Carlo Balagasay has been watching coverage of Typhoon Haiyan that struck the small village he was born and raised in just outside of Tacloban, Philippines.
“It was completely devastated — actually 98 per cent of the village is gone,” Balagasay said of the village.
“Two houses remain. Luckily, one of them is my house.”
People in the Philippines are struggling to clean up the aftermath of the typhoon.
“There is barely any relief going there, I’m not surprised. They are pretty much fending for themselves,” explained Balagasay.
While he currently lives in Scarborough, he says it’s been difficult to watch his people struggle from so far away.
Relief efforts and supplies have been sent to the Philippines by organizations across the world, but Balagasay says that the supplies aren’t reaching all areas in need yet.
“Maybe in the main cities, yes, but the small towns that actually need it, that have ten times less infrastructure and government aid than those bigger cities, [they’re] not getting anything.”
A fundraiser is being held by Balagasay on Sunday at Strength-N-U Fitness in Scarborough to raise money for the relief efforts, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross.
“We have to get the community involved and get the awareness out that this is a huge thing.” Balagasay said.
The fundraiser includes hot yoga, body blitz, muay thai and lift classes for $10 donations, as well as hair cuts and T-shirts.
For more information on this event, click here.
The Filipino Centre, located at 597 Parliament St., Suite 103 in Toronto, is also accepting canned goods and cash donations to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.