"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Old Lady from Infanta, Quezon

It was about two years ago when an old lady was photographed with Sen. Dick Gordon during relief operations in Infanta, Quezon.

This picture found its way in the back-to-back calling card of Gordon, who is not only Senator of the Republic, but also Chairman and CEO of the Philippine National Red Cross.

After the photo was chosen to be placed in the calling card of Gordon, his staff discovered that nobody knew who the old lady was, because it was only a brief encounter, amidst rescue operations being conducted.

A search was therefore launched, including publications in local papers in Quezon and the neighbor provinces of Batangas, Laguna and Cavite. Finally, someone somehow reached the old lady and informed her that Gordon was looking for the old lady in his calling card.

Suddenly, on 14 November 2006, exactly one year and eleven months after the picture was taken; the old lady boarded a bus from Quezon to Manila, without telling anybody.

Upon arrival at the Raymond Transit Bus Terminal along Legarda Avenue in Sta. Mesa, Manila, and armed only with a copy of the calling card where her picture is featured, she took her chance and requested the bus conductor Mark Chua to send a text message to Sen. Dick Gordon whose number is in the said calling card.

Upon receiving the text message that the old lady whom Gordon was looking for has finally been found or has finally appeared, he immediately deployed his Senate staff, the Emergency Response Team of the Philippine National Red Cross and some volunteers to fetch the old lady and take good care of her, especially focusing on her health and well being.

The ensuing scene at the bus terminal was that of surprise and amazement. People who previously did not believe the old lady were shocked at the successive arrival of cars and ambulances to fetch the old lady, even as it was just a simple text message from a bus conductor that contacted Gordon.

It was the same feeling of wonder and admiration at the hospital when the doctors, nurses and attendants heard from the old lady herself the heartwarming story of how and why she was brought to the hospital after her story began with a calling card.

The old lady is Lola Juana Regado Gloria. She is 93 years old. She is now in the safe hands of the best doctors of the Philippine General Hospital for executive check-up. Finally, after almost two years, they meet again for a happier encounter, no longer submerged in knee-deep mud and flood waters.


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