About 13,000 kilometres away from the volcano, Filipino Canadians in Toronto are dealing with the aftermath of Taal’s eruption.
Most are worried about loved ones in the region and the future of the volcano. Some are finding ways to help with the situation.
Jerico Ramos, who works at food mart Tindahang Filipino, near Pape and Floyd avenues, said he is helping those affected in region through International Professional Entertainment network (IPEN).
IPEN consists of beauty queens and pageants, Ramos said. “Every Sunday, we do a radio station that connects to the Philippines and we talk about what is happening there. We are doing a fundraiser on Facebook to help send money to the people there.”
Ramos’s family is from the Visayas region, which is south of Taal. Even though the volcanic eruption does not effect his family in any way, he also said they support the people affected. Ramos, along with IPEN are set to go to the Philippines in April.
It has been 55 years since Taal last erupted, back in 1965. Since then, nothing major occurred until Jan. 12.
According to scientific journal Nature, the Taal Volcano erupted with lava and tephra (rock fragments) launched 15 kilometres into the air.
Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from the island where the volcano is located and in nearby provinces, as ash travelled as north as Quezon City, which is about 70 kilometres from Taal.
Even though the volcano has calmed down since the eruption, volcanologist Mariton Bornas told Nature that the worst is yet to come, as the volcano remains at a level 4 (the second highest level for the volcano alert system in the Philippines).
Any hazardous eruption could happen within hours or days, which is why they are keeping a close eye on Taal. Bornas is the head of the division that is monitoring the situation at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) in Quezon City.
Ricky Cuenca is the president of ANCOP (Answer The Cry Of The Poor) Canada, which is an advocacy group for CFC. He is currently in the Philippines helping with rescue efforts from the volcano.
In an email from Cuenca, the total funds received is now amounting to $17,032. ANCOP Canada has remitted an initial amount of $13,100 (and counting) to the Philippines. The money is going to help displace families, especially over 30,000 people, who were. within the 10-mile radius of the blast.
Marilou Sansait, who is a Household Head at CFC HOLD Toronto (Couples For Christ: Handmade Of The Hold) is working with ANCOP. Their goal is to help those in need in developing countries.
“A household head is like a shepherd. There are some people assigned to me. I have to guide them to grow spiritually,” said Sansait, who has been a part of CFC for over 10 years. She is educating members and non-members the importance of life through the Gift of Life ministry. They also do a Womb to Tomb ministry, where there is ministry for every state of life.
According to Couples For Christ Canada, it was founded in 1981 in Manila when a local Christian community wanted to bring married couples closer to God. Since then, CFC has over 10,000 members worldwide in 100 countries.
She said she hopes educating others on the importance of life can help spread awareness of the situation, as well as helping with prayers and donations towards the people of Taal.