Friendship marker immortalizes how Canada aided Capiznons in dark times

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.
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. (PIA Capiz)