FILIPINOS DEAL WITH TORNADO AFTERMATH

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
May 28, 2013

MOORE, Oklahoma – The Filipino community is trying to get back to normal by turning to faith and hoping that the town of Moore can heal from the category EF-5 tornado that affected 12,000 homes and killed 24 people.
The tornado had missed The Philippine International Baptist Church by a few blocks.

“We’re so glad that has God really has his hands on this and although there’s a lot of devastation and houses that were flattened down. But like what they’re saying Oklahoma needs to rebuild and we’re so happy of the resilient attitude and behavior of Oklahoma,” said Pastor Paul Obsines DeGuzman of the Philippine International Baptist Church.

For Cathy Chalfant, a weekend to celebrate the annual Santacruzan, as well as family parties, has helped get her mind off her home which suffered minor damage during the disaster and has been without power since the tornado wreaked havoc on Monday.

“It just missed five houses from us and we live so close to the big devastation. The neighborhood across from us is already gone,” Chalfant said.

Lorna Dillon was not as lucky. Throughout the weekend she was still clearing up debris where her home once stood.

Many Filipinos were mobilized shortly after the tornado hit, from the medical community to students who have been volunteering in the clean-up efforts.

“After that whole tornado thing, Moore got attacked so me and a couple friends from school we just decided to go and help them. We bought a lot of water bottles a lot of food for them, we tried the best we can to help everybody. A couple of my friends got hit by the tornado,” said volunteer Nasila Ford.

“It’s really, really depressing because those patients they’re so close to us. They’ve been our patient for a long time and they live there in Moore for how many years,” said Czarina Garcia, Physician Service Coordinator for Integris Family Care in Moore.

Ted Krey, a former US Air Force personnel who was stationed in the Philippines in the 80s and is married to a Filipina, is part of the state’s search and rescue operations which recovered some of the deceased 24 victims.

After over 20 years of experience he calls it one of the worst he’s been through.

“Oklahoma is so resilient they come back no matter what happens to Oklahoma they always come back stronger. God is going to bless us no matter what,” he said.

You may contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com

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