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Local Filipinos Rally to Raise Money for Stricken Homeland


Members of the local Filipino community are reaching out to help their fellow countrymen devastated by the super-typhoon that struck the island archipelago.

Tuesday, a fundraising drive spearheaded by the Philippine Cultural Foundation of Tampa Bay sent a check for $16,000 for relief agencies heading to the areas hardest-hit by the typhoon. Foundation board member Rudy Bautista says its a very emotional time for the local Filipino community.

"We have members of the community here who have families there, and obviously it's very, very difficult to communicate with them at this time," says Bautista. "So we have The Filipino Channel TV that's helping on this, putting names on the screen of who are safe and not safe, but right now it's very difficult to communicate with their family members who are directly affected by this super-typhoon."

Bautista says another fundraiser is set for Saturday, November 23rd at the cultural center, located near Oldsmar. It will be held from 10 a.m. to midnight, capped off by a screening of a fight featuring Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, followed by an auction. The center is at 14301 Nine Eagles Drive, off Race Track Road in northwest Hillsborough County

Super Typhoon Haiyan is the strongest tropical cyclone to make a landfall on record. With sustained winds up to 195 mph, it ravaged through Central Philippines last week, killing as many as 10,000 people, and severely affecting 11 million people in Samar and Leyte and surrounding provinces.

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