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Southeast Texans with family in Philippines react to Typhoon Haiyan
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
People around the world are rallying to help Filipinos recover from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan. The death toll continues to rise, most recent estimates are now at around 2,000, and aid workers say as many as 10 million need shelter, clean water, and food.
Members of the Philippine Nurses Association Golden Triangle Chapter, and the Philippine Association of Beaumont, plan to raise money to help typhoon victims.
Ray Peregrino, Babette Aguiling, and Joy Angulo are members of both organizations. The three of them work at Baptist Beaumont Hospital. Each one of them has family living in the Philippines, and all of them are alright.
"Thank you Jesus, yes they are," said Aguiling. "We live in the city and the city usually is a little bit more sturdy. The houses are built there with cinder blocks and galvanized iron roofs, but the surrounding towns, the rural areas are really hard hit."
During the typhoon, Peregrino, Aguiling, and Angulo kept in contact.
"We were all actually texting each other until one o'clock in the morning, making sure our families are safe," said Aguiling.
All three of them have a difficult time watching news footage of the devastation caused by Haiyan.
"I can't even watch it anymore," said Peregrino. "It's just a little too much. It's not easy to take, especially when you feel like there's somebody that you know who's family has just passed away."
One of Joy Angulo's employees at Baptist Beaumont Hospital lost relatives to the typhoon.
"His grandparents and his aunt were found in the roof dead, and he didn't hear about it for after two days, because there's no communication, there's no electricity, there's no cellphone," said Angulo.
"Everybody really tried to evacuate, but there's really nowhere to go," said Aguiling. "It's an island, it's not like here where if Beaumont gets hit you can run to Dallas and you're safe."
Peregrino says typhoons are a part of life in the Philippines.
"When we were younger, if there was typhoons we would really jump in joy because there was no school," said Peregrino. "But this typhoon is really huge."
"This is different. This one is different, and I think a lot of people just underestimated the power of this one," said Aguiling.
The typhoon has caused death and destruction across much of the Philippines. Peregrino says survivors need help.
"People who don't even have houses are up and around helping others in the Philippines, and they need that little push to get them going," said Peregrino.
A push Beaumont based Filipino organizations hope to help provide.
"We're so far from them and the only support we can give right now are prayers and financial support for them," said Aguiling.
"Right now there are so many hearts that are broken, all we need right now is healing, and it will take time," said Angulo.
If you'd like to contact the Philippine Nurses Association, Golden Triangle Chapter, follow this link to their Facebook page.
If you'd like to contact the Philippine Association of Beaumont, Texas, follow this link to their Facebook page.