IGLESIA NI CRISTO HOLDS GLOBAL CHARITY WALK FOR 'YOLANDA' VICTIMS

HUNDREDS of thousands of members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) took to the streets in
Manila on Saturday in a charity walk to raise funds for survivors of the country’s deadliest typhoon. Members of the INC poured into Roxas Blvd. in response to the politically influential sect’s appeal to help compatriots caught up by Super Typhoon Yolanda’s onslaught. All those taking part bought special white t-shirts, costing P250 to wear during the march, with all proceeds from sales of the garment being donated to help those in need, pensioner Laodiseo Santos, 78, told Agence France-Presse. “I paid for this T-shirt to help our countrymen rebuild their homes . . . Some of our wealthier members purchased in bulk,” he said.

ALSO: Iglesia ni Cristo charity walk for Yolanda victims aims to set world record

Around one million Iglesia Ni Cristo members are expected to participate in the INC walkathon for Super Typhoon Yolanda victims as they attempt to break a world record as the largest charity walk early Saturday. INC members participating in the 1.6-kilometer Worldwide Walk for Yolanda Victims assembled 7 a.m. at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City. Clad in uniform white shirts, participants in Manila and from other provinces simultaneously inaugurated the “Largest Charity Walk in 24 hours,” which would be also staged in 55 sites worldwide.

AND: INC bags Guinness for walkathon

The Guinness World Record announced that the Iglesia ni Cristo is the new record holder of the biggest charity walk in a single venue, with 175,000 INC members pouring into Manila’s seaside avenue yesterday to join the Worldwide Walk aimed to raise funds for Typhoon Yolanda survivors. Guinness adjudicator Kristy Bennet said INC beat Singapore’s The New Paper Big Walk 2000 that had 77,500 participants on May 21, 2000. “INC, you are officially amazing,” Bennet said when she announced the result at the Quirino Grandstand last night. The INC’s Worldwide Walk kicked off at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and ended at the footbridge along Roxas Boulevard near the United States embassy. All those taking part bought special white t-shirts each costing P250 to wear during the march, with all the proceeds donated to help the typhoon victims.

ALSO: Red Cross looking for land for ‘Yolanda’ victims’ homes

Building “better” houses for the families displaced by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” last November remains a challenge for the senior officials of the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Movement who were in Manila for a two-day meeting on the long-term recovery plan for the devastated areas in the Visayas. “The problem is to find land on which we could build,” Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chair Richard Gordon told a news conference on Thursday. Gordon, a former senator, said the PRC was relying on efforts of the government to find land for its housing program. So far, the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Movement have raised 300 million Swiss francs (P15 billion) for the project. Gordon said the National Housing Authority had identified 50 hectares of land that could be a location for the PRC houses for the typhoon survivors.

ALSO: 10,000 balloons for Yolanda victims

Gone but not forgotten. Survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda spread out about 10,000 red and white balloons on a 12-kilometer stretch of the coastal area in Tacloban City to symbolize not only a day of love but also of remembrance of those who were killed by the strongest typhoon to hit land in recent history. Tropino Esperas, a 41-year-old soldier, was one of the survivors who honored the departed in Tacloban City. Esperas’ elder brother, Salvador, was among the more than 6,000 people in Eastern Visayas who lost their lives when the disaster struck on Nov. 8, 2013. “My brother may have died but he will always be remembered. This day is not only a day of remembering but also of showing how we miss and love him,” he said.


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INC holds global charity walk for ‘Yolanda’ victims


Iglesia ni Cristo members fill up the stretch of Roxas Blvd. in Manila. An estimated 400,000 people joined the charity walk staged by the religious group to raise funds for Yolanda victims. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

MANILA, FEBRUARY 17, 2014 (MANILA TIMES) HUNDREDS of thousands of members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) took to the streets in Manila on Saturday in a charity walk to raise funds for survivors of the country’s deadliest typhoon.

Members of the INC poured into Roxas Blvd. in response to the politically influential sect’s appeal to help compatriots caught up by Super Typhoon Yolanda’s onslaught.

All those taking part bought special white t-shirts, costing P250 to wear during the march, with all proceeds from sales of the garment being donated to help those in need, pensioner Laodiseo Santos, 78, told Agence France-Presse.

“I paid for this T-shirt to help our countrymen rebuild their homes . . . Some of our wealthier members purchased in bulk,” he said.

The retired cashier, his five grown-up sons and daughters as well as several grandchildren completed a three-kilometer walk in late morning.

Police estimated the crowd at about 200,000, though the figure could not be independently confirmed.

Yolanda tore across 171 towns and cities in central Visayas on November 8 last year, killing at least 6,200 people and leaving nearly 2,000 others missing, according to an official count.

The typhoon, one of the strongest ever to hit land, also left more than four million people homeless.

Many of them are still living in tents and other temporary shelters supplied by an international humanitarian effort led by the United Nations.

“This is an organized march, and there have been no untoward incidents,” said Chief Insp. Alejandro Yanquiling, a senior Manila police officer who oversaw security for the event.

The INC has at least three million members in the largely Catholic nation of 100 million.

The conservative sect is courted by politicians because its members tend to vote as a block.
AFP

Iglesia ni Cristo charity walk for Yolanda victims aims to set world record By Julliane Love De Jesus INQUIRER.net


Iglesia ni Cristo members stage a Worldwide Walk for the victims of super typhoon “Yolanda” in Luneta Park on Friday, Feb. 15.

