LEGAZPI CITY: Miss International Bea Rose Santiago, who hails from Bicol, said she would focus on debriefing and rehabilitating children from Super Typhoon Yolanda if she were the president of the country.
“If I were the president, I will start from the ground and concentrate on the children’s psychological debriefing as part of rehabilitation effort in devastated areas of Typhoon Yolanda in central Philippines,” Santiago told Manila Times when asked about what she would do to expedite the rehabilitation efforts in the Visayan region.
“Rehabilitation effort should start from children because they’re the future of our country and on the ground,” Santiago pointed out.
Santiago arrived here on the eve of New Year’s Day and stayed for several days in Albay province specifically in Misibis Bay Resorts and Casino in Cagraray Island, Bacacay town. It is her first trip to Albay a week after winning the international title.
The reigning Miss International from Cataingan Masbate intimated that the President shared his thoughts about rehabilitation with her when she called on him but that Aquino lamented that the ongoing squabble between Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas has been affecting the expediency of the rehabilitation efforts.
Santiago said she hopes that the ongoing bickering between the national and local officials should be resolved in the soonest time so as not to delay the rehabilitation of the typhoon- stricken areas of central Visayas as service to the people is highly needed.
On disaster risk, Santiago said there is a need for a continuing education campaign on how to survive the worsening disaster as natural calamity strikes any moment following the adverse impact of climate change.
“The Filipinos suffered enough, we need to educate the people on how to survive the worsening effect of climate change because we don’t know when the disaster strikes. For as long as we can work together, there is hope,” Santigo said.
During her stay in Albay province, Santiago was accompanied by Governor Joey Salceda in touring world- renowned tourism destinations here.
She was provided with traditional motorcade from Legazpi City Domestic Airport to Daraga town and downtown of Legazpi City where Santiago was so elated by the warm welcome given by the Albayanos.
While in Legazpi City, Santiago conquered the rugged terrain of lava front through ATV ride.
But before the challenging indoor sport activities in this city and in Misibis Bay Resorts and Casino in Cagraray Island, Bacacay town, Santiago visited the pediatric ward of the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) and evacuation shelter for hundreds of victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda from Eastern Visayas who were adopted by Albay province and by the Bicol tourism officials led by director Maria “Nini” Ravanilla.
Santiago also joined with provincial government and the composite forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Bicol in tree planting activities in Cagraray Island, Bacacay town.
The hospitality tendered by the Albayanos to Santiago made her cry during the press conference here.
The Bicolano beauty queen from Cataingan Masbate was also adopted here as daughter of Albay just like former US Ambassador Kristey Kenney who frequently visits Bicol specifically Albay province during her incumbency for humanitarian mission and promoting tourism development in Bicol specifically Mayon volcano’s wonder and interaction with the whalesharks or “butanding”—the world’s gentle giant fish in the world.