Hawaii Filipinos continue fundraising as second typhoon nears the Philippines

Edna Alikpala
Edna Alikpala

By Leland Kim - bio | email

WAIPAHU (KHNL) - The Philippines ordered the evacuation of people living in low-lying coastal areas, as a "super typhoon" approaches. This comes a week after flash floods killed nearly 300 people in and around the capital city of Manila.

Many Filipinos in Hawaii have loved ones in the Philippines. Even though they're far away, they're stepping up fundraising efforts to help.

The Filipino community in Hawaii is very close knit. They represent about 14 percent of the state's population. Now after one typhoon, and another heading in tomorrow, they know they have to rally support to help folks back home.

The path of destruction Typhoon Ketsana carved can be seen and felt for miles. Northern Philippines resembles a battlefield.

"It's hard for the people there," said Edna Alikpala, a Filipino American who has family in Quezon City, the Philippines. "They have no homes. They are left without anything to survive on."

It killed almost 300 people, and ravaged close to two million homes, but this moment of chaotic calmness is just the intermission.

"You're still grappling with trying to survive from this first typhoon and then you have to survive another one," said Alikpala.

Typhoon Parma is expected to bring winds of up to 140 miles per hour. That's why places like the Filipino Community Center, or FilCom, is trying to raise as much money as possible.

"All the donations coming from all over; it's tremendous," said Alikpala. "So I'm glad the Filipino community here in Hawaii are gathering together to help their fellow man there."

For folks who can't come in, they're mailing in their checks. This stack is from Friday. Well, how much are they donating? This person is giving $500.

Donations are tax deductible ...

"Even a dollar goes a long way," said Alikpala.

... and FilCom will make sure every single dollar goes to help the victims.

"Tell me about the process a little more so that people can be reassured that the money they donate actually goes to the victims," said KHNL.

"By next week, the ad hoc committee will decide which agency or organization the money will be directed to," said Alikpala. And Mr. (Geminiano) Arre, Jr. (FilCom's president) will personally deliver all these donations to those agencies."

But they're not done just yet. FilCom is having a major fundraising drive all over Oahu for the victims in the Philippines.

"But the same time, we're also thinking about the people in Samoa and Indonesia," said Alikpala. "I think we can all work hand in hand."

... with the help of their fellow man and a higher power.

"All we can do right now is pray," said Alikpala. "That's all we can do right now."

So far they've raised more than $10,000, and they hope to at least match that on Sunday.

To find out the nearest fundraising location, go here or click on the FilCom Center's link on this page.