Honorable Chairman Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon,
Philippine Red Cross
Honorable Selvaratnam Sinnadurrai
Country Representative, IFRC-Philippines Delegation
Ms. Secretary General Gwendolyn T. Pang
Philippine Red Cross
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Maayong buntag sa inyong tanan. Sobra akong kalipay nga naa ko diri karon. <Binisaya translation> (Good morning to everyone. I am happy to be here.)
First of all, I would like to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims of Tropical Storm Sendong.
Una sa tanan, akong pahibalo ang akong pagunong sa tanang biktima sa bagyong Sendong. <Binisaya translation>
The grief of the bereaved families of more than 2,500 souls cannot be consoled. The hardship of the people rebuilding life after losing everything cannot be fathomed easily. All I can say is that there are people aware of your plight and willing to support you.
Japan had also experienced such sense of total loss and despair many times. Most recently in the aftermath of the Great East Japan disaster. Sadly, we have our share of disasters. We are grateful to the sympathy and support by the Filipinos and organizations like the Red Cross. Thanks to you, Japan is now back on its feet. We are all the more happy to reciprocate your generosity by building these shelters and providing kits for repairing your damaged houses.
“In prosperity, our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends”. (John Churton Collins)
“ Sa kauswagan, daghan kitang mga amigo, sa pagsulay, diha nato makita ang atong mga tinuod nga amigo. “ <Binisaya translation>
I have no doubt that Cagayan de Oro will recover from the disaster and rebuild a better city with more capability to cope with disasters. The Filipinos are resilient, inventive and hard-working. I am always amazed to see smiling Filipinos even when they are traversing floodwaters knee high. There were pictures of people using a broken refrigerator door, “styrofoams” or empty plastic water bottles as an improvised raft. If you can face up to adversity with such creativity and a cheerful smile, you can overcome any challenge.
“ Ang dili pursigido, dili magmadaugon, ang magpursige mao ang magmadaugon. ” “ <Binisaya translation> (The quitter never wins, the winner never quits.)
Last but not least, I want to congratulate the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Philippine Red Cross for implementing this project. Indeed, your untiring and selfless dedication to help distressed people in times of disasters is commendable.
Daghang salamat. Mabuhay kitang tanan. <Binisaya translation>
(Thank you very much. Cheers to all.)