The Winnipeg Fillipino community always seems to come together to help out their fellow Filipinos back in the Philippines. Many will have lost their homes and all their possessions. Even in normal times many Filipino families depend upon Filipinos in other countries to help them economically. We have a daughter in Manila but she is fine as she lives in a high rise and the rest of the family is on the other side of Luzon in Legazpi and they are OK as well.
Filipino community rallies after flood
Last Updated: Monday, September 28, 2009
Winnipeg's Filipino community is shocked by the devastation of the weekend flood in the Philippines, and is trying to raise money for disaster relief. (Mike Alquinto/Associated Press)
Winnipeg's large Filipino community is rallying to raise funds for disaster relief after a flood triggered by a tropical storm in their homeland killed 240 and left thousands homeless.
The National Disaster Co-ordinating Council said the homes of almost 1.9 million people were inundated, with nearly 380,000 people forced to take shelter in schools, churches and other evacuation centres.
Winnipeg's Romeo De Luna told CBC News on Monday he lost two cousins in the flood. He heard the news Sunday.
"They were going to the roof of their home in order to be safe from the flood," De Luna said. "The wife found out her younger sister is still in the house so she decided to go back and get her.
"That's when the flash flood happened and they were trapped inside," he said.
The flooding was set off after Tropical Storm Ketsana hit the northern portion of the Philippines on Saturday.
The government has declared a "state of calamity" in 25 provinces and in metropolitan Manila, which has a population of about 20 million.
De Luna said he and his wife are now trying to help plan two funerals from thousands of miles away.
Most of Winnipeg's 60,000 Filipinos maintain close ties to their homeland and have been glued to their TVs since Saturday waiting for any news.
Roslyn Pamplona of the Filipino Evangelical Church said he's tried phoning and texting relatives, but has had no luck so far and is very worried.
"It's a mixture of feeling, shock and yet worry, concern and consequences drove me to my knees in prayer," Pamplona said.
Pamplona says Sunday services at the Spruce Street church were sombre yesterday.
However, a well-oiled local fundraising machine has been ramped up, said Fred Devilla of the Winnipeg Filipino Disaster Relief Committee.
Devilla said his goal is to raise $15,000 for the Red Cross by Saturday.
"Filipine people need help. … It's just like you're drowning, you need to save them," he said.
The committee is appealing to all Winnipeggers to donate.