Typhoon Haiyan and the Devastation in the Philippines: How You Can Help

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Typhoon Haiyan and the Devastation in the Philippines:

How You Can Help


By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAleis

Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d, nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d. – William Congreve, in The Mourning Bride, 1697.

—And someone certainly scorned Typhoon Haiyan for she raged at approximately 378 km/hr, with gusts up to 443 km/hr winds, and reached a mammoth size of up to 16 feet high, being called one of the largest and strongest storms ever recorded in the world, which ravaged the eastern seaboard of the Philippines on Friday, a typhoon 3.5 times more forceful than Hurricane Katrina, which hit the U.S. in 2005.

Whatever Typhoon Haiyan was angry about, she certainly wasn’t afraid to let the world know about it—especially the Philippines, which was ravaged with a ferocity that CBC describes as leaving “[c]orpses hung from trees, …scattered on sidewalks, or buried in flattened buildings.”

The hardest hit was made on the city of Tacloban, southeast of Manila, where infrastructure has been levelled, clean water gone, electricity out, and thousands left homeless. The estimated death toll is expected to reach about 10,000 people in the provincial city alone. While 800,000 people were already evacuated in preparation of the storm, the dramatic number of deaths far exceeds what the Filipino government was anticipating.

Overall, more than 660,000 people have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan and the situation in the Philippines remains dire with emotionally distraught citizens left to loot the remains of anything they can find. With hospitals flattened, supplies gone, and medical staff suffering the effects of the typhoon themselves, people have been forced to create makeshift “hospitals,” by treating themselves without anaesthetics, lying on the ground with countless others—most who wait for rescue, food, clean water, a place to sleep, and any form of shelter—even a mother gave birth in the midst of such emergency, her baby born into a devastation the people in the Philippines has described as “hell.”

While many humanitarian charities have promised to bring aid, including Canada’s own government, which has generously donated $5 million dollars in funds to bring help to the ground, as well as match any individual’s donation to a charity supporting the efforts in the Philippines, help has been slow-going especially since access to those in need have proven to be very difficult with many of the roads now gone.

With more than 620,000 Canadian-Filipinos living in Canada, we are the third largest Asian-Canadian group in Canada after the Indian and Chinese communities. While Filipinos personally worry about the health and welfare of their own families left behind in the Philippines, some unaware of their whereabouts or whether or not they are dead or alive, most of us can only sympathize with the thousands who have been displaced by the rage of Typhoon Haiyan.

But we can do more.


If you are in the city of Brampton area, please contact my family’s church pastor, Fr. Romeo Tolentino at St Marguerite d’Youville Parish at frromeotolentino@yahoo.ca:



Within a time span of less than a month,  the Philippines was hit by a couple of devastating calamities: a 7.2-magnitude  earthquake in central Philippines and the super typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, the  biggest and the most dangerous storm with wind gusts of up to 275 kph, that  slammed the Philippines. As a result of these two devastating disasters, more  than 10,100 people are so far confirmed dead, and about 4 million people have  been adversely affected in varying extents – from utter destruction of their  properties to losing everything they own including their loved ones.

The  survivors/victims of these tragic catastrophes presently need immediate help  with the most basic needs to survive and to start rebuilding their lives. We  strongly suggest that we respond immediately with the following:

1.  Financial/monetary assistance
2. Canned goods
3. Clean and usable dry  goods: blankets, clothing, bed sheets, footwear, tarpaulin, etc.
4. Rice and  grains in sealed/unopened sacks/containers
5. Over-the-counter medicines:  Aspirin, Tylenol, Imodium, Vicks Vapourub, Polysporin, wound dressings, cough syrup, etc.

-Canned goods  and medicines MUST NOT BE EXPIRED.
-Please make cheques and money orders  payable to:
-Cash donations must be placed in a sealed envelope with the donor’s  name & address.
-We also need donors to pay for the relief goods boxes at $65.00 per  box.

By our generous donations and our prayers unified in Christ, we can  meaningfully hope that the victims/survivors experience the grace and love of  God during these very difficult times.

Thank you very  sincerely,

Rev. Fr. Ben Prieto Ebcas, Jr.,
Pastor, Our Lady of the  Assumption Church &
Director, Archdiocesan Filipino Catholic Mission
416-787-4547 padrebenjr@hotmail.com


For those who do not live in Brampton, please give to registered Canadian charities for the Philippines Crisis Matching Fund. Ottawa will match every donation that is made. Donations will be accepted until Dec 8.

For more news and details on how you can donate, please visit CBC News.


As a Canadian-born Filipino, my heart goes out to my brothers and sisters in the Filipino community who have had to suffer the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.

Not only are my fellow Canadian-Filipinos thinking and praying for you and your loved ones, the global community is watching with a sympathetic and close eye on your suffering and your needs, and are banding together to provide as much aid as they can, as quickly as they can.

We love you, we’re thinking of you—you’re not alone.


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