Philippine Red Cross

In Typhoon Yolanda's aftermath, Fil-Ams respond

Residents sorting through the wreckage in Tacloban, central Philippines. It's been all over the news and posts made by friends our social networks have made it hard for us to ignore: one of the world's strongest storms to ever make landfall in recorded history just hammered the Philippines, a nation who has had its fair share of annual typhoons. And with such a distinct reputation, Typhoon Yolanda brings with it the aftermath befitting of such a monster. Officials have raised the possibility of a death toll that could reach up to 10,000 in Leyte province alone that, if verified, would make it the worst natural disaster to strike the Philippines in terms of casualties.

But through such tragedies, we see resilience, compassion, and commitment. News outlets are taking note of the Fil-Am communities across the nation that are taking action to help out. Now comes the question that has since been asked on a greater scale than what we saw in the earthquake: How can I help?

The quickest way to provide relief is to donate. Here's a list of national fundraising campaigns that take donations online and how your donated dollars will be used.

American Red Cross ARC will be deploying staff and resources to work alongside Philippine Red Cross efforts as well as assisting with counterparts in Vietnam has also faced Yolanda.

AmeriCares Will be working with partner organizations in providing medical supp blies for the treatment of up to 20,000 victims.

ANCOP USA Funds donated will be used in coordination with ANCOP's Disaster Core Team and Couples for Christ chapters in providing relief.

Catholic Relief Services CRS will be deploying tarpaulins as temporary shelters and will be coordinating with local non-profits in the allocation of additional aid material.

GK USA (Gawad Kalinga) Will go towards the latest the Walang Iwanan campaign which will be in coordination with local Gawad Kalinga chapters towards providing supplies to 200,000 families in the hard-hit areas.

Habitat for Humanity Donations will go towards HfH's Disaster Response teams in implementing a response to those that have lost homes during the typhoon.

National Alliance for Filipino Concerns NAFCON's Bayanihan Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Campaign will utilize funds to provide aid items and services will be needed the most.

Philippine Red Cross PRC has deployed staff and volunteers to the region and will need donations to help augment the relief goods prepositioned in Cebu prior to landfall.

UNICEF USA Will go towards immediately providing clean water, vaccinations, and nutrition within the hard-hit areas.

University of Santo Tomas Medical Alumni Association Donations here will be earmarked for medical missions that will be deployed to the hard-hit areas.

World Food Program USA The US arm of the UN agency that will work alongside UNICEF and local groups in providing a response to the immediate nutritional needs of the victims.

World Vision Aims to assist up to 1.2 individuals within the typhoon track and will be mobilizing 500 staff in providing food and shelter.

But what if I don't have extra money to donate?

You can help most of the above non-profits by using Goodsearch! It's a Yahoo! powered search engine that donates 1 cent of every search to the non-profit of your choice. There's also Goodshop where a small percentage of your purchase made through the shopping portal will go to the same preferred non-profit.

Thanks to Lennox Chaiveera stannisbaratheon for providing links to non-profits providing relief efforts!

Photo credit: The Guardian

Earthquake in the Visayas: How Fil-Ams can help out!

hc1I was in my final hours of my latest visit to Japan when I received news of the earthquake that struck the Visayas. I started off that trip at the city of Sendai in Tohoku, the region that took the brunt of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. As I watched the crowds clamoring for the latest game releases at the Tohoku Pokemon Center, I tried to picture what those kids must've experienced just a couple years earlier. Fast forward a couple days and the Tohoku quake came to mind again just as footage from Bohol and Cebu started trickling into CNN and NHK. But instead of imagining the victims I began to recall the heroes, the faces of those who - no matter how big or small their contributions were - answered in solidarity the calls of doing their part in the relief and rebuilding effort. As Filipino-American History Month draws to a close, let's end it strong by showing our own solidarity with our kababayan in Bohol and Cebu by helping them recover from the recent earthquake. Coming off the MNLF siege in Zamboanga that ended a couple weeks prior and Typhoon Santi which struck Luzon just days earlier, beleaguered relief groups need help more than ever and even the United Nations has made a call additional funds to help compliment existing efforts.

hc2So how can I help out?

You have two options. First is attending a local fundraiser! I'm currently compiling a master list of events from small towns to big cities across the US and I'm hoping to eventually expand this through any shout-outs from fellow Fil-Ams! Check these out:

New York City

November 1

November 3

Los Angeles

November 3

  • Catalyst Group, Blare Productions, Chryzwin Kreations, and Red Garage Productions will have Bayanihan III at Josephine's Bistro in Cerritos from 7 to 10PM.


November 5

  • FASA of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County will be hosting a Earthquake Relief Bake Sale from 11AM to 2PM at Commons Main Street.

And for those that want to have a more personal event with friends and family, why not try what Armand Frasco had in mind by inviting friends for a night of karaoke at your home and chip in some change as you sing in Karaoke for a Cause!


But what if there's no fundraising event nearby and I'd rather not have to go through another one of my tita's renditions of Dancing Queen?

Thankfully several groups both big and small are taking donations online!

We also have some Fil-Ams taking to crowdfunding sites! Here's a couple examples:

Unfortunately I missed out on some epic fundraisers by the time I compiled this list. However, I wish to share some of the spotlight to the likes of the Philippine Cultural Foundation of Tampa who hosted Operation Tulong at October 27, the Lomboc Association of California's GoFundMe campaign, and even a group up in the San Francisco Bay Area who hosted Zumba for a Cause! But hopefully there will be more to come! Who knows... maybe you might feel compelled to start one yourself!

Photos are courtesy of and used with permission from  Berniemack Arelláno of HabagatCentral, a sojourner based in Cebu who provided coverage of the earthquake's hard-hit areas. Check out his blog!