Winnipeggers rally to help typhoon-struck Philippines

A week after Typhoon Haiyan struck the central Philippines, people in Winnipeg are rallying to send money and aid to the devastated nation.
A week after Typhoon Haiyan struck the central Philippines, people in Winnipeg are rallying to send money and aid to the devastated nation. CBC's Marjorie Dowhos reports. 1:51

A week after Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, people in Winnipeg are rallying to send money and aid to the devastated nation.

The typhoon slammed the central Philippines on Nov. 8, killing thousands of people and destroying much of the area in its path.

A number of typhoon relief fundraisers are in the works, including a fashion show featuring 45 Filipino children and youth at Jimel's International Cuisine next Wednesday.

The event is being organized "for people to appreciate life and what they have, and to give back to those people who need it," said organizer Myra Jacinto.

"My daughter turned on the TV and I've seen those kids like lying on the ground, it really hit me," said Jacinto.

Some Manitoba nurses are putting up posters in health-care facilities across the province, asking people to donate to relief efforts.

"Ideally we would have been there helping out with the relief operations, but we don't want the distance to be a hindrance to us reaching out to them," said Joan Duhaylungsod, president of the Philippine Nurses Association of Manitoba.

"Especially with us nurses, we value care, we value compassion, and we're kinda stopped because of the distance, and we thought we have to reach out."
Edwin Sonsona of Steinbach, Man., took these photos of the devastation in Cebu following Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8. Sonsona was in the Philippines at the time of the typhoon and survived by hunkering down with others in a hotel banquet room. (Edwin Sonsona)

The group is accepting direct deposits, email money transfers, cheques and cash. More information on how to donate is available by emailing

The fashion show to raise money will be held on Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. at Jimel's International Restaurant at 1045 St. James St. Tickets are $10.

In the mean time, high schools across Winnipeg are hosting bake sales to raise money for relief efforts, as is the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.

Bob Freedman, the Jewish federation's chief executive officer, says it's important that people do what they can to help.

"This is our history and tradition in terms of what we're taught and what we teach our children today, in terms of being of assistance where assistance is needed," he said.

Freedman said there has always been a historical bond between Jewish and Filipino people.

"The Philippine community helped during the Holocaust. It was the Philippines that accepted over 1,000 Jewish refugees when hardly any country did," he said. "Whenever there's a disaster, we want to be a part of helping out."

The group collected over $5,000 in 24 hours. 

More information about donating to the group can be found on their website.

Groups accepting donations

The Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba has been accepting cash donations at their offices in Winnipeg, as is the Filipino Senior Citizen Hall.

As well, a number of charities in Canada and around the world are accepting donations for Typhoon Haiyan aid efforts, including the Mennonite Central Committee, which has its Canadian operations based in Winnipeg.

The MCC is sending an initial amount of $50,000 for urgent food and non-food supplies on the ground, as well as supporting a local assessment team trained in disaster response.

The Canadian government says it will match any donations to registered Canadian charities providing aid to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

Province hopes to expedite immigration process

On Friday, Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger said he plans to fast-track the processing of immigration applications coming from areas affected by the typhoon.

Selinger said he hopes it will help reunite families with their loved ones sooner.

Applications for the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program from typhoon-affected regions of the Philippines will be processed within the next two weeks.

All new applications will be processed on a priority basis.


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