PIA News Service - Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011

Butuan City gov’t honors Balangay crew

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) – The city government here paid tribute to the 42 men and women who have made the country proud as they cascaded waves in some parts of Southeast Asia aboard the three Balangay boats bringing with them the rich cultures of Filipinos, in a ceremony held at the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Grounds, this city.

In his speech before the crowd estimated at around 1,000 who witnessed the awarding ceremony on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante Jr. said the city of Butuan and the entire nation is very proud to have the balangay crew as the modern navigators who brought with them rich cultures and traditions of being true Filipinos.

As part of the ceremony, heads of offices from the public and private sectors also gave tokens and awarded certificates of appreciation to the crew members for their exceptional dedication and commitment, making Butuan City in particular and Caraga Region in general, placed to another milestone of development in the world’s history.

It can be recalled that on July 16, 2010, the third Balangay Boat “Sama Tawi-tawi” was launched at Luna Compound, Brgy. Bading, this city where the crew started their voyage navigating the Philippine seas and some seas in the Southeast Asian region that includes Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia. (PIA-Caraga)


Balangay team leader admits bringing back crew safe is the greatest achievement of their voyage

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA) – “With all the challenges we experienced in six months of traveling the ocean, the greatest achievement I have accomplished is to bring back the crew safe to the country,” thus said former DOTC Usec. Art Valdez when asked on the greatest challenges they experienced in the voyage.

In a press conference held on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011 at the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Terminal here, Valdez reminisce the crews’ experience especially when they were able to catch up 15 to 20 feet waves. “Those experience only show that Filipinos are strong… that our race is determined to accomplish what have been targeted… that no matter happens, we, Filipinos will not surrender,” Valdez said.

Also, Valdez said, in every challenge they experienced, the crew only holds to their faith in God and with themselves. Thus, he said “we can never tell if we can go back safe to where we came from… This is the reason that I am thankful to God and to those who prayed for us because I was able to bring back the crew safe.”

Usec. Art Valdez is the leader of the first Mount Everest Expedition. He is also a former President of the Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines, a veteran mountaineer and a marathoner. It was in 2007 when he successfully realized the epic story of the successful ascent of Mt. Everest by two Filipino groups: one by male climbers Leo Oracion and Erwin ‘Pastour’ Emata, and the other female group - Janet Belarmino-Sardena, Noelle Wenceslao and Carina Dayondon. (PIA-Caraga)
.
.
PIA Caraga facilitates gov’s request for relief assistance

SURIGAO DEL NORTE, Feb. 6 (PIA)
– The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga Regional Office has successfully facilitated Gov. Sol Matugas’ request for relief assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-13) to the affected families of the recent calamity that hit the entire province.

PIA Caraga officer-in-charge Abner Caga, said that through the agency’s intervention, “we were able to send the request of Gov. Sol Matugas to the DSWD-Caraga Regional Office through Asst. Director Mita Lim.”

Latest figures from DSWD Caraga showed that they were able to augment a total of 3,200 family packs consisting of 3 kilos of rice, 3 tins sardines, 3 tins corned beef, 3 pieces noodles, 1 box milk and used clothings amounting to P1.5M to the 12 municipalities of the province.

Heavy rains since January 31 caused by a low pressure area in East Mindanao has resulted to subsequent flooding and minor landslides in most areas of the province affecting some 20,000 families.
(FEAbkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)