by Heidi Ng
November 17, 2013
My heart bleeds for the Philippines as I write this column. The
severity of Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda is still unbelievable as news
after news document the destruction the typhoon has brought to the
cities of Ormoc, Tacloban, among others. Based on the photos, Tacloban
has been wiped out – no airport, bridges are destroyed, places where
commercial buildings and houses used to stand are now just wastelands.
Looting is now widespread. But as Mayor Alfred Romualdez said, the
looters have to resort to that because they have no food and no clothes
to wear. Imagine being in such a dire situation where in less than three
hours, you have no house, you might have lost your family members, and
you might have been extremely bruised or close to dying yourself. There
is no electricity, no networks. As a friend from Tacloban said to me, “I
have money, yes, but there are no places to buy anything. So, what is
the use of having money?” I have no words for this unfortunate incident.
In times like these, we are all the same human beings. There are no
rich and poor – just same humans being slaughtered by nature.
But with every fall, there exists a chance to stand up. For every
adversity, the opportunity to rise above and beyond the call of duty is
given to us. This is where we all come in. If you want to help, here are
the channels that you may go through:
If you think that Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez is not that
visible in the news, it’s because he is hard at work. I know him. He is
not the type to just look for publicity. In fact, Tacloban has garnered
numerous awards as one of the best local government units and he does
not go around tooting his horn for what he has done. His wife, former
actress and entrepreneur Cristina Gonzales, is city councilor and is the
active force in improving the lives of marginalized women and children
in Tacloban City. She is also a Habitat for Humanity ambassador for the
Visayas region who has vowed to help build homes and lives for the
region. How apt is it that now their city is the most ravaged one. How
funny life takes you when you were put in a situation to help others,
not knowing one day you will be the one who will need it the most. They
are overwhelmed with all the help they are getting from the
international community, the government and extremely touched by private
and non-profit organizations who have initiated sending relief goods to
Here is the Canadian government’s unique approach to donation.
If you donate to the following registered agencies, they will ensure
(donation timeline is from November 9 to December 8, 2013) that every
dollar that you donate is matched by the Canadian federal government:
Unicef Canada– To send emergency supplies to Filipino children affected by the disaster.
Canadian Red Cross- To help with emergency supplies.
Save the Children - To help with disaster relief efforts for children
and families affected. Ten per cent of donations will be put aside for
the next emergency.
Global Medic Canada – To help mobilize the Global Medic team with supplying Aquatabs for clean water for victims.
World Vision Canada – To provide life saving essentials and emergency supplies to victims
This is apart from Canada’s pledged donation of $5 million. In these
trying times, it is great to know that the international community is
doing all its best in giving. There is so much to be done.
Here are some exclusive photos from Tecson Lim, city administrator of Tacloban city.
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