Greater Trail’s Filipino community plans fundraising for typhoon survivors

Local Filipino community begin fundraising efforts to help those affected by the recent typhoon.

Worry and tears are rippling through the Greater Trail Filipino community in the wake of deadliest storm to ever hit the Philippines.

“My uncle and cousins still live there,” said Siony Thompson, member of the West Kootenay Filipino Canadian Society. “I cannot get a hold of them because there is no electricity and the phone lines are only up for a short period of time.

“When I look at it on the TV I cannot stop crying,” said Thompson, with her voice cracking.

Thompson immigrated to Canada in 1966 and lived in Trail while a nurse at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital. She is now retired and living in Genelle.

Thompson is originally from the province of Aklan on Panay Island, which is a south eastern region hard-hit by the tropical storm.

“No one can fly in or out of the airport so there is no way to get families out,” she explained. “And so far, I’ve been told that 444 houses have been damaged and I want to help.”

Thompson and fellow members of the Filipino Society are organizing a Dec. 1 fundraiser to send monetary aid to those affected by the typhoon.

The women are already preparing to bake traditional Filipino sweets to serve along with coffee or tea that day at the Genelle Hall. Live entertainment will be courtesy of guitarist and singer Ray Bouliane.

“All donations are appreciated and will go directly to the people whose homes have been destroyed,” said Thompson. “If we went through another agency the money will eventually get there but it will take a long time. They need our help now.”

To donate to the Filipino Society, or for information, call Thompson at 250-693-5476.

Members of the Filipino community play a visible role around Greater Trail, including a colourful gathering of finely dressed women, parasols in hand, taking part the annual Silver City Days parade.

Typhoon Haiyan landed on the eastern seaboard of the Philippines Friday, although the full scale of destruction has yet to emerge, some estimates suggest the death toll could reach 10,000 and hundreds of thousands left without food, shelter or medicine.

The remote city of Tacloban took the full brunt of the storm that packed 237-kilometre-an-hour winds, whipping up six-metre walls of seawater that tossed ships inland and swept many out to sea.

“There is one girl who has lived in Trail for a couple of years but still has family and a house in Tacloban,” said Thompson. “Her house was on a hillside and when the storm hit it slid right down to the bottom, and that was it.”

Authorities said at least 9.7 million people in 41 provinces were affected by the typhoon.

The Canadian government has pledged $5 million in disaster relief and offered to match Canadian donations dollar for dollar. Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team, which specializes in basic medical care, water purification, basic infrastructure repairs and streamlining communication systems, arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday.

With files from Canadian Press

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Lemon Creek fuel truck driver gets $20,000 fine

Danny LaSante was sentenced in Nelson court today

Actsafe BC brings expertise, new lighting to Trail theatre

Consultants are all technical directors in Vancouver theatres with years of experience in the field

Hospital improvements good news for entire region, says Trail mayor

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board will review the matter next month

Life insurance can be a business expense

Tax Tips & Pits with Ron Clarke, Trail Times columnist

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read