Filipinos Help Bushfire Victims

November 30th, 2019 · No Comments

When bushfires ravaged Australia, a group of Filipino community leaders leaped to action and initiated a bushfire appeal.  “It was time to give back,” they said. 

The group, Handog Pinoy, identified the small rural town of Bobin, one of the most devastated rural towns. Bobin is located in the mid northern part of New South Wales, 40 kms from Taree. It was one of the hardest hit towns, with 17 houses burnt to the ground including their local school. Contact was made direct to the Bobin community who indicated that their most urgent need was fodder for the farm animals. 

Calling themselves the HaPi team  – for Handog Pinoy (a gift from the Filipino) –  monies raised was used to purchase 121 bales of hay which was delivered directly to Bobin town. Spearheaded by Mr.  Mao de Vera, the group including Ferdi Francisco, Dr. Cora Francisco, Atoy & Tess Sayas, Grace Alvarez and Toto Espatero  embarked on a 5 hour marathon drive to meet the townsfolk. By the time, they got there, people were already lined up waiting their share of hay.  Then, they shared heartbreaking stories over a BBQ lunch, and the HaPi team gave them a taste of ‘Hopia’

For the people of Bobin, the help from the Filipino community was timely and greatly appreciated. “The community of Bobin would like to say a very big thank you to the lovely Filipino people who came up from Sydney to bring some much needed hay this weekend.  It was a pleasure to meet you all, you brought smiles to many faces with your generous gift.  Feeding livestock is a challenge at the moment with so many burnt out paddocks that can’t be used  due to the damage.  Your donation is very much appreciated by our farmers.”

“It was a little amount from us but for them it was a BIG help. It was most satisfying experience,” said Mao de Vera.  That was the first phase. The second wave of donation will include 155 bales of hay delivered on December 2.

Thanks to the organizations who to date have answered the call for help: Philippine Australian Medical Association (PAMA), Aguman Capampangan, Mapua Alumni Association, Timek La Union, CRFCC, and Filipino Cooperative along with other individuals. (See list below which is updated on a regular basis).

However, more is needed and donations for the bushfire appeal are still welcome. Donations may be made through direct deposits to:  Handog Pinoy – Commonwealth Account,  BSB 062 339   Account no. 1103 2537

A little hay for a little sunshine of hope.

For more information contact:  Mao de Vera – 0434 516 734 / Dennis Laxamana 0416 269 270.

Thank you to those who donated:

Erlinda Arocha

Josephine Aquino

Jade & Marissa Bala

Minda de la Cruz

Gloria Estrada

Michael & Josephine Ezzy

Dr. Roger Fabian

Ferdi & Dr. Cora Francisco

Jorge & Haydee Javier

Loty Jazic

Dennis Laxamana

Tess Lopez

Marivic Manalo

Jose Manio

Alice Martin

Theresa Mejia

Rey & shirley Morcilla

Rosalie Ouano

Nelia Palmer

Tony & Malou Rivera

Ida Romagos-Hoad

Pabs & Lillian Roqueza

Cr. Linda Geronimo Santos

& Fiel Santos

Ananias Sarmiento

Dan Rhea Sarmiento

Atoy & Tess Sayas

Meg Simpson

Normie Steward

Stephanie Tancev

VP & MM Tangon

Thomas & Ariella

Benjie de Ubago

Mao & Dr. Ophee de Vera

Jess & Ludy de Vera

Alex & Helen Vazquez

Evelyn Zaragoza

and the passengers on Aguman’s Cherry picking Bus Trip.

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