By Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco
LAOAG CITY, July 27 (PIA) – With tearful eyes and cracking voice, Laoag City Mayor Chevylle Fariñas remained calm as she extoled the students with special needs citing them as God’s gift during the nationwide celebration of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) week.
Fariñas admired the talents showed by the students as they presented dance numbers during a program attended by the city government officials and employees.
Much to their delight, the crowd gave their loud cheers and claps for the students from A.P. Santos Elementary School and Ilocos Norte National High School.
This drove the first elected woman mayor of Laoag City emotional as she delivered her speech.
She is known to be a strong woman with cheerful personality and firm life principles, but the viewers saw another side of her. Mayor Fariñas has a soft and kind heart.
“I am not easily swayed by issues and I don’t want to cry over them because they are just a waste of time. But start my morning by showing me an old person who has so much zest in life, show me children who despite some things they may not be able to do, show me parents who are not giving up on their children, show me teachers who are sacrificing a lot of our children, show me public servants like all for you who are not complaining despite of the fact that there are a lot of things to do. In summation, you just pressed my sensitivity button,” she said as she earned claps from the majority.
The morning became emotional as the crowd was also moved in tears with the message by the city mayor.
She addressed and acknowledged the hardship of the parents of the students with special needs for their utmost patience and unconditional love.
“I know how you feel. I know that it needs someone with a very big heart, very patience to take care of our children. And praise God for people like you,” she said as she lauded the parents.
With this, she vowed unwavering support to the rights and needs of these students.
“My dear children, be rest assured even without you telling, I am your number one cheerleader and I’m always on your corner,” she pledged.
To the locals, she urged and imposed an environment of acceptance and respect for the persons with disabilities and encouraged them to create an atmosphere of acceptance and respect for the people with disabilities (PWDs).
She likened the PWDs with the metamorphosis of butterflies.
“Our children, they are our God’s gift to us and they are perfect. Our children are not yet metamorphosed but believe me, they will become butterflies and they will become very, very beautiful butterflies,” Mayor Fariñas concluded. (Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco/PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)