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Friendship marker immortalizes how Canada aided Capiznons in dark times

ROXAS CITY, Capiz (PIA) -- A simple friendship marker that serves to remind  Capiznons of the help extended by the people of Canada in the immediate aftermath of the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda still stands proudly in the city’s Villareal Stadium.

The marker conveys the Capiznon people’s gratitude to the Canadians, particularly the Canadian government, for coming to their aid during the moment when help was badly needed.

Mary Gretchel Montorio, adviser of Jagnaya National High School's campus newspaper, recalleded that the Canadian Armed Forces - Disaster Assistance Response Team (CAF-DART) was among the first international relief missions that arrived in Barangay Jagnaya in Jamindan town.

"Aside from the medical mission, they also helped in the repair of damaged schools and provided safe drinking water to residents because they have a machine to purify water from the river," she recalled, adding that the village's public plaza virtually turned into a helipad for  of the Canadian Army.

The Canadians also installed water purifiers in Barangays Cabugcabug in President Roxas town and Dacuton in Dumarao town.

Christopher Yu, former provincial correspondent of GMA 7,  said that he had wonderful memories with the Canadian Army every time he came upon the friendship marker.

He added that his cameraman, now lawyer Israel Colmo,  boarded the Canadian army to join their relief operations.

Another local media person Rexam Laguda, now a business owner, said he recalled how the Canadians were very accommodating in responding to media inquiries.

The province was among the hardest hit in Western Visayas. The super typhoon left 72 people dead.

Capiz mediamen, particularly Yu (middle) and Laguda (far left) covered the unveiling of the marker in 2013.

The Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines, Neil Reeder, and Gov. Victor A. Tanco, Sr., led the unveiling of the marker on December 16, 2013, which also hinted at the demobilization of the Disaster Assistance Response Team in the province. (AGP/AAL/PIA Capiz)

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