Tacloban City, PHILIPPINES – Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior arrived in this city on Wednesday, February 28, as part of its climate justice tour in Southeast Asia.
The ship is in Tacloban, the final stop of the Philippine leg of the tour, to support communities in pressuring governments and the private sector to take immediate action on climate change. (WATCH: Rainbow Warrior calls for climate justice in PH)
Nearly 5 years since Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) ravaged this city, most survivors still carried the emotional burden caused by the disaster. But the arrival of the ship brought hope to some of them.
Joana Sustento, a Yolanda survivor, thanked Greenpeace for bringing the Rainbow Warrior ship to Tacloban.
“Actually this is a dream come true for me and for Tacloban. Because I’ve always wanted to do something more for the city that I love,” Sustento said.
‘We all know what happened 4 years ago, and here in Leyte and Samar, we lost thousands of lives. We lost everything,” she added.
What remained, she said, are stories of pain and loss, of rebuilding lives for survivors and regaining their strength.
“All of us here have stories to tell, whether you are here or not, bisan waray ka didi maaram ako na may ada ka pamilya ngan sangkay nga aadi (though you’re not here, you still have families and friends who are here),” Sustento said.
Sustento and her brother survived Yolanda, but lost their parents, elder brother, sister-in-law and their nephew. (READ: TIMELINE: Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan))
Sustento urged her fellow Yolanda survivors in the region to help in the fight against climate change.
“We know what climate change is. We know what’s beyond the numbers and statistics. We have that story and the stories are powerful. That is why Rainbow Warrior is here so that we can share those stories and they can tell it to the world. For the world to know what climate change really is. For climate change to have that face. Kinahanglan masabtan han kalibutan ano gud natabo dinhi (The world must know what really happend here),” Sustento said.
“We should be at the front line to take action. We should not wait for other people to take action for us because we are all supported by the world,” she added.
The Greenpeace ship arrived in Manila on February 14. Greenpeace had said that the tour would highlight the power of the people who are reclaiming their rights to safe and ecologically sourced food, rights to resilient and thriving oceans, and to witness how the people are taking their power back by telling stories of survival and hope.
The ship will be in the Philippines until March 5 before sailing to other countries in Southeast Asia. Aside from Manila and Tacloban, the ship also visited Guimaras. – Rappler.com