On Nov. 7, Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines. With at least 5,680 dead, it has become the deadliest Filipino typhoon on record. Before the storm hit, the Philippines issued a public storm warning signal at the highest warning degree, meaning that the typhoon had reached speeds of over 115 mph. People quickly tried to prepare themselves for Haiyan, but the typhoon wiped out large parts of the Philippines and other areas, deteriorating already impossible housing conditions and devastating the lives countless people.
As of Nov. 13, the Red Cross has estimated that 22,000 people are missing while hundreds of thousands have been left homeless. Large parts of the Philippines have been left without power or any assistance since Haiyan.
In the United States, substantial efforts have been made to aid the Philippines and other affected countries. Now, SLU is doing its part to assist in this effort. On Dec. 2, the Filipino Student Association (FSA) hosted a benefit concert to raise money for those affected. Corinne Casino, FSA President, said that she was approached by her cousins who live in St. Louis to put on a benefit concert, and after word got out, other SLU organizations were more than willing to help out the cause.
With the help of her family, Casino was able to provide speakers such as Fr. Manny Cruizon to open and close the ceremony. The event included a musical performance from a Filipino-American choir and participation from certain SLU organizations such as Astha A Cappella, Bare Naked Statues, XQuizit, SLU Tai Chi Society, and SLU Karate.
“Since the magnitude of Super Typhoon Haiyan is so huge, everyone knows about this natural disaster,” said Casino. “I have had people willingly ask me if there is anything that FSA is doing to support the cause, and if they could help out. I think that people are aware of this issue and are looking for ways to aid the typhoon victims, so they [were] more than willing to attend this benefit concert.”
Casino also said that this benefit concert was a great way to showcase some of SLU organizations to those who may not know about them for a great cause. The overall purpose of the concert was to raise awareness about the consequences that a natural disaster can have on a nation. For developing countries like the Philippines, the effects can be more detrimental and widespread.
“Relief organizations are calling on us as Americans to provide aid to a country in need. While we are trying to shed light on this disaster, the benefit concert also shows the unity and compassion of the SLU community, as many people have come together to help out a common cause,” added Casino.
“I take great concern for those affected by the typhoon,” stated sophomore Mahiwish Ahsan, an attendee of the concert. “Helping those affected does not stop just by going to the concert. There are others ways to get involved such as the Red Cross to help those in need. Natural disasters happen everywhere, and that means everyone should help.”
The FSA greatly thanks those who participated in the concert and encourages people to continue to support relief efforts.