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When People’s Faith is stronger than Super Typhoon

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When People’s Faith is stronger than Super Typhoon
The Diocese of Borongan Dayaw Concert to Rebuild Guiuan Church
Photo and Text by Monsi A. Serrano

Before the landfall of Yolanda in Guiuan, Eastern Samar in Nov. 8, 2013, the town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar suddenly was put in the map, as various media all over the world wanted to find out how the town and people of Guiuan will handle the super typhoon, the strongest ever typhoon recorded that year, when it hits the ground.

As expected, the wrath of Yolanda carrying with her a gusty 315-kph winds strong was enough to sweep off everything that stood its way, even Guiuan’s most precious treasure, the Guiuan Church known as Immaculate Conception Parish Church. But not the faith of the people of Guiuan.

According to National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), there were 6,300 killed, 28,688 injured, 1,062 missing,  3,424,593 affected families, 16,078,181 affected persons and 1,140,332 damaged houses and the havoc to their community was estimated at P9.46 billion estimated.

The numbers won’t lie. The magnitude of the damage is so great that the rebound would seem a challenge. But according to Bishop Crispin B. Varquez, the prelate of the Diocese of Borongan, while the damage is great to their community and Diocese,  the faith and the love of the people for their town and community is what makes the community rise again and that includes the Church that is slowly being built.

The 175 years old Church of the Guiuan which is classified as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines means a lot to the people of Guiuan.

“It is a symbol of faith and love for God not just by the faithful of Guiuan, but also by the faithful in the entire Diocese of Borongan and Province of Samar,” as pointed out by Bishop Varquez to me during my interview with him.

The community through the effort of the Diocese of Borongan clergy under the tutelage of Bishop Varquez, the religious community and parishioners, the Dayaw Concert which was intended to rebuild the Church proved that the love and faith of people in GOD and unity that was shown during the Dayaw Concert, manifested that no amount of Super Typhoon can shatter the faith of the people and their trust in God amidst the calamity the experienced that led to the rebuilding of Guiuan Church in Eastern Samar.

As Bishop Varquez said, “We will always be one with Christ and people of Guiuan to build a community of God loving and God fearing people who value life and decency. As we also happy to thank the leader of our town who never took advantage of the tragedy for their own gain.”

“Thank you to the priests, nuns and all the people of Guiuan and Diocese of Borongan, for always thinking what is best for the community, and for sharing their 3Ts, Time, Talent and Treasures to rebuild the Church of Guiuan. Guiuan is a very beautiful town, and we take pride that our Church is one of our greatest treasures, because it is this Church that helped our people to draw closer to God and deepen their faith”, Bishop Varquez concluded.

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