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10 November 2017

Anthony Bari, Jr., Director of the film “We Call Her Yolanda” delivers brief remarks prior to the film screening held at the Philippine Embassy’s Romulo Hall on 08 November 2017.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Philippine Embassy hosted a free screening of the documentary film, “We Call Her Yolanda” in the evening of 08 November 2017, exactly four (4) years after super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck Tacloban City in the province of Leyte, Philippines.

Guests from the Metro DC community filled the Romulo Hall of the Embassy to watch the highly anticipated film that follows the story of those who survived the strongest typhoon on recorded history.

“We Call Her Yolanda” was shot entirely in the Philippines for over two (2) years, highlighting the stories of devastation and loss, rescue and survival, as well as rehabilitation and recovery.

Atty. Jose Victor Chan-Gonzaga, Minister for Economic Affairs of the Embassy who was born and raised in Tacloban City, welcomed the guests and delivered the opening remarks prior to the screening.

“It is our prayer that we will realize that Yolanda may have brought unquantifiable damage and loss, but it also left us with many lessons about nature, about life, about people, and about the strength of the human spirit. We should not let the passage of time and the relative calm of our present lives turn these lessons into mere memories. Instead those lessons should be held close to our hearts and minds so we can strive to build better cities, better lives, and better relationships,” the Minister said.

Director of the film Anthony Bari, Jr., and Producer May Tam were also present during the screening at the Embassy.

“I will always remember November 8, it is a day that changed my outlook on life. Making a film in honor of people who had strong will and hope at their lowest point in life was very emotional at times and very fulfilling for the soul,” said Mr. Bari in sharing his thoughts and experience in working on the feature length documentary.

“Our mission was to bring their untold stories to the rest of the world. The people of Leyte embody the Waray spirit with honor and pride in everything they do. This showed many of us what true resilience is. The subjects in the film teach good lessons about what defines necessity and what soon becomes luxury. The earth has no bias and we can never be prepared enough for what might come to us,” he further emphasized.

Prior to its Washington debut, the film was also shown in the Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival on 9 October 2016, and in two (2) cinemas in Makati City, Philippines on 25-26 March 2017. ###