As a commemoration of super typhoon Yolanda’s (Haiyan) third year anniversary, students gathered to honor the victims of one of the biggest disasters in Eastern Visayas in a candle lighting activity at the VSU Amphitheater, November 8.

More than a hundred candles were kindled during the ceremony initiated by student organizations, which illuminated the symbolic Search for Truth monument.

Prof. Maria Aurora Teresita Tabada, director of the Institute of Strategic Research and Development Studies (ISRDS), shared her experiences after the 2013 super typhoon ravaged Eastern Visayas and claimed around 10,000 lives.

“After the typhoon, I saw a bunch of kids playing. I think, in their innocence, they gave me hope. They made me realize that it is not the end. In fact, it is the start of a new beginning for us.” she said.


Tabada also encouraged the students to help in restoring the communities damaged by the calamity in their own unique ways. It will mean more work, she said, and a greater sense of commitment to apply what they have learned from school.

“Young people like you can do something. Listen with your hearts and see what can you do to make a difference. This activity that we have tonight is a first step in achieving that difference.” urged Tabada.

The event was a part of the activities lined-up for the VSU Environment Week organized by the student-run Chemical Society (ChemSoc), Helpers in Outreaching Mother Earth’s Stability (HOMES), Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineers-VSU Student Council (PSAE-VSUSC), and the Terrestrial and Aquatic Restorations by Students Immersed into Environmental Reforms (TARSIER) in partnership with ISRDS.

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