Public Servants and Heroes: Siegfred Ngoloban and Richard Balusdan

Yesterday, 13 October 2009, Siegfred Baniaga Ngoloban was laid to his final resting place near their home in Tawang, La Trinidad, Benguet. He was a fireman. Or, if you are a stickler for official job titles, he was a Senior Fire Officer.

Today, 14 October 2009, Senior Fire Office Richard Balusdan will reportedly also be laid to rest.

Siegfred and Richard were part of a team of fire fighters from the La-Trinidad Fire Department who responded to calls for help at the height of Typhoon Pepeng in the Cordilleras.

According to the story which reached us here at From the Boondocks, the two were trying to rescue a family in Puguis who were trapped underneath rocks and soil from a landslide caused by the typhoon. While doing their jobs, the mountain fell down on them and ended their lives.

They are heroes in our book. And they are the finest examples of Igorot/iCordillera public servants who ought to be given the highest accolades that the government gives to its employees.

Let us dedicate this video to them and to the other men in uniform who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. The video, produced by the Bureau of Fire Protection, features the Fire Fighters Prayer the lyrics of which you will find below.

The Firefighter’s Prayer

When I’m called to duty God
wherever flames may rage
give me strength to save a life
whatever be its age

Help me to embrace a little child
before it is too late
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate

Enable me to be alert
to hear the weakest shout
and quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out

I want to fill my calling and
to give the best in me
to guard my neighbor and
protect his property

And if according to your will
I have to lose my life
bless with your protecting hand
my children and my wife.

Note and Disclosure: We would like to also pay our tribute to other men in uniform and public servants who died during Typhoon Ondoy. If you have some information on them that you would like us to publish in this blog, please email it to us at igorotblogger@gmail.com.

Siegfred is a close relative of your humble blogger.

11 Comments
  1. My comfort and prayers for the family of Richard & uncle Siegfrid “Edeg”.Siegfrid is our uncle,he is our mom’s first cousin in Ngoloban’s clan.Rest in peace our heroes.

  2. Rest in Peace dear brothers in Christ. You were good and faithful servants when you were here on earth. We aslo pray for the families of the victims. Have faith, the LORD will look after you.

  3. I am touched by this fire fighter’s prayer..I am a fireman’s wife and i deeply grieve too like the wives of these two courageous firemen. They are really heroes. My deepest sympathy to all the families of the bereaved.

  4. Came across a news about three rescuers who ultimately died trying to help others in distress, not sure if these two gallant firefighters were part of that team. Regardless, condolences to their immediate families and friends.

  5. Hi Trublue,
    I was told that at least 5 firefighters perished in the Baguio-Benguet area. Unfortunately, I don’t have the names for the others. But I hope to do an update to this post to include their names.

  6. left the PI just after Typhoon Ondoy’s fury and was back to the grind when I heard the sad news of the death of fellow colleagues, Senior Fire Officer Siegfred Ngoloban and Senior Fire Officer Richard Balusdan.

    These two heroes died during rescue operations in Buyagan, La Trinidad, Benguet. They both died when they tried to save a family when the second landslide occurred during the onslaught of Typhoon “Pepeng”.

    Here is bit background of these two heroes on my book. Siegfred was the current admin officer of provincial fire office for the province of Benguet. He used to be our chief admin at the La Trinidad Fire Station when I was with them. Like any other disasters they are called to augment the operation personnel during red alert. He was very straight up guy that shun away to vices that is usually common in the fire station. I just heard on my last visit that her wife, who used to work as DH in HK went home for good. They also told me that they already have two kids. If my calculation was correct the kids would be under 10 years old. We used to talk about him when her wife was still in HK of what he does during his free time until one of colleague said “apan ka diay balay na dayta ket kasla ada babae nga agyayan ta nalampasuan nga usto diay datar na”.

    As for Richard he was the current Shift in Charge of operation at the La Trinidad Fire Station. He used to be our Shift Building Inspector and Investigator. Richard was a quiet guy who usually just smiles even in the worst situations. I did spend 2 years with him sharing our meals, our duties, our beds and our laughters. If I am not mistaken he left behind 3 kids, I regret now that I did not bother knowing more about his family. We used to call him the “arasao” as he always stop by at restaurant to gather “arasao” for his pigs after our shift.

    As we celebrate Thanksgiving here in Canada, I can not thank God enough for all the blessings He bestowed upon me. I used to head the rescue operation for our volunteer EMS during my short stay at the La Trinidad Fire Station.

    For all the rescuers during time of calamities, our SALUTE and prayers.

    For Richard and Siegfred a SALUTE and condolences to your family. May you both rest in peace.

    I hope and pray that your unselfish sacrifices in order for others to live will never be forgotten.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  7. In this times we need heroes like you. May your sacrifice be an epitome of what public service is all about. You will always be remembered…Condolence to the families.

  8. just saw their names as awardees during the annual barangay fiesta of buyagan… and to all who helped, may you be Blessed!

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