By Jess Malabanan
Former President Fidel Valdez Ramos will lead the 25th anniversary celebration of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption to be held at the Laus Group Event Center in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga on June 15.
Car magnate Levy P. Laus, who is also the chairman of the Mt. Pinatubo Executive Committee, said FVR confirmed his attendance for the occasion.
“It was relayed by Governor [Lilia] Pineda that FVR will join us during the awarding rites,” Laus told reporters during a press conference.
Aside from being the guest of honor, FVR will also be cited as an outstanding awardee for his contribution to the speedy recovery of Pampanga and other provinces in Central Luzon greatly affected by the volcano eruption and lahar flow.
Laus said about 200 individuals, including businessmen and civic-oriented groups and local government officials, would be recognized for their contribution to the collective efforts to save Pampanga from the devastating effects of the 1991 Pinatubo volcano eruption.
This reporter is also among the awardees during the award night.
Other activities include a commemorative walk from historic Cabetican village to the half-buried San Guillermo Parish Church in Bacolor town, to be participated in by the people of Pampanga from all walks of life, simultaneous motorcades in the province’s 20 towns and two cities.
On Saturday, Laus led a group of 4×4 offroaders for an adventure ride to Delta 5, one of the observatory posts of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs) situated uphill of the volcano during the height of lahar and pyroclastic flows. The event is part of the Pinatubo eruption anniversary celebration.
“The celebration is a commemoration of Kapampangan triumph and resiliency in the face of catastrophy, “said Laus in his opening statement to the media.
It was past 10 a.m. on June 15, 1991 when Mt. Pinatubo blew its top, sending a cauliflower-like ash into the air. Day time turned into darkness. Thick ash covered the whole province, rendering all roads impassable to all type of vehicles. Rooftops collapsed due to huge amount of accumulated ashfall.
The committee is planning to build a monument and shrine which will defect the Kapampangan unity and resiliency. The markers will be established in strategic places within the province.