Myanmar leader visits typhoon-hit Bantayan, Cebu

Posted at 12/06/13 8:04 PM

MANILA -- Myanmar President Thein Sein on Friday visited typhoon survivors in Bantayan, Cebu, one of the areas hardest hit by super typhoon "Yolanda."

His trip is a show of solidarity with the victims of the massive typhoon, which struck central Philippines last November 8.

Like the Philippines, Myanmar is no stranger to disasters having been hit by cyclone Nargis in May 2008 with tens of thousands dead and missing.

Thein Sein was escorted by Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III, and was greeted by the local mayors of the three towns that comprise the island.

He brought with him a team of doctors who will help in the relief operations.

Myanmar has also donated $100,000 and tons of relief supplies for Yolanda survivors.

The town of Sta. Fe was among those that suffered loss of revenues due to the decreased number of tourists.

Beach resorts in Sta. Fe are known among local and foreign guests for their warm accommodation and attractive white sand.

December supposedly marks the peak season. However, many bookings have already been cancelled in the aftermath of the typhoon.

Resort owners said many of their guests are still afraid of spending their vacation in Bantayan. The loss of electricity in the area has also hindered some resorts from operating.

In his speech, Thein Sein related their experience when a strong cyclone struck their country last 2008. He described the calamity as one of the most difficult and challenging moments in the history of Myanmar.

He thanked the international community for their help which hastened their road to recovery.

Thein Sein is confident that the Philippines will be "back on its feet again" in no time.

He added that Myanmar may not be a wealthy country compared to other nations, but he is hoping that their aid can alleviate the sufferings of typhoon survivors. -- Reports from Joworski Alipon, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas; ANC