A word is worth a thousand pictures-Jude B

Education Is Key to Recovery

from left: Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao and Red Cross (HK) Deputy Chair Madame Ivy Wu Kwok Sau-ping test out the brand new desk and chairs donated by HK Red Cross at San Jose Central School in Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 by Jude Bautista.

from left: Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao and Red Cross (HK) Deputy Chair Madame Ivy Wu Kwok Sau-ping test out the brand new desk and chairs donated by HK Red Cross at San Jose Central School in Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 by Jude Bautista.

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

Tacloban, Leyte has received enormous amounts of relief goods. But for anyone who has visited what was left of the city after typhoon Yolanda, the signs of destruction still scar the landscape. The new structures one immediately sees are a handful of houses. A great majority of the population still lives in tents and temporary shelters. Utilities such as water and electricity networks have not been rebuilt. That’s why the recent turnover of classrooms by the Red Cross to elementary and secondary schools in Tacloban and nearby communities is a huge start.

 

More than 100 days later, people still live in tents in Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 by Jude Bautista

More than 100 days later, people still live in tents in Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 by Jude Bautista

This is how most people collect their water, if and when they have access to it. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

This is how most people collect their water, if and when they have access to it. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Phil Red Cross Sec. Gen. Gwendolyn Pang said, “The turnover of 166 classrooms is very historical in terms of Red Cross cooperation. We finished all 166 classrooms for only 30 days. In January the Red Cross movement was already in early recovery program. Early recovery is very difficult in a disaster as big as this one. But with the efforts, cooperation of the whole Red Cross specifically Phil Red Cross and the Chinese Red Cross, with good leadership very strong chairman of the Phil Red Cross, very strong leadership of the Chinese Red Cross. Both of them are leaders of the Intl Red Cross, they worked so hard on it and finished it in 30 days only.”

Tolosa National High School received 10 classrooms. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Tolosa National High School received 10 classrooms. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

2nd from left: Red Cross (Phil) Sec Gen. Gwendolyn Pang,, Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao, Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon with teacher and students who received classrooms. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

2nd from left: Red Cross (Phil) Sec Gen. Gwendolyn Pang,, Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao, Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon with teacher and students who received classrooms. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Hong Kong Red Cross was credited by donating the fixtures. Pang explained, “They’re very happy that school children can go back to school using these buildings and facilities. This morning we’re very happy with the additional support that we’re getting from the Chinese Red Cross. This is a big support from the HK Red Cross as well, which are the school fixtures. They do not want to give an empty classroom. They want to make sure that when we turn over these classrooms they are ready to be used by the students.”

 

The smiles come from dancers who have been through so many difficulties. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

The smiles come from dancers who have been through so many difficulties. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

That morning last February 10, 2014 an agreement was signed of providing 50 armchairs per classroom. It also includes 2 sets of teacher’s table and chair and 2 blackboards for each classroom. The agreement was signed by chairman Richard Gordon and Madame chair Dr. Baige Zhao.

from left: Red Cross (Phil) Sec Gen. Gwendolyn Pang assists Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon and Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao sign agreement as IFRC Rep Marcel Fortier looks on. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

from left: Red Cross (Phil) Sec Gen. Gwendolyn Pang assists Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon and Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao sign agreement as IFRC Rep Marcel Fortier looks on. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon and Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao shake hands after the ceremony. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon and Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao shake hands after the ceremony. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Gwendolyn Pang also added that the assistance was not only for the Yolanda victims but will also be distributed to a lot of other areas in need, “In total the proposal is to build 400 classrooms. The 166 is only for typhoon Yolanda. Our chairman also directed us in areas that were previously hit by other disasters like the earthquake in Bohol, the Zamboanga siege where 5 barangays were totally devastated or burned down and other areas. We are looking into that. What is very good in this learning is that we have discovered a very important partnership that Phil Red Cross and Chinese Red Cross can work together for the early recovery with classrooms at a very early stage after the disaster.”

