Remembering not to forget to remember Project Ala-ala

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By Nars Padilla

Kafagway Roundup

Friday, July 11, 2014


IN KEEPING with tradition the National Correspondents Club of Baguio (NCCB) and the City Social Welfare and Development Office in partnership with the Senior Citizens Association of Pinsao Proper barangay and Gloria’s Flower Shop will observe the 24th year edition of Project Ala-ala on July 16, this month. The very special day of remembrance like in the past years is dedicated to all our relatives, associates, friends, and other unfortunate victims of the killer earthquake which struck our city and several parts of the Cordilleras, Cabanatuan City and Pangasinan among others. The day’s offering is also a distinct occasion to pay tribute and appreciation to the thousands of Filipinos as well as the foreign rehabilitation and rescue volunteers and government workers who courageously extended their helping hands in the aftermath of the disaster.

Wednesday’s spiritual – religious endeavor will be held at the Shrine of the Brown Madonna at KM. 7 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet where an earthquake heroes marker could he fpound within the compound. The day of remembrance is set at 9 o’clock in the morning. A floral offering and a candlelight and prayer ceremony will highlight the simple memorial activity inside the man made rock cave. Like in previous years, former City Mayor Jaime Bugnosen and lucky earthquake Baby Jane Anoma Sanndan who is now a social worker by profession will be at the helm together with CSWD officer Betty Fangasan and yours truly on behalf of the NCCB’ers and the senior citizens. After the prayer rites, a couple of elderly will release a pair of white doves to symbolize peace and solidarity while social workers from Silungan Center will float white and blue balloons towards the sky to remind one and all, specially our cosmopolitan resident in the city to join in spirit and prayer Project Ala-ala where ever they may be.

At this point in time, we are also inviting Baguio’s lucky earthquake babies who are celebrating their 24th birthday on July 16 to join us at the Shrine. We hope that like Shakey, they are now professionals in their chosen courses. The core includes Nicole Aline Mariel Tabora, Lyndon Pitag Cawi, Anjoe Caroy Reyes, Kryzzy Yannh Garcia, Linda Penulliar, Joe Lyndon Chiday, Lester Jake Lubu-od, Lendle Jeg Crispin Quines and Angelica Corpuz Arconado. Former City Tourism officer and media man Mackey Magpili was an active member of the project quest committee. Happy birthday to the lucky celebrants.

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Meanwhile, as a former correspondent of the defunct Daily Globe, a national newspaper publication, I am keeping in my treasure chest a vast collection of articles and pictures which were published as headline stories during the period of the earthquake tragedy, Atty. Aure Galacgac, former Bureau head of the Philippine News Agency for Baguio at one time congratulated me for my efforts and massive news coverage and for the most number of articles and photos spread out in the Daily Globe on a daily basis from July 16 to December 27, 1990.

Significantly, I was the only mediaman on the job who together with mining engineer Kaniting, head of Philex Mines rescue team crawled underneath the Hyatt Hotel rubbles mainly to take pictures of rescue activities. Now I realize that the past activity I went through was one of the most challenging and dangerous thing I ever experienced in my life. Thank God, I am still, among others an active journalist in my own rites.

Meanwhile, I would like to thank the unidentified person who returned my driver’s license and BARP Foundation Board of Trustee membership ID card last Wednesday at the BARP’s office through Miss. Balanag. I lost my wallet within the Baguio Water District Office compound two weeks ago while paying our water bill. Of course, I am wishing and praying for the return of other important document in my lost wallet. The finder may return any of the documents to the BARP office at Otek street, Miss Nora, the lady cashier at the Luisa’s Café at Session Road, CSWDO Silungan Center at Upper Session Road or to radio stations DZWT 540 at the Baguio Cathedral Compound, Radyo ng Bayan or at the Bombo Radyo – Baguio. Maramin salamat po!

A cast of friends especially with those I worked with in the past consecutive four years marking the Filipino – Japanese Friendship day celebration in the city are asking me about the program for this month’s celebration. I am deeply sorry to say that I am not personally involved in the celebration this year. And in any capacity, for that matter since the departure of my good friend Engr. Leopoldo Escaño, executive director of the Filipino – Japanese foundation for Northern Luzon, Inc. Where I am right now is a place of contentment full of pleasant and joyful memories about the Philippines – Japan Friendship Day rites in the city. I can say with pardonable pride that in year 2009, yours truly as NCCB president and as president of the Baguio Elderly Assembly initiated, prepared and properly implemented the city wide Fil-Japanese tomodachi day activities in cooperation with the FJNLF. The rest of the story is now part of history.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 12, 2014.

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