27 November 2013 - On November 14, the leaders of the Filipino community in New South Wales (NSW) and the Filipino community media attended a holy mass organized by the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney for the intention of the victims of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). The mass was celebrated by Father Manuel Santiago who urged the Filipino-Australian community in New South Wales to reach out and help those affected by the disaster.
In a ceremonial turnover, Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis presented to Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Board of Governors Secretary Corazon Alma de Leon the amount of A$1,585.00 collected during the mass. Ms. De Leon, PRC Board of Governors Vice Chairperson Amelita Navarro, PRC Board of Governors Member Rosalind Wee and several PRC staff were in Sydney for a meeting of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The Consulate sent the said amount to the PRC in Manila.
On the same occasion, Philippine Community Council (PCC) of New South Wales President Elsa Collado presented to Ms. De Leon the amount of A$1,000. The PCC continues to raise funds for the typhoon victims under its Philippines Australia Disaster Emergency Response (PADER) program.
Filipino-Australian Movement for Empowerment, Inc. (FAME) President Rod Dingle also presented the amount of A$500.00 to Ms. De Leon.
Consul General Louis thanked the Filipino community in NSW for immediately responding to the needs of the typhoon victims by sending financial assistance and in-kind contributions to Tacloban soon after the typhoon hit the country on November 08.
After the mass, Filipino community representatives informed the Consulate of the following fundraising initiatives:
• 48-hour Response Project initiated by Ms. Michelle Baltazar, publisher of online magazine “The Filipina-Australian”, and herself a Taclobanon;
• Dr. Cora Francisco, President of Timek Iti La Union (TILAUNA), said that TILAUNA has raised A$2,000.00 which has been sent to the Philippine Red Cross. She also said that the Philippine Australian Medical Association (PAMA) conducted a medical mission in the Philippines on November 17.
• Mr. Ronald Manila of SBS Filipino Radio organized a one-day radiothon on November 15 for phone-in donations for typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) through the Australian Red Cross.
• Filipino-Australian Community Help Typhoon Yolanda Survivors Appeal spearheaded by Ms. Emma de Vera sends in-kind donations in collaboration with LBC.
In addition to Filipino community leaders and members of the Filipino community media, Filipino-Australian entrepreneurs Racquel San Juan of LaMesa Restaurant and Alexander and Fanny Chan of Boon Chocolates, a drop-off point for donated medicines, also attended the mass. Also present were NSW official, Mr. Justin Mulder, and an Australian family from the Catholic parish in Maroubra who visited the Philippines last year. END