By: Maj. Ray C. Tiongson
The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) spearheaded the celebration of the World Humanitarian Day 2014 at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol last August 19, 2014. Representatives from civilian sector attended the activity to honor the humanitarian heroes around the world.
The World Humanitarian Day recognizes the efforts of all men who, without hesitations, face danger in order to help others. This date also coincides with the commemoration of the bombing of United Nations headquarter situated in Baghdad, Iraq last 2003. This day further aims to inspire and encourage humanitarian works around the globe.
The program started at 9 o’clock in the morning with a ribbon cutting to signal the opening of the photo exhibits participated by different organizations that took part in the humanitarian activities in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. Iloilo Vice-Governor Raul Tupas led the ribbon cutting and was joined by Mr Shandra Lingam of UNOCHA, Mrs Rosario T Cabrera of RDRRMC, Ms Ma Evelyn B Macapobre of NEDA Regional office, Atty Anthony C Nuyda of DILG Regional office, Hon Patric Mabilog, the Iloilo City Mayor and MGen Aurelio B Baladad, the Commander of 3rdInfantry (Spearhead) Division. Each of the participants was given time to give his insights and experiences during the Typhoon Yolanda.
The highlight of the program was a Drill Exhibition by the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division Marching Band, who gamely marched and grooved in cadence to the musical accompaniments they were playing. The audience was later moved as their spirit of volunteerism and unity was rekindled by a song rendition of Sarah Geronimo’s Bayanihan Song by one of the band members. The celebration continued with a night concert with the 3ID Combo at SM City Iloilo Event Center.
MGen Aurelio B Baladad, the Commander of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division gave a fitting message for the celebration when he related the theme of the celebration “the World Needs More” to the Filipino tradition of Bayanihan. “We, Filipinos are always ready to give a helping hand to those in need especially in times of calamities and disasters. It’s one of the traits that Filipinos are known around the world. Magbayanihan tayo tungo sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran”.