The pope's first visit to the Philippines is a truly historic event and an occasion of joy for the country's Catholic population. His visit to Tacloban reminds us what is at stake if we do not capitalize on the promise of 2015 to make the world a better and more resilient place.
The Philippines must keep the recovery process moving smoothly until the job is done. Building back better from Haiyan won't erase the pain. But the safer and sustainable communities it delivers might leave a legacy that will be more lasting.
What better day than Valentine's Day to celebrate the dedication, perseverance and, of course, love between the communities, families and children in the parts of the country that were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan?
All you have to know to understand the scale of the devastation in Tacloban is that the people of this area, families who have lived their entire lives here, are leaving by the thousands to go start their lives in entirely new cities. The destruction and loss makes it all too overwhelming.
I wish you courage as you remind the world that no one wins a war declared against nature. I wish you a torch of light and truth as you fight those who will keep telling you that forgiveness can only be found in silence. I wish you a weapon called voice.
I was going farther and farther out into the sea and all I saw were tips of coconut trees starting to disappear into the swelling water. Suddenly, I saw a child hugging tightly to a floating coconut tree.