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Filipino community rallies for typhoon victims

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Robert Viray, 59, donating money to Typhoon Haiyan disaster relief. Viray was one of several Winnipeggers at a prayer vigil for typhoon victims at the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba on Nov. 13.

PHOTO BY JARED STORY Enlarge Image

Robert Viray, 59, donating money to Typhoon Haiyan disaster relief. Viray was one of several Winnipeggers at a prayer vigil for typhoon victims at the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba on Nov. 13. Photo Store

Winnipeg’s Filipino community is working hard to collect donations in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

The super typhoon slammed into the Philippines on Fri., Nov. 8, killing and injuring thousands of people and displacing thousands more.

The Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba (PCCM), located at 737 Keewatin St., is accepting donations of money and food from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, with volunteers taking donations into the evenings.

"The people come and go the whole day," said Lito Taruc, the centre’s president.
"They’re also calling us to pick up their donations, and we have some volunteers to do that."

PCCM was already fundraising for the earthquake that occurred on Oct. 15 in
Bohol, an island province in Central Visayas, Philippines, which left 222 people dead.  

"It’s hard, especially in that area, hit by an earthquake, then aftershocks and then a huge typhoon. It’s very devastating," Taruc said. "The survivors are appealing, not only to the Philippine government but also the whole world, that they are hungry right now. They survived the typhoon but they’re dying for food."

PCCM held a prayer vigil on Weds., Nov. 13 for the people affected by the typhoon. Jean-Luc Maringumu, 53, a Garden Grove resident, attended the vigil.

"It’s overwhelming, looking at the news and what’s happening over there,"
Maringumu said. "I come from Africa, so I’ve seen disasters, and my woman, she’s from the Philippines."

"There’s no way you can ignore something like this, whether you come from a different part of the Philippines or a different part of the world."

Robert Viray, 59, a south Winnipeg resident, also attended the prayer vigil. He is originally from the Philippines, but said he doesn’t have any family directly affected by the typhoon.

"I’m glad but I’m sad for the people who are affected there and hopefully things will get better. All we can do is pray and donate some money to help out," Viray said.

PCCM will be fundraising at the Garden City Shopping Centre on Sat., Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.  The organization will also hold a fundraising dinner at Jimel’s International Cuisine Ltd. (1045 St. James St.) on Nov. 30.

PCCM isn’t the only Winnipeg organization that’s fundraising for Philippines disaster relief.
The Filipino Senior Citizens Hall (49 Euclid Ave.) will hold a social on Nov. 29, starting at 6 p.m.

Also, there will be a buffet breakfast fundraiser at Canton Buffet (1111 Logan Ave.) on Dec. 14 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

"I think it eases the pain when you know there’s help and you know there’s a recovery effort," said Aida Champagne, 57, president of the Filipino Seniors Group of Winnipeg and chairperson of the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival.

"People are so generous, and the whole world is focused on the Philippines and is willing to give a helping hand. That makes you feel a lot of better.

"We Filipinos are very strong people. We’ll manage to stand up and rise again."
For more information on how to donate to PCCM or for tickets to the dinner, call (204) 775-4928.

For tickets to the Filipino Seniors Hall social or the breakfast, call Champagne at (204) 960-8530.

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