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Kids with special needs, PWDs get aid from US-based Bicolanos

LEGAZPI CITY --- At least 88 children who are malnourished and with special needs, and persons with disabilities housed at the Harong Kan Sagrada Familia here were beneficiaries of a gift distribution and cash assistance from Bicolano “balikbayans” who conducted an annual visit and outreach activities across the Bicol region.

Members of the Bicol National Association of America (BNAA) distributed on Sunday assorted gifts, including toys, to 42 children with special needs, 35 who are malnourished, and 11 persons with disabilities. BNAA also handed USD1,000 cash to the nuns running the shelter in Barangay Bogtong here. At least 220 officers and members of BNAA were in Legazpi City from Feb. 15-17 as it staged its 39th annual convention hosted by the city government. Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal formally welcomed the Bicolano balikbayans during the opening rites of the gathering held atop the Lignon Hill view deck. A cultural show was held as part of the event featuring a Tinikling dance performed by Bicol University troop dancers; fire dance performed by the Oriental dancers; and old songs rendered by the Voice of Memories band of the Legazpi City government. The BNAA members were amazed by the latest landscaping of the Lignon Hill Nature Park, a view deck with 156-meter elevation peak. The park serves as one of the city’s most famous tourism landmarks that offers a panoramic 360-degree view of Legazpi and some portions of the neighboring towns of Daraga and Sto. Domingo, particularly the panoramic Albay Gulf and majestic Mayon Volcano. On the second day was the convention proper held at the Oriental Hotel located at the hilltop of Barangay Taysan. On the third day was the city tour of the delegates in different idyllic places of the city. Rosal thanked BNAA delegates for choosing Legazpi as the venue of their gathering even as he noted that more people are now coming as domestic and foreign tourists to the city that is continually building world-class amenities. BNAA president Sylvia Salvador from San Francisco, California expressed sincerity and gratitude to Rosal for hosting several events for their group. Salvador said the visit also gave opportunity to BNAA delegates to visit their families, relatives and friends in Bicol.

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