Filipino crewmembers praised for heroism on the Costa Concordia

Thank you to Jean (Local Nomad) for sending the link below about the Filipino staff of the Costa Concordia being hailed as heroes:  http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Costa-Concordia:-Filipino-waiters-and-cooks-hailed-as-national-heroes-23756.html

The site GMA News On-Line also has a report and video footage titled “Pinoy Crewmen of Costa Concordia Praised for Heroism”.   Excerpt and video footage below.

While many of the Filipino crew members of Costa Concordia came home on Thursday with nothing but the clothes on their backs, one of them, Reyson Cartago, had with him a video showing the hospitality crew’s resilience and bayanihan amid the chaos in the tipping ship reportedly left by its captain.

The video footage—which Cartago shared with GMA News—showed fragments of the incident, including rows of passengers putting on life vests and a messy kitchen that seemed to be shaking in real time.

As he helped out, Cartago also videotaped his Filipino colleagues—mostly cooks, dishwashers, and waiters—as they ran around, searching every nook and cranny to make sure that nobody was left behind the ship.

Some of the poignant moments in the video include a Filipino cook running to the altar and making a sign of the cross, two Filipinos helping a limping colleague walk, and Filipinos letting the foreign passengers get out of the ship first.

One can also overhear bits like a Filipino consoling a female passenger who was afraid of jumping off the ship. He said: “If something happens, it’s my responsibility, so I hope you understand. You’re going to have to, Madame.”

By the end of the footage, calm was evident in the dark, where Cartago spoke: “Awa ng Diyos, naka-separate na kami sa mother ship, Concordia.”

For the sake of duty

In an interview with GMA News reporter Sareema Refran, Cartago said: “Basta [para] sa amin, ginampanan po namin ‘yung alam naming magagampanan namin.”

Another Filipino crewmember, Rogelio Barcita, said their team effort only made him prouder of being a Filipino.  Barcita made it back to the Philippines in his kitchen uniform. He had two items with him: a wooden rosary, which he wore around his neck, and a teddy bear—his pasalubong to his two-year-old daughter.

‘To the end’

Following the incident, some of the Costa Concordia’s foreign passengers shared their experience to the media, highlighting the Filipino crew’s effort to make sure they made it out safe.

“A French passenger said, ‘Those who helped us were cooks and stewardesses, all Filipinos. They roped themselves together to help us get down to the lifeboats. We were able to get in at the last moment,’” the statement read.

On Friday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) commended the Filipino crew members of “Costa Concordia” for their professionalism while the ship was in trouble.

Photo of Filipino crewmembers of Costa Concordia - Source www.AsiaNews.it

“You are men and women of courage, heroism and dedication. We commend you for showing to the world the best traits of the Filipino seafarers. In the words of President Benigno S. Aquino III, you are our ‘sailing ambassadors,'” he said.

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