Friday, December 23, 2011

Help pours in for flood victims, Filipino Bayanihan spirit alive

FRUITS OF BAYANIHAN. Army soldiers help prepare tons of relief goods sent by Filipinos around the world intended for the victims of tropical storm 'Ondoy'. From the Army headquarters, the items were transported to the DSWD warehouse in Pasay City. The DSWD will arrange the transport of the items towards the disaster-affected areas of Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City.  

FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – Countless Filipinos around the world have sent their pledges of relief goods to the Philippine Army.

The Philippine Army has earlier called for Bayanihan to help the thousands of victims of tropical storm “Sendong”.

Major Harold M Cabunoc, Army Spokesperson, said that the Army has collected at least 60 tons of relief goods from various sources including OFWs from around the world.

At 6:00 am this morning, five military trucks fully-loaded with relief goods transported the donations to a DSWD warehouse in Pasay City.

Included in the said delivery are used clothing, bottled water, mattresses and pillows, tents, and medicines that will be distributed to the calamity-stricken areas in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City.

The Army is closely collaborating with the DSWD in its task to manage and coordinate the relief efforts of the government, in coordination with the local government units.

Army Chief Major General Emmanuel T Bautista said that he is happy on the turn-out of the relief efforts of the Philippine Army as many organizations and individuals immediately responded to the call for help.

“I am overwhelmed with happiness that Filipinos around the world have appreciated the Bayanihan spirit that the AFP had advocated in its campaign strategy. We are now receiving help not only from within the country, but also from OFWs from the different parts of the globe,” said Bautista.

Dragon Warriors join Bayanihan

In this file photo, the paddlers of the Army Dragon Boat Team and the world-champion members of the Pinoy Dragon Warriors joined the search and rescue efforts in the heavily-flooded areas of Masantol, Pampanga in October 2011.

In the spirit of Bayanihan, paddlers of the Philippine Dragon Boat Team and the world-class champions, Dragon Warriors also joined the relief initiatives for the victims of “Sendong”.

They flashed messages for help in their Facebook fan page; and collected all jerseys, uniforms and other useful items that they used in international competitions to be donated to the victims.

Not long after, people from the Dragon Boat community started sending pledges in the form of relief items.

Manny Batungbakal of Columbia Sportswear sent a truckload of relief goods which include bottled water, tent materials, and used clothing.

Several paddlers in the Dragon Boat community also sent old clothing which were collected by the members of the Dragon Warriors.

Annabelle Tario, head coach of the Dragon Warriors, led the collection of relief goods.   

“We had been doing this since typhoon “Ondoy” wreaked havoc in the metropolis in 2009. In October 2011, we also participated in the Army’s rescue and relief efforts in Masantol, Pampanga, where we brought with us our dragon boat to help the stranded villagers in the said town,” narrates Tario.

Cabunoc said that Dragon Boat racing is the fine example of Bayanihan.

“While in the boat, the paddlers unite towards a common direction. If the crew won't paddle as one, they will never win. This is the same unity that we want for all Filipinos in times of calamity,” said Cabunoc who is also the Team Manager of the Dragon Boat team who emerged as champions in Tampa, Florida recently.

(Taken from OACPA Press Release)

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