Posted at: 11/11/2013 3:36 PM
Updated at: 11/11/2013 5:41 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri
With every image, the tolls seems to get worse. The Philippines, a country of at least two million people, was hit with one of the most powerful typhoons to make landfall.
Rochester is home to a large Filipino community. Many Filipino families are waiting on pins and needles to hear from their loved ones.
Raphael Opida, 98PXY on-air personality, said, “I used to go for family vacations over there and to see or hear of people I know who are unaccounted for, it is kind of tough cause it is like, 'Will I ever hear from them again?'”
Raphael, also known as Raph, is an on-air personality at 98PXY. His parents are from the Philippines. While his immediate family is in Rochester, he has aunts, uncles and cousins who are in the Philippines. The images are hard for Raph to look at, knowing people he cares about have lost everything. Thanks to social media, he and his family were able to make contact with most people. But they are still waiting to hear from a few.
Opida said, “Seeing it on news outlets, and pictures of that stuff, it is kind of weird cause I am getting texts and Facebook messages of images from my cousins, my family members, my aunts and uncles, and it is just like, they are actually there witnessing this. And it is very difficult to see that an imagine how to survive through such a natural disaster.”
How you can help
If you or someone you know is looking for a loved one in the Philippines, the Red Cross can help you find them. They also can help if you just want to donate to help those who just lost everything. The Red Cross is current taking in donations. They are helping fund the Filipino Red Cross.
Red Cross: www.redcross.org or 1-800-RedCross(1-800-733-2767).
Filipino American Association: The Filipino American Association is collecting clothing. They are looking for summer clothing only. If you have donations, you can drop them off at 43 South Village Trail in Fairport.