Photo by Greenpeace / Albert LozadaToday, the #PeoplesPilgrimage commemorated the 2nd year since the strongest typhoon that has ever made landfall in modern recorded history, Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), hit the Philippines and left a massive trail of devastation and became the single biggest disaster in Philippine history.

The pilgrims, arriving in Columbier-saugnie, France, together with the members of the community and the local parish, paid tribute to the thousands of people who perished, the millions who survived, and every person who stood with the Philippines during those difficult moments.

As the distance to be covered was long and rugged, the pilgrims rode bicycles, and before departing in the morning, they formed a prayer circle, honoring the victims of Haiyan, and offering a silent moment before they took off for the day.

Photo by Greenpeace / Albert Lozada 
The Pilgrimage is comprised of pilgrims from the Philippines, Italy, France, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, and the United States. For the People’s Pilgrimage, Filipinos are leading the journey, and are carrying the voices of the people and communities who confront the realities of climate change. Among the pilgrims is Filipino street artist AG Saño, a Typhoon Haiyan survivor who was in Tacloban when the storm struck and spent several days helping retrieve bodies of the dead. Together with the other Filipinos, AG is representing the voices of the survivors and the people who perished and will never be able to speak for themselves again.

Photo by Greenpeace / Albert Lozada

Upon arriving in the town of Columbier-saugnie, the pilgrims were warmly welcomed with a prayers and feasting, and were ushered to cozy bedrooms, a contrast from some of the days when the pilgrims had to sleep on the floor.

When night fell, the community and the congregation gathered in the chapel and led by the pilgrims, they lit candles to remember the people lost to Haiyan in a deeply moving ceremony that was highlighted by a moment of silence. 

Albert Lozada is the Public Engagement Coordinator of Greenpeace Philippines. You can follow his updates on Twitter via @woodleworm
For us at Greenpeace, we believe you can make a difference. Take action with us now!