By Macon Ramos-Araneta | Manila Standard Today
Instead of celebrating his 58th birthday with a lavish party, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., opted to conduct a relief caravan with his family for their “kailians” provincemates in Ilocos Norte hardest hit by Typhoon ‘‘Ineng.’’
“I told my family and my staff that we don’t hold a party because it’s not nice to be engaged in merry making while many are suffering due to the typhoon. It’s much better to help,” he said.
The entire Marcos family, including Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos Manotoc and her sons as well as the senator’s sons took part in the relief caravan.
A total of 46,446 families in 383 barangays of Ilocos Norte suffered the brunt Typhoon ‘‘Ineng,’’ which slammed into Ilocos Norte last month while causing floods and landslides and damaging homes and infrastructure. The agriculture sector suffered extensive damage estimated at over P92 million.
Marcos’ relief caravan covered barangays San Marcelino in Dingras town, Catangraran in Solsona, and Metro Lapaz in Laoag City which had the most number of affected families in the province.
The relief caravan distributed food items and construction materials such as cement and corrugated iron sheets, and water pumps Marcos said they would also distribute rice seeds and other essential items to enable affected residents to start their lives anew.
Marcos,chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works, vowed that his family would work to restore vital infrastructure such as roads, bridges, irrigation canals and flood control systems damaged by Typhoon ‘‘Ineng.’’
Notwithstanding Marcos’ wish for a simple birthday celebration, the residents of the three barangays welcomed and honored him with the traditional Ilocano birthday greeting “Papapadakam”, which included placing a halo of roses on the celebrator’s head.