Philippines is Flooding. Has Our Well Run Dry?

by Leonard

There’s no point in posting Philippine news of this magnitude here. When something is as tragic as Typhoon Frank, the floods and the missing passengers from the capsized ferry — you need not look any further than your daily paper or CNN. It’s all right there and you’ve got no excuse for not knowing what is going on in the Philippines.

In fact, these are the times when I realize how Filipino Canadian I really am; co-workers at the office come up to me and say, “It’s too bad what’s happening in YOUR country”, then ask if I have any family that has been affected. And I can only make small talk — I don’t know what’s going on and haven’t spoken to my relatives in the Philippines in a while.

It reminds of of being a 13 year-old when People Power happened. The teacher called on me to tell the class what was happening in “my country”, and I didn’t know who in the blue hell either Marcos OR Aquino were.

It’s times like these when it should matter to be Filipino When things are looking grim, I want to feel that compassion, but a big part of my doesn’t know how. It’s also times like these when it feels weird to be Canadian. I love the Philippines but when it comes down to it, I’m thankful I live here and not there. So how am I supposed to feel compassion for a place that I’m glad that my parents left?

How do you do that?

In any case, the news is everywhere so we won’t post it again here this time around. If you haven’t read it, at least do yourself a favour and see what’s going on. That’s the least we can do. I mean, we’re FROM there.

Then, if you are interested in doing more — there’s folks who can help with that too. Here’s a release from a few of our friends with some info on how you can help out.


22 June 2008

The Filipino community in Canada and Canadians grieve and sympathize with the victims of supertyphoon Fengshen (Frank) that swept the Philippines over the weekend. We urgently appeal for financial support to help the relief efforts.

According to official reports, nearly 1000 people are confirmed dead, including those dead or missing from a ferry that sank in central Philippines. Over 35, 500 families had to be evacuated from their homes due to the rapid flooding and landslide risks. The hardest hit areas are Iloilo, Romblon, Cotabato, Antique, and Capiz.

In these times of natural disasters, the majority of victims are the poverty-stricken population. The majority of the people are already faced with economic crisis, such as the food crisis, the typhoon adds further suffering to the Filipino people. Already pushed in the margins of government priorities, the needy and poor populations are further left in extreme vulnerability and danger in times of natural and man-made calamities.

The Philippines is ill-equipped to handle natural calamities because most of the government budget goes towards servicing the foreign debt and militarization, and not towards badly-needed social services. According to reports, only 0.1 percent of national budget is allotted to calamity funds.

In these trying times, it is ever-more urgent for us to continue to build direct people to people support. Please donate to help in the people’s relief efforts.

Donations can be made at any Vancouver City Savings Credit Union branch to the account: “Philippine Disaster Relief Fund,” Account Number: 63487, Branch 28. You can mail your donations to Philippine Women Centre of B.C. 451 Powell Street, Vancouver, B.C., V6A 1G7. Please signify that your donations are for “Typhoon Frank” relief efforts.

In solidarity,

B.C. Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
Philippine Women Centre of B.C.
Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance
Filipino Nurses Support Group
SIKLAB (Overseas Filipino workers’ organization)
Sinag Bayan Cultural Arts Collective

~ by Leonard on June 24, 2008.

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