November 8, 2013 The day that changed the lives of thousands of filipinos.
#When in Tacloban, try to visit the Yolanda Memorial landmarks dedicated to remember the lives lost during the super typhoon’s destruction on the morning of November 8, 2013.
The 370 km/hr typhoon brought around millions of property damages and an estimated 5000-10000 residents displaced.
It was the gloomiest natural tragedy that ever hit the country and was recorded as the strongest typhoon on earth history.
With love ones gone, properties destroyed and homes washed out, survivors of Yolanda imprinted on their DNA the value of resiliency and emergency preparedness. It prompted local and national government to impose contingency measures with regards to preparedness in facing calamities and natural disaster.
Samar and Leyte being the frontier to the Pacific stand against an average of twenty typhoons a year taking in the first landfalls and suffer most of the consequential post typhoon calamities such as land slides, flash floods, and even power outages. If you live in these provinces, new normal dictates emergency preparedness as one of the vital lesson in survival.
A story that the survivors shall live to tell.
Super typhoon Haiyan (international name) left lessons about survival, stories of hope and fighting spirit. To lost a family member, a friend, a comrade is one thing but to survive the ordeal yourself is another story. It takes courage and strong faith to survive one trial as huge and as destructive as Yolanda, a story that the brave survivors shall live to tell.
Fast forward years later, the local governments unveiled different memorials to remember the death of the residents due to the super typhoon Yolanda. If you go around Tacloban and nearby towns you should visit the following memorials and maybe offer a prayer for the departed souls.
M/V Eva Jocelyn
The remnants of M/V Eva Jocelyn at Brgy. Anibong, Tacloban City.
The ship was anchored at the harbor before the day Yolanda hit the city. The ship was pushed by the 7-meter storm surge that claimed hundreds of lives of Anibong residents.
Two years after, the memorial was unveiled with the forecastle deck of the shipwreck standing along the street of Anibong. It has become a major tourist destination for travelers who wish to pay a visit to the site.
How to get there?
From city proper ride a jeepney with the TACLOBAN-DIIT route, base fare is ₱8.00 and ask that you be dropped at the M/V Eva Jocelyn site. You can also book a tricycle to tour you around these sites for ₱300-500, depending upon your negotiating skills, but ₱500 is max.
The Yolanda Memorial at the Astrodome
You can ride a jeepney taking the Marasbaras route and request a drop off at the Tacloban City Astrodome. Just beside the coliseum you will find the amazing memorial for the victims of Yolanda, names of dead residents as reported are inscribed around the epitaph surrounding the memorial. You can drop by ,check on the names and perhaps say a silent prayer.
The structure symbolizes the unity of different countries that helped in rescue, rehabilitation and livelihood assistance offered to the victims of Yolanda. It was the tragedy that proved that the world will come together in times of adversity to save and help one another. The cooperation and assistance is something the Philippines is thankful for.
Samar-Leyte Yolanda Memorial
This monument sits right before you cross the San Juanico bridge from the Samar side, the memorial that symbolizes the survival of humanity and emergence of hope. The statue depicts a mother holding her children sitting on the palm of the hand of nature. For me it sends a message that nature may retaliate in different forms but the hand of God will hold us safe. A reminder that we should care more about our environment as much as we care about our survival.
You can cross the San Juanico bridge and instantly find this monument on the intersection. Admission is free and so is the selfie opportunity.
And lastly you could go to Baras, Palo Leyte, just a nearby town from Tacloban, to visit and pray for the repose of the souls on the mass grave of Yolanda victims.
Mass Grave at Baras, Palo Leyte
Hundreds of dead bodies of Yolanda victims were buried in this site, with their names inscribed on a large marble epitaph.
Those are some of the memorials you should visit #WheninTacloban. Hope you enjoy your trip and keep safe always.