Eight years after typhoon “Yolanda” devastated several areas, a Catholic bishop exhorted the people to let its lessons of resiliency carry them through amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bishop Crispin Varquez of Borongan wishes that the anniversary would be a commemoration of hope and solidarity among the communities as they continue to grapple with the health crisis.
“Let the lessons of resiliency, hope and solidarity carry us through in these challenging times,” Varquez said.
Saying that many of the calamities are related to climate change as pointed out by experts, he also asked the public “to hear the cry of our planet for common action to save our common home”.
For this to happen, the bishop urged the public to heed Pope Francis’ call for “ecological conversion”.
“We must move away from the sins of environmental abuse and neglect to show that we are truly returning to the Lord and we truly care for one another,” Varquez said.
Yolanda left more than 6,000 people dead and still thousands more remain missing and displaced more than five million people after it struck central Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013.
The prelate asked the faithful to be thankful to the Lord “that we have risen from the horrible destruction” that the typhoon had brought.
“We have seen God’s saving acts at work in our own history,” he said. “We thank individuals, groups, and organizations who helped us rise and recover, and never forget them in our prayers.”
He also urged the faithful to pray for the people who died from the typhoon and from deliverance from all calamities.