GORDON STORY #1: If it had not been for Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman Richard J. Gordon’s gut instinct and persistence, a 32-year old man who is suffering from an illness in the brain would have lost his life last Wednesday. Gordon was cruising along the Ayala Boulevard with a team of volunteers in one of the PRC’s amphibians when they chanced upon an ambulance stranded on the other side of the bridge. Gordon asked the pedicab drivers along the street if the ambulance was carrying a patient but they told him it wasn’t. However, some sixth sense told him not to rely on the information and check for himself. Gordon ordered the amphibian to stop and he got off and went to the ambulance and checked. When the ambulance was opened, the PRC chief saw that it was carrying a sick man. Jake Valle was having a fit of seizures caused by a build-up of abscess in the brain. The patient was transported from a hospital in Bayan-Bayanan in San Pedro, Laguna and was to be transferred to the Philippine General Hospital. Valle’s parents were with him. His father, Jaime told Gordon that they have been trying to find less-flooded roads but the ambulance stalled while crossing the bridge. “Sinulong na namin ang mga baha at nakalagpas kami pero hindi na nakayanan ng ambulansya pagdating namin dito sa may tulay at tumirik na nga kami,” he said. Gordon called Bryan Saludar, the emergency management technician of the PRC’s emergency response unit who was with him in the amphibian. When

Two Shadows: The inspirational story of one man’s triumph over adversity

From the darkness of a six foot by eight foot cell in solitary confinement to the top of the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere, this is the captivating story of one man’s struggle to recover from a troubled past.

Charlie is known to his friends as an accomplished mountain climber and entertaining storyteller. Few know the story of his childhood, filled with neglect and abuse. Fewer still realize that he spent seven years of his youth in the shadow of juvenile detention and prison. 

After relegating those painful memories to a place far from his current life, Charlie is confronted with his past as he tries to enter Canada for an ice climbing vacation with friends.

“Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” the Canadian Border Services Officer inquired. “No,” I responded with a straight face and sweaty palms. “Are you sure you’ve never been convicted of a felony?” he repeated. “Not since 1955,” I admitted, guiltily. So began my journey back in time to a place I thought I had forever left behind.

Charlie faces his past once again, finding strength in his unconquerable spirit, unique sense of humor, and the focus he’s found through his passion for mountaineering. He takes you from the tenements and alleys of pre-World War II Chicago through jails, reformatories, and the hell that was prison. From solitary confinement to the jungles of the Amazon, the heights of the Himalayas, the isolation of the desert Southwest, and many points in between.

His story will move you, entertain you, frustrate you, and ultimately inspire you to turn the dark shadows of life into the triumphant shadows cast by the mountains you climb — whatever form they may take.

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  1. 40tuktuk says:

    ” As chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross, [Gordon] gets going when the going gets tough, most notably during the quake that devastated Cabanatuan, Baguio, La Union and Pangasinan; the eruption that smothered Mount Pinatubo; and typhoons that flooded Ormoc, Cebu, Negros and Central Luzon. It was he who asked the US military to lend their heavy lifting equipment and air transport to rescue and recover victims of the recent mudslide in Leyte.” {Jorge Rome / The Manila Times 5-21-2006}

  2. 40tuktuk says:

    Wonderful person, indeed.

  3. nutier says:

    great work ! the Philippine red cross has all equipment to help people in danger . thank you for sharing ;

  4. éloïse chantal Vlammiros says:

    Philippine Red Cross does a wonderful job, really well done to you all !!!!

  5. boracay500 says:

    “Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it.”
    by Henri J.M. Nouwen

  6. boracay500 says:

    “The topic of compassion is not at all religious business; it is important to know it is human business, it is a question of human survival.”
    by Dalai Lama XIV

  7. homer tulud says:

    Just finished watching BBC World News interviewing President Richard Gordon of PRC. Wow, I salute this great leader. He is a great man.

  8. lioncityasia says:

    I have a profound admiration to the Benevolent Senator Richard Gordon as well as the Benevolent President Jimmy Carter. Both are prominent humanitarians; both are exceptional world leaders renowned for their ambassadorial … diplomatic negotiation skills.


  9. Kohsuke Yamashita says:


  10. naomi1986oka says:

    Thanks for the video. I like much, again thanks.

  11. castroTX1 says:

    Indeed, Gordon is a very public-spirited charismatic leader. Heartfelt thanks and appreciation to his humanitarian efforts in Southeast Asia and Japan … feel the spirit of humanity.

  12. Schneider Mervil says:

    CHAIRMAN RICHARD GORDON, You have a good heart, you have and hope I will always be inspired by you. Among many others, you are that one Top prominent humanitarian!

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