Even after the deadliest Super Typhoon Yolanda had taken away millions of lives and livelihood in Tacloban City, the culture and the faith of the Taclobanons remained intact.
The resilient city celebrated its 125th annual fiesta on June 30, 2014.
It was a simple, yet a very meaningful celebration for the Taclobanons who survived the wrath of the super typhoon.
Palo Bishop John Du said this year’s celebration inspired not only the international communities, but also the Taclobanons who survived and moved on from the devastation.
Du said the typhoon even strengthened the faith of the Taclobanons.
“We are devastated, but at least our faith pushed us to move on [from the effects of the disaster]and do some rebuilding and reconstructing,” he said.
During the Mass, thousands of Taclobanons flocked to the makeshift church next to the site of the old Santo Niño Parish Church.
On June 29, the city government of Tacloban through its Sangyaw Festival committee staged a thanksgiving cultural presentation to its patron, the Holy Child, for all the help that the city received from local and international humanitarian organizations and the government.
This year, the city staged “Sangyaw Festival Pasasalamat 2014” —a street dance festival, expressing thanks to the international community that poured in their support to enable the Taclobanons to rise above the tragedy.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) deputy of the sub-district office, Andrew Geoffrey Martin, meanwhile said the city’s fiesta celebration reminded the Taclobanon of its happier times.
Lawyer Jenny Lyn Polistico-Manibay, acting city administrator, said the city did not have a very lavish celebration in consideration of the Taclobanons who are still in the congested tent cities.
However, Manibay pointed out that it was just right for the city to organize a thanksgiving parade, citing that the international community has done so much in the recovery phase of the city.
She clarified that the city had not allocated funds for the event, but used the donations from NGOs.
Manibay added that the city spent not more than P300,000 pesos for the event.
Thousands of Taclobanons flocked to the city port area to join the annual fluvial parade.