Hong Kong is located just about two hours flight from Manila, so if Filipinos farther away were able to organize help and extend it to typhoon-ravaged victims in their motherland, their counterparts in this Chinese city should be able to replicate their generosity. Filipinos in Hong Kong pooled together resources and were able to raise close to half a million Hong Kong dollars in cash plus over 50 boxes of relief goods.
/>The figures show that, as of October 10, HK$434,708 was donated, including HK$156,927 by donors via Banco de Oro, HK$98,691 by domestic helpers who comprise a coalition of United Filipinos and Migrante International, and HK$50,000 by Fortis Insurance.
/>Typhoons Ketsana and Parma had devastating effects on lives and properties, destroying homes, farmlands and public infrastructure. Even as the affected areas are still struggling to cope with the powerful storms, another super typhoon will approach Northern Luzon in the next few days. As bad as it could turn out, Filipinos spread across the world are preparing whatever they can contribute while anxiously waiting for the news and praying for the victims.
In Hong Kong, Filipinos are organized into various professional, religious or regional groups and form a very vibrant community. These groups were quick to organize fund raising events and donation of food, clothing and household materials. When I attended the Mass service at St Jude Parish in North Point, I leanred from Father Emil Lim, the officiating priest, that the Hong Kong community was able to pack about 50 jumbo boxes of relief goods. They were shipped by Caritas Philippines via Caritas and the Catholic Diocese in Hong Kong, churchgoers were told yesterday. Cathay Pacific offered to carry the boxes as a goodwill gesture. After a mini controversy regarding donations not channeled through the Department of Social Welfare being levied, the boxes were able to reach their intended recipients in a timely manner.
During times of difficulty back home, rest assured Filipinos worldwide are there to help.