Rodney Berdin, Boy Risked Life to Save Family

By Philippines News Group (Originally in English) 2008.10.22

Rodney Berdin, a thirteen-year-old Belison Secondary School student in the Philippines, plunged into the raging Sibalom River greatly swollen by Typhoon Fengshen (Frank), to save his family. After first swimming out to his younger brother and bringing him back to a tree to hold on to, he then managed to catch up with his mother and younger sister who were being washed away by the intense current. Having struggled for five hours to keep them afloat in the turbulent waters, finally they all grabbed onto a piece of driftwood and with that, were able to reach shore three hours later. Rodney’s noble deed was congratulated by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself and other Philippines government officials.

Upon learning about his heroic and courageous act, Supreme Master Ching Hai graciously conferred upon Rodney the Shining World Hero Award. On October 22, (Golden Year 5) 2008, our Association members went to Antique Town, in Iloilo Province and presented Rodney this prestigious Award. In the presence of Governor Sally Perez, Mayor Vicente Piccio, Deputy Mayor Christopher Piccio, television crews from ABS-CBN, representatives from local Society Committees, town officials, Rodney's family members as well as the principal, teachers and students from Belison Secondary, Rodney happily received the beautiful Award plaque, a letter of acknowledgement, US$2,000, a Hero T-shirt and a selection of Master’s publications.

Two Certificates of Appreciation for Master from the Belison Municipality, in gratitude for Her humanitarian assistance to the Berdin family In her speech during the Award ceremony, the school principal expressed her gratefulness to Master, saying, “She is truly a Saint who has given Rodney an invaluable gift.” Well done Rodney, for being a gallant and noble role model for young and old alike. May you and your family enjoy many more precious, peaceful and happy moments together.