Goodbye, Guinsaugon: One Month Memorial Officially Closes the Search
They come from all over. Survivors from evacuation centers, neighbors from other villages, family from distant cities. About 100 cars drive in a sad, slow procession to Guinsaugon to pay respects to their friends and relatives who died in the avalanche. On the one month anniversary of the mudslide, thousands of people have come out for a memorial service.
The defaced Mt. Kan-abag was the backdrop. Four weeks ago many ran from this site. Now, they return to it to witness last rites for their loved ones. It's t he official end of the search . Grieving villagers left candles and whispered prayers, asking their god for answers.
Reverend Alex Vergara of Aloha Medical Mission says of the ceremony, "It helped the survivors and victims cope with the tragedy. It becomes a healing process for them."
This memorial is not only an end, but also a beginning- an effort to build new lives.