Thousands of homes were lost from typhoon Yolanda. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Thousands of homes were lost from typhoon Yolanda. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez inspires his constituents. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez inspires his constituents. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

In a speech Mayor Alfred Romualdez praised the swift reaction of Red Cross China and Hong Kong who immediately coordinated with the Phil Red Cross, “Although they have not been credited heavily or noticeably in a lot of the media, I’m very much aware and thankful of the impact of the assistance to a lot of my kababayan or countrymen.”

 

far left Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao and far right Red Cross (HK) Deputy Chair Mdme Ivy Wu Kwok Sau-ping with Red Cross volunteers. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

far left Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao and far right Red Cross (HK) Deputy Chair Mdme Ivy Wu Kwok Sau-ping with Red Cross volunteers. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Dr. Baige Zhao said the project was an opportunity for her to function both as Executive Vice President of international Red Cross and the Chinese Red Cross, “It really is a great honor to see all of you here especially when I see all the Filipinos the students. I really see the value and the meaning of this work. Since 20th of November Chinese Red Cross joined this important cause.”

Vehicles were tossed by floods during Yolanda, just a few meters away from the airport. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Vehicles were tossed by floods during Yolanda, just a few meters away from the airport. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

 

Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao credits the cooperation with Phil Red Cross as crucial to getting classrooms done quickly. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao credits the cooperation with Phil Red Cross as crucial to getting classrooms done quickly. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

According to her the cooperation with the Phil Red Cross and experience of Richard Gordon have helped make things quicker, “We see the result in the people’s faces.  We see the result in the people’s happiness especially with the young generation. It is our hope that we can see the results 30 years later on because of the investment in education of the youth. The achievements we’ve had are because of our cooperation with the Phil Red Cross.”

 

Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao talks to kids. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao talks to kids. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Zhao noted the fact that the International Red Cross coordination with local chapters was unprecedented and serves as a model in following the regulations of the federation.

More than 100 days later, people still live in tents in Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 by Jude Bautista

More than 100 days later, people still live in tents in Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 by Jude Bautista

Zhao added, “After living in temporary shelters we see the students want to come to school immediately. And Hong Kong Red Cross immediately joined us within 3-4 days, upon hearing of the project. Their assistance made us complete the classrooms so much faster. I want to thank our partner and Richard Gordon my brother. Please send our happiness and willingness to the Filipinos and Tacloban peoples and Leyte. You use the words Tindog, stand up, using this slogan Tindog Tacloban, Tindog!

 

Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao writes Tindog Tacloban meaning RISE Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao writes Tindog Tacloban meaning RISE Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

During the signing of the agreements and speeches, the Chinese contingent took note of addressing Red Cross (HK) Deputy Chair Ivy Wu Kwok Sau-ping as ‘Madame’. It was lost on the attending press including myself.

 

from left: Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao and Mdme Ivy Wu are welcomed by Lion Dancers. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

from left: Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao and Mdme Ivy Wu are welcomed by Lion Dancers. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

The title of Madame comes from her being the wife of Sir Gordon Wu founder of Hopewell Industries. Gordon Wu is one of the biggest Taipans in Hong Kong who built critical infrastructure such as power plants, dams, roads and bridges in the People’s Republic of China since the 1980s. Queen Elizabeth knighted him for his many contributions to Hong Kong charities including the Red Cross.

Red Cross (HK) Deputy Chair Madame Ivy Wu Kwok Sau-ping spends time with kids from San Jose Central School in Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Red Cross (HK) Deputy Chair Madame Ivy Wu Kwok Sau-ping spends time with kids from San Jose Central School in Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

 

Madame Ivy Wu conducted herself with such modesty and grace that none of us in the press realized she was one of the wealthiest women in the Special Administrative Region. Madame Ivy Wu said in her short speech, “I’m very grateful to Chinese Red Cross to participate in today’s activities. Since Yolanda typhoon, Hong Kong Red Cross has sent 10 volunteers medical staff joining other medical societies here for service. This time in the school we have participated in purchasing classroom furniture for this temporary school provided by the Chinese Red Cross.”

