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Xavier Ecoville @ Lumbia: City Mayor Vicente Y. Emano inspects one of the houses built through the efforts of the Xavier University and several project partners, for the resettlement of the victims of typhoon Sendong. (CIO)
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PIA Press Release
Sunday, January 29, 2012

Paraisong Pambata: Iligan’s biggest kid’s party

by Lorry V. Gabule

ILIGAN CITY, Lanao del Norte, Jan. 29 (PIA) -- Around 2,500 kids from the evacuation centers and affected communities wrought by Tropical Storm Sendong celebrated Iligan City’s biggest kids party, Jan. 25.

The children who survived the typhoon Sendong catastrophy were gathered at the gymnasium of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) in the afternoon to celebrate the day’s activity dubbed as Paraisong Pambata.

“We aimed at making them feel young again as every child in the gym celebrate their birthday today,” explained Undersecretary Jose Mari Oquinena, Presidential Communication Operations Office for Special Concerns (PCOO).

“Isang pa-birthday namin sa lahat ng bata na naging biktima ng Bagyong Sendong ang maranasan nila na maging bata uli, maglaro dito sa paraiso na lahat sa paligid ay mga bata (This is a birthday treat celebration to all children who survived Typhoon Sendong, let them experience to be young again in a paradise where you can find children playing around),” added Oquinena.

On the same day also marked the 79th commemoration of the birth of President Benigno S. Aquino’s mother, former President Corazon C. Aquino, who took courage to regain the country’s democracy through People Power Revolution.

The children were so happy holding a colorful balloon and a cupcake with a lighted candle on it as they sang a birthday song dedicated to the late President Aquino. Each child felt the day with excitement as they blew the candle after singing.

On top of the guests in the kid’s party were President Aquino’s sister, Zeil Aquino Dee, accompanied by Gina Cruz, wife of Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz.

Dee greeted all the children a happy birthday and offered a prayer of thanks to all children with their families who were saved while a prayer was also offered to those confirmed 704 dead as Sendong stroke the area.

Amazed by the presence of mascot characters like Jollibee, Hetty and Mr. Yum, of the Jollibee Food chain, the children nevertheless had diverted their attention from the flash flood devastation, to looking at the exotic dance performed by the mascots where they later joined in front dancing to the tune of latest hit sound.

Jollibee, Hetty and Mr. Yum greeted the children warmly, gave them a hug, and children had opportune time to have photos with them.

Other than food, the children were also given school supplies, the much-needed assistance as they go back to school. (PIA- 10)

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