Love balloons to line Tacloban streets on Valentine’s Day
by FFE PH News Staff
Typhoon Yolanda survivors and relief groups won’t forget the dead come Valentine’s Day.
One Tacloban founder and president Jeff Manibay announced that survivors and volunteers will be installing 10,000 stick balloons along the road from Daniel Z Romualdez Airport to Anibong District in downtown Tacloban as a way to remember those who perished due to typhoon Yolanda. 14 February will be the 98th day since the typhoon made landfall.
Manibay said that the balloons will be red and white to symbolise love and peace for the souls of the dead. 10,000 balloons will be used because this is what survivors believe to be the correct death toll. According to the latest estimate by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), 6,201 were killed by the typhoon. Manibay said ‘It’s unbelievable. We know there were more who died. Residents here can even tell you where the remains are lying.’
Manibay added that the Valentine’s event will serve as a call for government to account for all the dead and continue to conduct search and retrieval operations in the yet unexplored areas of Visayas: ‘There are more of the dead there waiting to be retrieved, especially in the surrounding uninhabited small islands.’
If the government were to give Tacloban the tools and resources, they would be able to organise teams to retrieve the bodies, said Manibay. News of discrepancies in the number of casualties surfaced December last year. The Office of the Civil Defence (OCD) has been conducting a recount of the dead to prevent errors in giving financial assistance to families.
Manibay said that the participants of the event will be sharing a Valentine’s merienda on the streets. One Tacloban is a non-profit ad hoc organisation that aims to give aid to survivors and victims of typhoon Yolanda.