 

Red Cross (China) Head of Operations Zhang Ming was welcomed by students from Tolosa National High School. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Red Cross (China) Head of Operations Zhang Ming was welcomed by students from Tolosa National High School. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Madame Wu gave credit to the benefactors, “Part of the money used to purchase the furniture is supported by the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank in Hong Kong. We are looking forward to more cooperation with our Chinese Red Cross Society as well as our partners in the Philippine Red Cross Society. Thank you very much.”

from left: Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao, Red Cross (HK) Deputy Chair Mdme Ivy Wu Kwok Sau-ping, Red Cross (Phil) Sec. Asst. /Board of Dir. Atty Inky Reyes, Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, Red Cross (China) Head of Gen Administration Yi Song and Red Cross (China) Head of Operations Zhang Ming spends time with kids of San Jose Central School in Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 by Jude Bautista.

from left: Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao, Red Cross (HK) Deputy Chair Mdme Ivy Wu Kwok Sau-ping, Red Cross (Phil) Sec. Asst. /Board of Dir. Atty Inky Reyes, Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, Red Cross (China) Head of Gen Administration Yi Song and Red Cross (China) Head of Operations Zhang Ming spends time with kids of San Jose Central School in Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 by Jude Bautista.

from left: UNTV camerawoman Archyl Egano and reporter Jenelyn Gaquit. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

from left: UNTV camerawoman Archyl Egano and reporter Jenelyn Gaquit. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista. 

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRF– http://pdrf.org/index.htm ,

Gawad Kalinga– http://gk1world.com/  ,

Habitat for Humanity Phil–  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

from left: Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez and Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

from left: Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez and Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRF– http://pdrf.org/index.htm ,

Gawad Kalinga– http://gk1world.com/  ,

Habitat for Humanity Phil–  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

far left Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao and far right Red Cross (HK) Deputy Chair Mdme Ivy Wu Kwok Sau-ping with Red Cross volunteers. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

far left Red Cross (China) EVP & Intl Red Cross VP Dr. Baige Zhao and far right Red Cross (HK) Deputy Chair Mdme Ivy Wu Kwok Sau-ping with Red Cross volunteers. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

Beneficiaries: Log on to beneficiaries’ websites to donate or for more information: PDRF- http://pdrf.org/index.htm ,  Gawad Kalinga- http://gk1world.com/  , Habitat for Humanity Phil-  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

Beneficiaries: Log on to beneficiaries’ websites to donate or for more information: PDRF- http://pdrf.org/index.htm , Gawad Kalinga- http://gk1world.com/ , Habitat for Humanity Phil- http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRF– http://pdrf.org/index.htm ,

Gawad Kalinga– http://gk1world.com/  ,

Habitat for Humanity Phil–  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

from left: Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, Red Cross (HK) Deputy Chair Mdme Ivy Wu Kwok Sau-ping, Red Cross (China) Head of Operations Zhang Ming and Red Cross (China) Head of Gen Administration Yi Song wave to the children of Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

from left: Red Cross (Phil) Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon, Red Cross (HK) Deputy Chair Mdme Ivy Wu Kwok Sau-ping, Red Cross (China) Head of Operations Zhang Ming and Red Cross (China) Head of Gen Administration Yi Song wave to the children of Tacloban. Photo taken last February 10, 2014 in Tacloban, Leyte by Jude Bautista.

IMG_0548

Log on to these reputable organizations to donate: PDRF– http://pdrf.org/index.htm ,

Gawad Kalinga– http://gk1world.com/  ,

Habitat for Humanity Phil–  http://www.habitat.org.ph/site/index.php

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