Wrexham Filipino care home staff raise cash for typhoon victims

Heartbroken Filipino staff at a care organisation have sprung into action to help people back home whose lives have been shattered by the devastating typhoon.

Wrexham-based Pendine Park, where they work, has already donated £1,000 to the Red Cross appeal, and is planning a host of fundraising events to aid the relief effort.

The house in which Senior Care Practitioner Tarcelita Bullecer grew up was razed by Typhoon Haiyan which tore through Tunga, in the province of Leyte, where she’s from.

Thankfully, her ageing parents Rufino, 85, and Tavcela, 86, are alive and well and staying with her sister, Teresita –  but hundreds of thousands of others aren’t so lucky.

The town of Tacloban has been hit particularly hard by the storm, and 600,000 people are struggling for basics like water, sanitation, food and medicine. The official death toll had reached 3,422.

Tarcelita, who works at Pendine Park’s  Bodlondeb care home,  said: “I’m always really anxious when I see the news on the television. My heart is always heavy. My mind is always thinking about it. I keep on worrying.

“My parents have lived in that house since I was small. I was seven years old when we got that house, and now it’s been destroyed.

“There are a lot of memories there because we grew up in that house. It’s where we would have all of our family get-togethers.”

Mother-of-one Tarcelita added: “My nephew called me to let me know that everyone was alright. I have one sister and one brother back there. They are all in the one house of my sister.

“I am very thankful that everybody was able to survive because a house can be rebuilt.”

Care practitioner Arah Glaz, 26, from the island of Mindanao, has also been deeply affected by the plight of her countrymen and women.

She said: “I was watching videos of it online I just started to cry. It just burst out because I can feel their pain.

“I thought I’m just watching the news and feeling sorry for them and not doing anything. So I thought to myself that I need to do something.

”My homeland is in absolute bedlam. It’s devastated and tormented.

“The community at Pendine Park has sprung into action as has the community back home. As soon as everyone was aware we had a meeting to plan what we’re going to do.

“I know my family is safe so I feel lucky.”

Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE is keen to help.

He said: “We want to support in any way that we can. So we’re doing what we can do provide support in what are very difficult circumstances.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Bodlondeb Manager Ann Chapman added: “These are our friends and colleagues and we see the hurt.

“A lot of the time they can’t even contact relatives because the phone lines are down. Our hearts absolutely go out all them all.

Senior nurse Miseal Claveria, 41, hails from the city of Manila which was safely out of the way of the destructive typhoon. But the house of his sister-in-law, Ginging, from Concepcion, Iloilo, has been destroyed as has her livelihood farming fish.

Father-of-four Miseal said: “I actually had to turn the telly off after watching a few clips because I just couldn’t bear to watch it anymore.

“I didn’t watch it until two days after it happened.

“It’s so devastating to see those in the pictures. I watched watch what’s happening on the internet as well as a live news feed.

“My partner has family back home. Two of her sister’s houses have just gone down to the ground.

“They’re contacting by text messages, and when they have internet access we actually have a chance to have a chat with them through the social networks.

“In the Philippines we have very close family ties. Even our neighbours we would call them family. Everyone is coming together to help.

“We’re going to have some fundraising here as well. It makes a big difference because people need those bare essentials.  It will take years to recover.

“In the Philippines I would say we’re quite strong. We have a strong personality regarding calamities, because we’ve been there before so I hope will with get up and fight to start a new living.

“I really wanted to thank everyone who has helped from the bottom of my heart.”

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