Beckham Visits Typhoon Victims in the Philippines

March 20, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. direly /daɪərli/ (adv.) – in a very serious or terrible way
Example: The islands were direly affected by the typhoon.

2. bond /bɒnd/ (v.) – to do activities that can improve one's relationship with another person
Example: Lea and her family bond during weekends to strengthen their relationship.

3. ambassador /æmˈbæsədər/ (n.) – a country’s representative who is assigned with a specific mission
Example: The US ambassador handles all US-related matters in the Philippines.

4. awkward /ˈɔkwərd/ (adj.) – causing discomfort or uneasiness
Example: The celebrity felt awkward in the party because nobody recognized him.

5. mission /ˈmɪʃən/ (n.) – a very important task
Example:  The rescuers’ mission is to find all the missing people.


Read the text below.
Retired footballer David Beckham [DEY-vid BEK-uhm] spent time with Filipino typhoon victims during his second visit to the Philippines.

Beckham and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) visited Tacloban, one of the places direly hit by super typhoon Haiyan [HAY-yan] last November. The disaster left around 8,000 dead and missing people. And because Haiyan damaged almost all the establishments in the city, citizens have to live in tent shelters.

During this visit, Beckham’s mission is to cheer up the victims, especially the children. He entered the tents and bonded with about 600 kids. He and some local social workers provided fun activities for the children.

As a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, Beckham has raised awareness throughout the world with his recent visit in the Philippines. He was one of the many celebrities who encouraged people to help the calamity victims. Before his visit, he and his wife had already raised funds for the victims by selling their expensive clothes, shoes, and other personal belongings.

On another note, the football star had an awkward experience during his recent visit. Despite being popular worldwide, many of the people in Tacloban did not recognize him. Because the Philippines is a basketball-crazed country, football personalities are not very well-known.

In fact, a Filipino mother thought that Beckham is a player for the Azkals, the Philippine football team. Other curious folks [fohks] saw Beckham as a handsome man, so they wondered if he is a celebrity.

The superstar first visited the Philippines in 2011. During that time, he played football with young Filipinos at a government center for abused and abandoned kids.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How do you think David Beckham’s visit helped the typhoon victims?
·         In your opinion, what did Beckham gain from his second visit in the Philippines?

Discussion B

·         In what other ways can calamity victims be helped? Kindly explain further.
·         How can a country prepare for a disaster?


March 20, 2014