on the grounds of the Astrodome, calling for President Benigno Aquino III to step down. – Rappler.com
For Rappler's full coverage of the 1st anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), go to this page.