Nevada Filipinos continue to rally aid for typhoon victims

By Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Nov. 28, 2013

LAS VEGAS – The Orleans Hotel and Casino played host to the Philippines’ “Jukebox Queen” Imelda Papin’s intimate show that benefits Typhoon Yolanda victims. Papin says that the rehabilitation program she plans for the people in the Visayas includes the construction of deep wells and gas burners.

“I’m very much concerned for their water,” Papin said. “I’m thinking of putting a deep jetmatic well because that’s what they really need, instead of just giving them bottled water. This is long term. And I’m trying to think of giving them also gas burners so they can cook. Even if they received donations like rice, how can they cook it? They can’t just eat canned goods.”

Papin added that she will personally match the thousands of dollars raised at the night’s event and will personally visit the Taclobanons to deliver the long-term help.

Meantime, Gawad Kalinga’s founder and world renowned philanthropist Tony Meloto says that GK’s initial efforts of relief operations focused on the most devastated areas of Ormoc, Capiz and Tacloban.

“Beyond the relief, we need to really build homes and communities. And so our target next year is to build 20,000 homes,” Meloto said. “But we will be working closely with ABS-CBN Foundation and many other partners to raise a million volunteers. We have this campaign Bayani Challenge. So we’ll be working with military and sending us soldiers as volunteers. They really helped us—the engineering brigade, the military, the DSWD and ABS-CBN.”

Meloto is optimistic that through GK’s partnership with several organizations around the world, Tacloban and the rest of the Visayas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda, will have the ability to rise once again.

“With the magnitude of this typhoon, what is really amazing is the miracle of solidarity,” Meloto said. “No organization can do it alone and some organizations are good in really generating immediate global response, like ABS-CBN and some groups like Gawad Kalinga. We have our network on the ground. In fact, it was so amazing with some big businesses like Coca Cola. We used their trucks to distribute the relief goods.”

Kababayans in Nevada also raised funds for the victims of Yolanda through a zumba dance craze at the Community Center of the Our Lady of Las Vegas Church, and through a luncheon with celebrity Chef Rudy Janeo at Ventano Grill.

They proved that in whatever way, Filipino-Americans are coming together for the greater good.

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