A local community perspective on Haiyan

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Drumheller Filipino Community Chairman Marvin A. Obmina. ECA Review/Submitted

The Drumheller Filipino Community is a vibrant, close-knit group of Filipinos and their friends and relatives. Chaired by Marvin A. Obmina, the group has held fundraisers for their affected kin in the Philippines.
Obmina took some time to answer questions regarding the community, their outlook on the tragic event and what can be done moving forward to help.

Q: Please tell us a bit about the Filipino Community in Drumheller.

A: The Drumheller Filipino Community (DFC) is a non-sectarian, non-stock, non-profit organization founded on the principles of God-centeredness, humaneness and patriotism. The society’s date of incorporation was February 4, 2011. Currently we have more than 400 members in Drumheller.

Q: What impact did the Typhoon have on the Filipino community in Drumheller?

A: Though most of Filipino in Drumheller have no families directly affected by the Typhoon, in a calamity as big as this, every Filipino can feel the suffering of their countrymen back in the Philippines.
Maybe we are miles and miles away from the Philippines but our hearts still feel their pain. We are still Filipino who can relive the spirit of bayanihan (bayanihan basically means a sense of leadership and initiative or a sense of community). The day after the Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, that spirit of bayanihan is evident in every Filipino in Drumheller. You can read messages in social media calling for donations, asking how they can help, volunteering their time, offering their spaces as drop-off point for donations.
My cellphone is busy with calls and text messages not only from Filipino in Drumheller but from Canadian businessmen asking me to pick up their money donations, institutions and companies also made their own effort to raise money for the typhoon victims which really touches our hearts.
In a place away from home we feel that we are not alone in our effort to help my Filipino countrymen who survived the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, because everybody in the community shows their support to us.

Q: Did anyone have personal connections in the Philippines who were impacted by the storm?

A: We have four families in Drumheller wherein their loved ones reside in the areas affected by the Typhoon Haiyan. For days they had no idea or news as to what happened to their families in the Philippines, since the communication is down in the areas affected by the typhoon. After a few days they heard from their families, though all their property is destroyed we are still thankful to God that there is no loss of lives among their family members.

Q: What can Canadians do to help out?

A: Aside from prayers, my Filipino countrymen need help in their rehabilitation and rebuilding process. If you happen to be in Drumheller area you can drop your donation to J&C Convenience store at Center Street. If you cannot be in Drumheller, we appeal to you to support your local area’s effort to raise money for the Typhoon Haiyan survivors in the Philippines or through the Canadian Red Cross
To all individuals and companies who already help and still be helping my Filipino countrymen in their rehabilitation and rebuilding process, Maraming Salamat Po (Thank you very much), from the bottom of my heart.

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