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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 12, 2018
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with Benjamin Calderon


Rock & Refuge

The character of having concern more with the needs and wishes of others than with one's own was clearly illustrated in the successful rescue of the Wild Boars under-16 football team with their assistant coach who were stranded in the Tham Luang cave system of Thailand’s Chiang Rai province.

Selflessness was the common bond of the many volunteers who participated in implementing the risky mission to save the lives of the young footballers. We express our deepest gratitude and admiration to all the people who in their own way contributed to the success so the rescue.

We take time and space to give a tribute to Petty Officer Saman Gunan, 38, a retired Thai navy diver who volunteered in the rescue efforts. He lost consciousness on his way out of the cave complex, where he had been delivering air tanks on 6 July. He lost his life while being of service to others.

We admire the Thai authorities who managed very effectively the whole affair with the outstanding effort of keeping control of the media and the information released only on a need to know basis. No emotional scenes nor creative speculations where made of the episode as is often the case when eye-brow raising events happen. This a was a very good illustration of how to manage an event objectively, efficiently and effectively. Hopefully those who need to learn these lessons are sensitive and humble enough to admit and learn the lessons.

We look forward to learning more information and lessons on this event as more information becomes available of the boys and their coach, the foreign and Thai divers, the many more volunteers who had responsibilities in the cave, over equipment, determining health issues, appropriate action, medical and kitchen support and the many who were on their knees to intercede for the soccer team and those helping to save them.

While we get to learn more on this human-interest development in our lives we also get to be entertained with the concluding World Cup being held in Russia. Since the next two games come only once every four years. This I consider enough basis to get up at dawn and watch the live-telecast. By this time tomorrow we will know who will play against France in the finals.

Let us end with an anecdote to help us not forget to be selfless as we live day-by-day. An Amish husband, wife and son travel to the city on vacation. They visit a shopping mall and while the mother is shopping, the father and son are standing in awe in front of an elevator (having no idea what it is). As they watch, an elderly lady walks into the strange silver doors and the doors close. The father and son watch as the numbers go up, and then back down. When the doors open, a beautiful young woman walks out. The father leans over and whispers to the son, "Son, go get your mother!"*

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