Thousands continue to grieve one year after Yolanda

By Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News

Nov. 4, 2014

LEYTE – More than a thousand people lost their lives in this small community, when the sea rose and swept into their homes during Super Typhoon Yolanda on November 8, 2013.

But those who are here can’t even mourn for their dead at a mass grave or cemetery, because they remain missing.

In her grief, Adela Bonda looks out into the horizon, remember a song she knows but will never return. A week after the typhoon hit, Adela was opening bags one by one, hoping to find her youngest, Jirald.

She never found him.

She fled to Samar for a few months, but eventually went back to her village in Tacloban.

“Parang may humahatak sa akin na bumalik dito,” said Bonda, “kasi dito ko siya huling nakita.”

In the city’s largest mass grave, Nelson Matobato lights four candles for his dead children, even though two remain missing.

He says the burden of not knowing their fate is more painful than losing his loved ones.

“Yung isa baby pa yun,” said Matobato, “yung isa four years old. Kung patay, isinama ko na dito, pero may pagasa parin na baka buhay.”

Thousands of mothers and fathers lost their children to the typhoon, and long with them it seems, their dreams of a better future.

“Sabi ng anak ko, pag graduate niya sa school, magtatayo kami ng magandang bahay. Sa isang iglap wala na,” said Bonda.

The sea will always remind survivors in Tacloban of the friends and family they lost, and that fateful day that changed their lives forever.

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