Nov 15, 2013
10:37 AM

West Haven Student Aiding Typhoon-Ravaged Philippines; Family Bonds Paramount

West Haven Student Aiding Typhoon-Ravaged Philippines; Family Bonds Paramount

Any effort to help, no matter how small, is worthwhile, Geordann Daguplo believes, so when Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, where he has dozens of family members, Daguplo, a 17-year-old West Haven High School senior, went into action.

Family reigns supreme in the Philippines, so it was an automatic decision to try to help the country in its dire need. His family was fortunate. Two family members were missing for about 24 hours, Daguplo said, but were located in a hospital “and they’re doing OK,” he said.

He’s just starting out, and he hasn’t set a goal yet, but Daguplo hopes to collect both money and supplies for the ravaged archipelago.

At last count, 2,357 were confirmed dead by the typhoon, believed to be the largest ever, which flattened the city of Tacloban. Thousands of people were crowding into the city’s airport, seeking medical aid or to leave the country. Relief was slow to get into the country.

Daguplo’s family, which comes from the southernmost island of Mindinao, was lucky. “My family in the Philippines are all doing well,” he says. “We communicate with them in addition to sending a box every month to the Philippines for clothes. We sent three last night.”

Daguplo’s parents immigrated to the United States, and he and his sister, Angelica, 19, have lived in West Haven their entire lives.

When the typhoon hit, “the first thing that came to mind was the thought of my family over there. They go through so much struggle over there.” The Philippines is a poor nation, with one-quarter of its population below the poverty line. Daguplo thinks about “how hard it is for them to survive” with a family corner store or small farm. Bartering for rice, other food and supplies is common.

Now, much of the food is destroyed.

Filipinos look to the West for help, especially the United States. “Those who live in America are thought of as very successful because we walk streets paved with gold,” he said.

See the full story at the New Haven Register online.


West Haven Student Aiding Typhoon-Ravaged Philippines; Family Bonds Paramount

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