I woke up this morning to find posts on my social media sites from people outside the country asking how me and my family are (thank you, Lisa, Kirsten, Maureen, Jennifer, Colleen, for your concern!). Super Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda, its name here in the Philippines) has been making headlines all over the world, including major networks such as CNN and BBC. As of this writing (it’s 9am Manila time, Nov. 9 now), there has been no official count of how many lives have been lost, nor people affected. Last night, local news channel GMA News TV reported that at least 33 people have died in Leyte in the Southern Philippines, while another news site, Epoch Times, claims the latest death count is 56.
While we are waiting for the latest news regarding the extent of Typhoon Haiyan’s destruction, we pray for our countrymen who were affected, especially those who were in its direct path. Below is a video I found that shows just how strong the typhoon was — I don’t know where exactly this was taken though, since the description doesn’t say where. The BBC link above has a video too.[youtube_sc url=http://youtu.be/CKlwkboM0N4]
Below is another video from one of our local news channels, showing the effects of the super typhoon in Tacloban, Leyte, as reported by news reporter Atom Araullo (Note to my non-Filipino readers: It’s in Filipino). As of now, there has been no news as to the total extent of the damage in Tacloban and neighboring areas in Leyte, and some of my friends have been asking for prayers for their family members and loved ones there because all lines of communication are down. (Please do pray with us for them!)[youtube_sc url=http://youtu.be/rxmHNuky0hU]
I’m thankful that my loved ones and I are safe, here in Metro Manila and elsewhere, but my heart breaks for our countrymen who have been affected by this super typhoon, many of whom come from the Philippines’ poorest provinces. We have not even completely recovered from the massive earthquake in Bohol and Cebu, and a series of typhoons that have been battering our country.
Truly, now, more than ever, is a time to heal. But more than that, it is a time to LOVE. No matter what you believe in, no matter where you are in the world, no matter who you are, I ask you to join us in showing love to those who need it the most now, including our people here in the Philippines.
I have been searching the Internet for a list of ways to help the Super Typhoon victims but haven’t found one yet, so here is my own list. I’ll try to update it as reports about relief efforts come in.
Couples for Christ through ANCOP USA
Our community, Couples for Christ, has a work with the poor program called ANCOP, an acronym which stands for Answering the Cry of the Poor. They have launched an online drive for donations for both the Bohol/Cebu earthquake victims and the Typhoon Haiyan victims, which you can read about here. You can also click on the image below to go to the site.
Caritas Internationalis and Caritas Philippines
Luis Oquinena, the president and executive directer of Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, posted this update this morning:
You can send donations for the GK relief operations here.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Inquirer, a local news publication, has started a relief drive for donations in cash or in kind. More details here.
SCPR: Links to Relief Operations
The Southern California Public Radio website has also compiled a list of ways for Filipinos and people of other nationalities, especially in the U.S., to find loved ones and help the typhoon victims, including a link to World Vision Philippines.
Church Relief Efforts
There are local dioceses and parishes that have announced their respective appeals for prayers and relief donations. If you’re in the Philippines and want to help out, you may contact the CBCP Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace for ways that you can help, or inquire at your local diocese or parish.
Of course, prayers work wonders too! Thank you to everyone around the world who have been praying for and with us! Typhoon Haiyan has weakened on its way out and did not stay that long, and I’m sure it’s because of the power of prayer! God bless you all! Please do keep praying for our country!
Copyright 2013 Tina Santiago-Rodriguez