Flooding in Antipolo, Philippines
Nov 13 2013

Typhoon shows strength of Filipino character

By Loretta Shea Kline, CFCA communications editor

The Filipino people are known for their resiliency.

I had the great privilege of visiting the Philippines a few weeks ago as part of my work as an editor and writer on our communications team.

I saw that resiliency up close on visits to our projects, and I was reminded of it again when Super Typhoon Haiyan hit.

An email from our project coordinator in Zamboanga, I thought, spoke to the Filipino character. The Filipinos not only deal with natural catastrophes such as typhoons and earthquakes, they have an armed conflict to contend with in the southern Philippines.

Our coordinator, Rhodora Partosa, talked about how families displaced by the conflict in Zamboanga put aside their own needs to show concern for typhoon victims in other regions.

“Last Friday, I was able to talk to 18 families out of 23 affected by the [armed] standoff who lost their houses,” she wrote. “There is still a tremendous faith, courage and a positive outlook on life amidst this difficulty.

“I think this is one of the Filipinos’ best [examples of] ‘resiliency.’ They’ve shared not much of the past but on how they look forward to the future.

“And they think and prayed about the people who were affected by the earthquake and typhoon. They said they are blessed that they only lost their houses and not their loved ones.

“It’s inspiring to hear them remain hopeful for a better future.”

Thankfully, sponsored friends and their families in our five projects in the Philippines are safe after the typhoon.

Children play in a flooded community in the Antipolo project. Super Typhoon Haiyan worsened flooding in areas trying to recover from previous storms.

Children play in a flooded community in the Antipolo project. Super Typhoon Haiyan worsened flooding in areas trying to recover from previous storms.

There will be work ahead to rebuild houses and livelihoods, and we will be there to support the families.

We have a Disaster Assistance Fund to help in emergencies, and our projects in the Philippines have calamity funds as well. The island nation is hit by 20 or more typhoons a year.

The Philippines names typhoons alphabetically. Haiyan was named Yolanda in the Philippines, meaning it was the 25th typhoon to hit the country this year.

During my two-week stay in the Philippines, there were two typhoons, a devastating 7.1-magnitude earthquake and the fighting in Zamboanga between rebel factions and government troops.

Smoke rises up in this October photo from Zamboanga. Houses and other buildings were burned down in armed conflict that led to a humanitarian crisis when thousands of people were displaced.

Smoke rises up in this October photo from Zamboanga. Houses and other buildings were burned down in armed conflict that led to a humanitarian crisis when thousands of people were displaced.

I remember thinking while reporting on these events, “I don’t know how the Filipinos bounce back from tragedy after tragedy with such grace and optimism.”

I’ll never fully understand it, but I think it has to do with faith, family and hope. Sponsors can have a lot of impact on the latter.

The best thing people can do to help through our organization is to sponsor a child or elderly person in the Philippines.

Sponsorship links your sponsored friend and family to a caring network that provides ongoing help for education, livelihood support, health needs and much more.

Most importantly, sponsors can impact the hope factor. Sponsoring a child or older adult says to that person, “I believe in you.”

And that can be a powerful motivator to someone striving to overcome poverty and tragedies such as Super Typhoon Haiyan.

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17 thoughts on “Typhoon shows strength of Filipino character”

  1. I have been praying for you all. If you know my Cedie tell him he is in my thoughts and in my prayers. I will continue to pray and await word. May God Bless you all.

  2. I have been so worried about Nathanial. Please God let him and his family be OK. I pray for all in the Philippines.

  3. Thank you for the update. How can my wife and I find out what the situation is for our sponsored child, Carmen and her family? We are concerned about their welfare after the typhoon.

  4. I pray that my friend–Rose Mary is safe along with her family. I’m waiting to hear. God bless all in the Philippines.

    1. Rachel, thanks for your question. Our projects in the Philippines have reported that none of our members were killed or severely injured in the recent typhoon, though there was damage to homes and crops in some areas. Typically, in cases such as these, we will contact a sponsor if we receive word that their friend has been drastically affected.

      -Jordan Kimbrell, CFCA Writer/Editor

  5. We are praying for Kenny and his family. With all the horror of Yolanda, we pray there will be some happiness on his upcoming birthday. We love and pray for you, Kenny.

  6. Our families sponsor 3 girls in the Philippines. We were readying their small Christmas remembrances for mailing when the news of the typhoon reached us. Given the current conditions we will wait to mail until assurances that conditions have improved. If able, we would appreciate their being told we love them and are praying for them, their families and their neighbors. We are diligently keeping up with the news of the area and the Filipino people are at the top of our prayer list. God Bless and keep you all in peace and safety.

  7. We sponsor two children in the Philippines and are concerned about them and their families. We pray that they are safe and damage to their homes is minimal.

  8. WE HOPE AND PRAY THAT VERONICA HAS SURVIVED THIS TYPHOON. WE HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING ON THE NEWS ABOUT HER TOWN AND HAVE BEEN CONCERNED THAT HELP HAS NOT GOTTEN TO THEM.
    LOVE AND PRAYERS ARE BEING SENT YOUR WAY.
    JIM & LITA

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jim and Lita. All of our projects have reported in, and all sponsored friends and their families survived the storm. Though there was damage to homes and crops in some areas, the clean up has already begun and CFCA is sending disaster relief funds to the Philippines to help with what is needed.

      -Jordan Kimbrell, CFCA Writer/Editor

  9. Since I have not heard otherwise, seems that the child I sponsor is allright? Her name is Jenn. I am wondering how she and her family are doing despite the fighting, earthquakes and typhoons? I will keep praying.

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