It was last September 28, 2014, when I finally received information from the Sec. of the Office of the Prime Minister, of Bahrain that His Royal Highness Sheikh KhalifaBin Salman al Khalifa is coming to the Philippines for a state and official visit to Malacañang Palace.
I asked the Secretary if I could have the opportunity to personally see the Prime Minister to thank him for everything he has shared to our school. She answered “yes”, congratulations Ms. Sarah you can fly to Manila and meet the Prime Minister Khalifa. “Bring with you your family” the secretary added. I brought along my two daughters: Mitzi Faye and Mae Friah.
On October 1, we arrived at NAIA and we were advised by Mr. Ralph Stephen M. Calderon, a special envoy of the Philippines to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, office of the President to proceed to Shangri-La, Makati.
We got so excited and happy. With mixed emotions, we met HRH Khalifa and his two Prince nephews and Dr. Ebrahim Al Dossary, Assistant Undersecretary of Information and follow-up. Bringing the name of my school Bukidnon National High School, I thanked him for the computers, DVD, and school bags, and free meals through Jollibee he has given to the students especially the Indigenous Peoples and less fortunate students. I also relayed to him the words of gratefulness from the Muslim Community in Barangay 1, Malaybalay City for the computers, Laptop, DLP and Printer which he provided for the Masjed.
He gave an assurance to Bukidnon National High School that he will again give other sets of computers through Ambassador Amable R. Aquiluz V., envoy of the President of the Republic of the Philippines to Kingdom of Bahrain and the Gulf Cooperation Council, member states.
As a token of our great gratitude to H.R.H. Sheik Khalifa al Khalifa, I gave him a Bukidnon Native Necklace which was made by a tribesman of mine. The Prime Minister was so happy upon receiving the necklace.
He was so noble yet humble. He greeted us warmly; asked about my own family, school and extended his regards to Muslim brothers and all the people of Malaybalay City.
We travelled with free plane tickets and 2 day accommodation at Shangri-La Hotel, Makati.
It was like an impossible dream, but a dream came true, meeting the most powerful and influential man in the world. A noble and great man who values ordinary people. Long live His Royal Highness!
I thank God above all, for this unexpected experience and opportunity. I also thank my Principal, Mr. Pariso L. Orong of the Bukidnon National High School, for the approval of my travel to Manila which benefited the Bukidnon National High School Family, teachers and students.
By: Sarah Melendez Querol, MT 1, Bukidnon NHS