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    Posted December 24, 2013 by
    omeroscar
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    Manila

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    Return Balangiga bells, Filipinos urge Obama

     
    THE Filipino people have petitioned United States President Barack Obama and the US Congress to return the bells to their rightful home, the Balangiga Church in Samar province, Central Philippines.
    Speaking on behalf of the Filipinos through social media network change.org on Tuesday, petitioner Gary Ramirez said the rebuilding of Balangiga town in the aftermath of the super typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) is well under way.
    “As the townspeople rebuild their lives, their homes and their beloved town, it becomes clearer and clearer that strength of spirit will always be the one element that will see us through this difficult time,” Ramirez said.
    He said it is time to rebuild that spirit as the church of Balangiga has always been the center of the people’s faith and unity as a town and as a people.
    “It has always been at the heart of Balangiga's history and that of the Philippines as well. As we rebuild the heart of our town, the Balangiga Church, there is one thing missing that will help make this spirit whole --- the bells of Balangiga Church,” Ramirez stressed.
    These bells, Ramirez said, had always been their voice of unity and spirit and their ringing had always rallied them as a people, calling them to work together as one before the United States and the Philippines embraced their brotherhood.
    “At no other time in our history have we needed the bells of Balangiga more than now.
    We ask that you help bring back the song to the heart of Balangiga. We ask that you return these bells to their rightful home, the Balangiga Church in Samar,” Ramirez said in the petition.
    He said the aftermath of Yolanda has led to an amazing thing: the people of various nations working side by side to help rebuild a devastated nation. It is a phenomenon that tells us change has come, our wars are a thing of the past, and that it is a new day in the history of our two nations, and of the world.
    “With the return of the bells of Balangiga, we will, together, not just rebuild a church and strengthen the spirit of a devastated town, we will be strengthening the ties that bind us,” Ramirez said.

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