Dear Family and Friends,
I’m writing on behalf of my friend's family's weaving community in Baras, Catanduanes. The recent super typhoon Rolly (international name GONI) has left their town devastated beyond imagination. Typhoon Rolly was an underreported, but exceptionally powerful tropical cyclone that made landfall as a Category 5–equivalent super typhoon. It was almost as strong as Yolanda (Super typhoon Haiyan, 2013) with 10-minute sustained winds of 220 km/h (140 mph), and 1-minute sustained winds of 315 km/h (195 mph).
Thankfully, all the residents evacuated on time and they have zero casualties. But until now, almost two weeks after the typhoon, they are still isolated - left without telecommunication and electricity, with food and water becoming a scarce commodity. There is also another storm (Ulysses) looming and headed their way as I write this.
Being a country constantly pummelled by natural calamities, the Philippines is quite used to disaster and relief operations, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made this difficult. And this is why I am appealing to you kind souls for a donation of HK$200 per person (target 40 people). My friend's mom who I personally know – Dita Sandico Ong – has worked with this community for as long as I remember. These are the weavers that weave the precious “banaca” fabric in the Philippines.
The money will be used for rebuilding infrastructure and restarting their livelihood. With the ongoing pandemic, we know that it is more and more difficult to give donations as the months pass. But we will try our best to use this in the best way to create a sustainable model for them, and infrastructures that will not just be swept away with every storm that passes. These funds will be managed by Ditta Sandico and Rejoice Apanti. If there is anything else you can offer (construction materials? Architecture services? Manpower? Someone who can help to make a better fundraising campaign?), please reach out. If you are in the Philippines and would like to give donations in kind like clothes, canned goods, hygiene kits etc., please send it to this address:
5 Mabolo St., New Manila, Quezon City, Philippines
We will be reporting the amounts received and the beneficiaries once turned over. Any amount will be of great help! Please spread the word. And thank you, from the bottom of our hearts ❤