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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Siegfred is a close relative of your humble blogger.