Lexington Filipinos Work To Connect With Relatives Affected By Typhoon

Nov 12, 2013

Lexington’s Filipino community is rallying to support family and friends back home as they grapple with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

Credit Bullit Marquez / AP

Watching the news has been difficult for those Filipinos living far away from home.

C.B. Mamaril, a researcher at UK’s College of Public Health, grew up in the Philippines and still has family and friends there. He says watching the record-breaking storm approach his home country on weather maps was enough to jar even someone accustomed to typhoon season.

"There have been devastating typhoons obviously every year, but this is just beyond comprehension," he says.

While friends and colleagues wasted no time checking in with Mamaril about his family, he had little to report for the first two days.

"It's difficult to get back to them immediately until you hear firsthand from your family that they're OK, so that's what I did. The storm hit sometime Friday and I was able to get in touch with them by Sunday," he recounts.

Mamaril’s family lives in a region that sustained damage but was spared the brunt of the storm’s force.

In Lexington, the Bluegrass Filipino American Association is currently collecting donations at bfaai.org to be channeled to victims through the Red Cross.