Sydney Yolanda

12 November 2014 –The Philippine Consulate General in Sydney organized a mass at the Consulate General on November 08 for the intentions of the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, for the success of the ongoing rehabilitation program in the Philippines, and thanksgiving for the generous support that have been extended to the typhoon survivors.

More than 80 Filipino community leaders and representatives of Filipino community organisations, private groups and individuals, and personnel of the Consulate General and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Tourism (DOT) offices in Sydney attended the mass celebrated by Fr. Ed Orilla. Last 22 November 2013, Fr. Orilla likewise celebrated a mass at the Consulate General for the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.

In his homily, Fr. Orilla remembered those who perished in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan’s devastating force, and paid tribute to the Filipino people whose resilience is borne of strong faith. During the homily, he showed images of devastation as well as hope through houses and other structures that have been re-built in the affected areas. He said that it was opportune that as the Catholic community celebrates the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica on November 09, so is the process of rebuilding the lives of people affected by Typhoon Yolanda in the spirit of the “living stones” and building community together. He thanked the members of the Filipino-Australian community and encouraged them to continue extending assistance to the families affected by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.

Fr. Orilla was assisted during the mass by Mr. Roberto Lastica of the Australian Devotees of Our Lady of Penafrancia (ADOLP). A youth choir, the Filipino Chaplaincy Chatswood Parish Vocal Ensemble, volunteered their time and talents to sing at the mass.

After the mass, the music video of the song, “We Will Rise Again” celebrating the resilience of the Filipino people in the face of the destruction caused by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, sung by Ms. Raki Vega and composed by Mr. Jude Gitamondoc, was shown.

The amount of A$ 400.00 collected during the mass offertory will be sent by the Consulate General to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to assist in the post-Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan rebuilding efforts.

The Consulate General’s record of donations for Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan survivors from the Filipino community organizations, groups and private individuals was displayed during the mass to acknowledge and thank all the donors who have generously assisted the typhoon survivors. END