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Manila Bulletin : Resilience of Warays serves as a beacon of hope of COVID survivors

News & Interviews
9 November 2021

By Manila Bulletin

Presidential aspirant and Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard-bearer Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos hailed the Warays for their resilience amid seemingly impossible odds as the country marked the eighth year since super typhoon Yolanda left a trail of devastation in Eastern Visayas

The former lawmaker noted that people who are feeling anxious amid the Covid-19 pandemic should take inspiration from the Warays in overcoming adversity.

“Dahil sa ginawa ninyo pagkatapos ng Yolanda, ang mga Waray ang itinuturo ngayon. Sinasabi pag malungkot masyado dahil sa pandemya, kako ‘wag kayong panghinaan ng loob. Gumaya lang kayo sa mga Waray na bumabangon ulit (Because of what you’ve done after Yolanda, the Waray are being taught now. They say that when you are sad because of the pandemic, we don’t have to be discouraged),” Marcos said as he joined St. Francis Village residents in remembering their ordeal and their loved ones who died during the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda.

Marcos added that with the unity displayed by the Warays at their darkest moment, the country would also recover from the effect of the Covid pandemic if Filipinos are united.

“Pero kagaya ng nangyari sa Yolanda, kahit ngayon ay humaharap ulit tayo sa isang krisis, basta tayo’y nagkakaisa, tayo’y nagmamahal sa kapwa, tayo’y tumutulong sa kapwa, babangon muli ang Pilipinas. Kagaya ng ginawa Ninyo pagkatapos ng Yolanda (Just like what happened with Yolanda, we are now facing another crisis, but when we are united, loving one another, helping one another, the Philippines will rise up again. Just like you did after Yolanda),” Marcos said.

The former senator proceeded to St. Francis Village after attending the mass held at the Holy Cross Memorial Gardens to honor and remember the residents who lost their lives.

Marcos led the distribution of some 1,000 gift packs, consisting of coffee, canned goods, rice, and other goods, to the residents of the relocation site built in Tacloban City after Yolanda’s aftermath.

While in Tacloban, Marcos also joined the wreath-laying at the Memorial Flame marker at the Astrodome and later visited the mass vaccination site within the area.

The former Ilocos Norte congressman also presided over the mass oath-taking of PFP candidates.

Before leaving for Manila, Marcos repeated that through perseverance, unity, cooperation, hard work, and concern for others, Leyte and the other Eastern Visayas provinces were able to rise from destructive calamities.

“Napakabigat naman ng tama talaga dahil napakalupit ng Yolanda…Hindi ko makakalimutan ‘yung nakita ko, sa buong buhay ko. I will never forget that…Siyempre noong kabataan namin, nandito kami lagi pag summer. Dito kami nagbabakasyon. Pag-alis ni Yolanda, wala akong nakilala dito sa bayan ng Tacloban, ‘yung bahay nga namin hindi namin nahanap dahil talagang bagsak lahat. Talagang napakalungkot (It’s a heavy blow that Yolanda brought. I will never forget what I saw, in my whole life. I will never forget that. Surely in my younger years, we were always here during summer. We take our vacation here. After Yolanda left, I didn’t recognize the city of Tacloban, we never found our house because everything was destroyed. It’s really sad,” Marcos said in a radio interview in Tacloban.

“Naisip namin noon na maraming mahihirapan, dahil marami na ngang napinsala, marami ng namatay, e paaano babangon ito? Pero sa awa ng Diyos at sa sipag, sa pagbabayanihan at pagkakaisa, hindi lang ng mga Waray kung ‘di lahat ng Pilipino, para tulungan ang mga naging biktima, e dahil diyan nakikita naman natin na medyo maganda rin ang pagbalik at pagrehabilitate ng Region 8 (We thought that many would have a hard time because of the destruction, death of many, how would they rise up? But with God’s grace and hard work, solidarity and unity, not only by the Waray but all Filipinos, to help the victims, and because of that we can see the recovery and rehabilitation of Region 8),” the former Ilocos Norte governor added.

Marcos was at the forefront of the disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts brought about by Typhoon Yolanda. He organized relief efforts to aid the thousands of typhoon survivors who suffered hunger and became homeless due to the calamity. (Melvin Sarangay)