10 December 2013 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur held a Parol Christmas lanterns lighting ceremony on Monday, December 9, to commemorate the Christmas season and to convey appreciation for the Malaysian and international community's assistance to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

"We have been touched by the outpouring of solidarity and support from around the world and especially here in Malaysia. A few days after he typhoon, many Malaysians from all walks of life, including
neighborhood groups and students came to this embassy and to the offices or websites of Mercy Malaysia, Kelab Putera 1Malaysia, Red Cross/Red Crescent and other relief life organizations, offering assistance," Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya said.

"We are grateful for this solidarity which aptly characterizes the friendship and partnership between the Filipino and Malaysian peoples. Our humanity comes to its fullest in giving," the Ambassador added.

Ambassador Malaya also presented the Malaysian Government with a plaque as a token of appreciation for the US$1 million (RM3.2 million) cash donation, as well as food and other aid.

Present to accept the plaque was International Trade and Industry Ministry Secretary General Datuk Dr. Rebecca Santa Maria.

Typhoon Haiyan is the strongest typhoon recorded upon landfall.

Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam also shared a few words of spiritual support for the Typhoon Haiyan victims.

The Embassy also awarded plaque of appreciation to 25 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), private companies and individuals who extended assistance to the typhoon victims.

These were Mercy Malaysia, Kelab Putera 1Malaysia, Red Crescent, Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, ASEAN Ladies Circle of Kuala Lumpur, LBC Mabuhay (M) SDN. BHD, Star Publications (M) Berhad, Rotary Club of Pudu, Rotary Club Diraja Malaysia, Seri Pacific Hotel, Gleneagles Hospital SDN. BHD., Berjaya University College of Hospitality, Branding Association of Malaysia, KNM Group BHD, Westports Malaysia SDN BHD, Infinity Logistics and Transport SDN BHD, A.P. Maiddotcom SDN. BHD., British International School of Kuala Lumpur, Graceful Hands Kids' Learning Center, Garden International School, Bumiputra Designers Association, Malaysian Official Designers Association, Mr. Jumat bin lias Mansor, Ferco Seating SDN. BHD., Dato' Dr. P.H.S. Lim and Datin Ho Chay Meng.
The parol, traditionally shaped as a star, symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem, which illuminated the Child Jesus and his family, and guided the shepherds and the Three Wise Men to their location to offer their gifts.

After lighting the parols (star-shaped lanterns) the Philippine Embassy Chorale led by Consul Maria Antonina Mendoza-Oblena performed Christmas carols.

"While we continue to pray for and help out those who were affected by the typhoon, the Philippine Government has launched major programs for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of affected areas. Let the parols, be a beacon of hope and resolve for those who suffered during the storm, and be a symbol of sharing and renewal for all of us," Ambassador Malaya added. END