MANILA, Philippines – A day after netizens slammed “#FYolanda,” a benefit dance party to commemorate Super Typhoon Yolanda’s one-year anniversary, its organizers have released a statement on the furor surrounding it.
“Our motivation for organizing #FYolanda came from our own survival and experience of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Our lives, like all survivors, were changed forever by November 8th, 2013,” wrote the event organizers in their official press release.
“The #FYolanda event is not about drinking and partying. It is an expression of life and celebration of survival. We must show everyone that Tacloban is still alive. And we must join together as survivors to help support the next generation,” they said.
In order to continue raising funds, the organizers will continue to sell the shirt that reads “Not even the strongest typhoon could bend the strongest people.”
The controversy stemmed from the event’s messaging as a dance party, and the organizers’ sale of shirts with slogans such as “Eat, Loot, Pray.” Many netizens found both to be inappropriate in light of the death and destruction that occurred in Yolanda’s wake.
Below is the full text of the organizers’ press release: