Kababayan Program donates to Philippine citizens affected by Typhoons Ketsana and Parma



Local Bay Area organizations are coordinating relief efforts to help those affected by the recent hurricane and flood disasters in the Philippines. Among the groups offering their support is the Kababayan Program here at Skyline College. The program, focused on community support of the Filipino and Filipino-American experience, is doing what it can to provide immediate impact with the intention of delivering emergency relief to the needy. For the entire month of October, the program will serve as the drop-off point for students’ in-kind donations such as clothing, food and medical supplies. “The donations are critical to the rebuilding and redevelopment processes of the families affected,” said Nate Nevado, one of the counselors for Skyline’s Kababayan Program. “There will be an ongoing need for these communities impacted and we realize that this will be a long term recovery process.”

According to Nevado, 20 percent of the student population at Skyline College is Filipino, bringing to light the probability that some students’ relatives may have witnessed firsthand the chaos that was caused by the severe tropical storms.

Nearly 300 people have been killed by typhoons that struck the northern islands of the Philippines beginning on Sept. 26. In addition, Typhoon Ketsana (locally known as Ondoy) and Typhoon Parma have completely devastated these local communities in the worst torrential flooding the area has seen in 40 years.

The past few weeks of enduring back-to-back hurricanes were long and tumultuous ones for the northern Philippines, one that began with evacuations in response to the first threat of Ketsana.

On Sep. 27, Ketsana overtook the streets, flooding the Philippine capital of Manila and the surrounding provinces. Subsequently, 80 percent of Manila was submerged, leaving the metropolitan area enveloped by 20 feet of water.

After depositing what has been described by the locals as more than a month’s worth of rain in only 12 hours, the looming typhoon pummeled across three other Southeast Asian countries-Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

In order for people living in the affected communities to reclaim their way of life, the necessary components of living must first be rebuilt. Unfortunately, many of their belongings cannot be recovered and houses are wrecked beyond any capability of being repaired. Due this widespread devastation, various organizations are accepting monetary donations, which are the most efficient type of aid that can be transmitted directly to the Philippines.

“We will accept any donation as well as cash or check from now until the end of October,” said a representative of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco.

The Kababayan Program will not be a liaison for monetary donations from students but they do encourage those who want to give money to do so through other local organizations and their affiliated websites, where “100% of the funds collected will go directly to the Philippines where it will help to build new roads and homes,” said Nevado.

Although the Kababayan Program’s efforts to support the citizens affected by the typhoons is localized to only the Philippine Islands, they do acknowledge the extent to which these violent storms have destroyed the living conditions of thousands of people in surrounding South Pacific countries.

“On a larger scale, we must also recognize the other places affected by this, like Samoa, Vietnam and Indonesia,” said Nevado. As far as gaining the resources needed to speed up the recovery process from the havoc caused by Typhoons Ketsana and Parma, “the biggest piece really…is to continue to spread the word.”

Donations to the Kababayan club can be dropped off at Bldg. 2 in Rm 2238 with Kababayan Program counselor, Marisa Mariano.

Here are some other local organizations accepting in-kind and/or monetary donations:

Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco (Drop off at the ground level) 447 Sutter St. San Francisco (415) 433-6666

Philippine Community Center4681 Mission St. San Franciscowww.filipinocc.org

Liwang Kultural Center222 Lausanne Ave. Daly Cityhttp://kse.liwanag.org

Ayala Foundation USA255 Shoreline Dr., Suite 428 Redwood Cityhttp://www.af-usa.org/donate_now.asp

Asian Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy & LeadershipAttn: Armael Malinis, AnakBayan-East Bay310 Eighth St., Suite 215 Oakland http://www.aypal.org/