TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct. 15 (PIA)--Boholanos were told to celebrate God’s love as they commemorate the first year anniversary of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake which hit the province on October 15, 2013.
“Are we going to celebrate our broken homes, damaged buildings, death of loved ones? The gospel according to Luke tells about the reality of looking at wider perspective of not judging them as they happen. Behind all the calamities that we experienced, we have to pick up the pieces to have normal lives again," Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso said.
The Bishop added that there is that love of God. And that is what we are going to celebrate today. Use the experience to see the reality that God has always been with us.
Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso officiated the Thanksgiving Mass on today at the St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral as Bohol commemorated the first anniversary of the earthquake that killed more than 200 people in the Visayas.
Medroso said that the people of faith saw a miracle in Loon town when the statue was left unscathed under the rubble, which is a sign of God’s love.
The province of Bohol was struck by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake for 33 seconds on October 15, 2013 at 8:12 a.m. It affected the whole Central Visayas region, particularly Bohol and Cebu.
According to official reports by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 222 were reported dead, 8 were missing, and 976 people were injured. In all, more than 73,000 structures were damaged, of which more than 14,500 were totally destroyed.
Bohol officials led by Gov Edgar Chatto, Vice-Governor Conching Lim and Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II joined this morning’s quake commemoration.
With them is Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Francis Tolentino who sent its rescue team to assist in the rescue and retrieval operations last year.
Images of last year's rescue and retrieval operations as well as the names of those who perished during the fatal earthquake was flashed on the screen near the altar when the mass was about to end. A prayer for those who died followed.
Chatto spoke after the commemorative mass and he said "we cannot just say we want to forget that experience because there are beautiful things that happened after that."
“This produced the best of Boholanos, Filipinos, being one with each other. We are reminded to be always prepared because in our own time, the Lord has His own plans. We thank the people who helped us since day one, those who helped Bohol to rise. Human na tag bangon. Time to move on. Padayon, Bohol!,” said Chatto.
Mayor Yap then delivered his message of thanks. He highlighted Boholanos' generosity and gratefulness especially stressing gestures of extending help to those stricken by Yolanda victims despite being calamity victims themselves.
After the mass, the ground breaking ceremony for the Heroes Memorial Park & unveiling of the proposed memorial shrine followed.
Rains greeted the provincial, city and church officials during the inauguration but amid the pouring rain, Bishop Medroso blesses the future site of the memorial.
On the site will rise the memorial marker of the powerful earthquake that tested Boholanos' resiliency and faith.
The memorial marker is located at Banat-i Hill in Barangay Bool, Tagbilaran City, overlooking Baclayon, Loay, Loboc, Maribojoc, Panglao island, Balicasag island, among others.
MMDA Chair Tolentino and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA-7) regional director Efren Carreon were guests at the ground breaking and inauguration. (mbcn/ecb/PIA7-Bohol)