Northern Filipinos rally after Typhoon Haiyan

Filipinos in the Northwest Territories and Yukon are already raising money to help victims of a storm, considered one of the strongest on record, that hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippines.
The Asian Central Store in Whitehorse, Yukon is accepting donations for victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Yukon’s branch of the Canadian-Filipino Association says there are more than 2,200 Filipino people in Yukon. (CBC)

Filipinos in the North say they're devastated by the massive storm that hit their home country early Friday morning.

It was one of the largest, most powerful typhoons on record, with winds exceeding 200 kilometres per hour. As many as 10,000 are believed to have been killed by Typhoon Haiyan.

Gloria Reyes is president of the Filipino Association in Yellowknife. Her family doesn't live in the hardest-hit locations in the Philippines, but she knows others who are affected.

People on the Filipino island of Leyte were still recovering from an devastating earthquake that hit the province last month. 

“When it comes to fairness, it’s not fair to those people,” Reyes said. “They’re getting all the bad things.”

In Whitehorse, the storm came at the same time as the Canadian-Filipino Association of Yukon was preparing for the Pinoy New Talent singing contest on Saturday night, a national event with big prizes, including a condo in the Philippines.

Association president Mike Beunsucesco said this year’s event is also a fundraiser.

“Part of our special dinner plate will be going to the victims of this natural calamity,” he told the CBC. “Hopefully we can support something that is productive and hopefully we’ll help our victims back home.”

Ailene Gayangas was planning to attend the event.

“This is our time together to support one another,” she said. “It’s pretty hard for some of the family that are directly affected.”

Yukon’s branch of the Canadian-Filipino Association says there are more than 2,200 Filipino people in Yukon.

The South Asian community in Whitehorse is also pitching in to the cause. The Asian Central Store is taking donations to help those affected.

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