MANILA, Philippines—Around one million Iglesia Ni Cristo members are expected to participate in the INC walkathon for Super Typhoon Yolanda victims as they attempt to break a world record as the largest charity walk early Saturday.

INC members participating in the 1.6-kilometer Worldwide Walk for Yolanda Victims assembled 7 a.m. at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City.

Clad in uniform white shirts, participants in Manila and from other provinces simultaneously inaugurated the “Largest Charity Walk in 24 hours,” which would be also staged in 55 sites worldwide.

The organizers said in United States, the walk will be held in 34 sites; 10 in New Zealand and Australia, six in Europe and five in Asia.

Two days before the walkathon, the Manila District Traffic Enforcement Unit sought the cooperation of motorists as it closes some major roads in Manila.

‎In a statement, the INC said the walk for a cause aims to raise funds for the construction of new homes for families affected by the destructive typhoon, especially in Tacloban and Leyte.

In a previous Philippine Daily Inquirer report, it said the religious sect has established at least 60 houses for the Yolanda victims.

Yolanda hit Visayas on November 8 last year claimed‎ more than 6,000 lives.

FROM PHILSTAR

INC bags Guinness for walkathon By Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 16, 2014 - 12:00am 1 3 googleplus0 0


Thousands of Iglesia ni Cristo members join the ‘Worldwide Walk’ for Typhoon Yolanda victims along Roxas Boulevard in Manila yesterday. JOVEN CAGANDE

MANILA, Philippines - The Guinness World Record announced that the Iglesia ni Cristo is the new record holder of the biggest charity walk in a single venue, with 175,000 INC members pouring into Manila’s seaside avenue yesterday to join the Worldwide Walk aimed to raise funds for Typhoon Yolanda survivors.

Guinness adjudicator Kristy Bennet said INC beat Singapore’s The New Paper Big Walk 2000 that had 77,500 participants on May 21, 2000.

“INC, you are officially amazing,” Bennet said when she announced the result at the Quirino Grandstand last night.

The INC’s Worldwide Walk kicked off at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and ended at the footbridge along Roxas Boulevard near the United States embassy.

All those taking part bought special white t-shirts each costing P250 to wear during the march, with all the proceeds donated to help the typhoon victims.

“We would like to collect extra funds in order to continue helping the survivors of the super typhoon, of which the primary beneficiaries would be members of the church in the Visayas region, but that does not mean that they would be the only ones who would benefit from the funds generated… From the proceeds of the walk we would do the same even for the non-members,” said INC event spokesman Edwil Zabala.

The INC’s Worldwide Walk is also competing for the largest charity walk in a 24-hour continuous worldwide walk in multiple venues.

The current record holder is the one organized by the Green Communities in Canada that had 231,635 participants who walked for a minimum of one kilometer at 1,011 different locations in Canada on Oct. 2, 2007.

For the Worldwide Walk, the INC identified 140 sites including Metro Manila for the multiple sites category, of which 85 sites are in the Philippines and 55 sites are in other countries: 34 in the United States, six in Europe, 10 in Australia, and five in Asia.

Zabala said the 24-hour continuous walk started in New Zealand at 2 a.m. Philippine time yesterday and would end in Hawaii at 1 a.m. Philippine time today.

The Guinness is yet to announce the result for the largest charity walk in the multiple venues category.

About 800 policemen from the Manila Police District and the National Capital Region Police Office were deployed at the INC event. Based on MPD’s estimate, there were about 1.5 million people in the area, including the marshals.

Chief Senior Superintendent Gilbert Cruz, directorial staff of the MPD, said no untoward incident in connection with the event was monitored.

With the total closure of a stretch of Roxas Boulevard and several adjacent streets, the volume of traffic in Manila yesterday was lighter than expected. Classes in affected areas in Manila were suspended yesterday.

Chief Inspector Olivia Sagaysay, head of Manila’s traffic police, likened the flow of vehicles to that of a “regular day.”

She said although the traffic flow on Roxas Boulevard and other roads near the venue was affected, the participants cooperated with the police, making it easier for the authorities to handle the traffic situation. – With Aie Balagtas See, Eva Visperas

Red Cross looking for land for ‘Yolanda’ victims’ homes By Niña P. Calleja Philippine Daily Inquirer 8:56 am | Saturday, February 15th, 2014


Former Sen. Richard Gordon. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Building “better” houses for the families displaced by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” last November remains a challenge for the senior officials of the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Movement who were in Manila for a two-day meeting on the long-term recovery plan for the devastated areas in the Visayas.

“The problem is to find land on which we could build,” Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chair Richard Gordon told a news conference on Thursday.

Gordon, a former senator, said the PRC was relying on efforts of the government to find land for its housing program.

So far, the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Movement have raised 300 million Swiss francs (P15 billion) for the project.

Gordon said the National Housing Authority had identified 50 hectares of land that could be a location for the PRC houses for the typhoon survivors.

He said that after finding land for the project, the international organizations helping in the recovery efforts must build better houses that could withstand winds up to 250 kilometers per hour.

“We would like to build homes that we think can withstand [powerful typhoons but are not] exorbitant [in price],” Gordon said, adding that each house will cost P250,000.

He said the PRC planned to build at least 30,000 houses for the typhoon survivors.

The PRC intends to complete the housing project before the end of the year, but Gordon said that would be impossible because of the long typhoon season.

In the meantime, Gordon said the survivors would be staying in temporary shelters that the Red Cross had provided them.

Gordon said the PRC would follow the “no-build zone” policy of the Aquino administration for areas within 40 meters of shorelines.

With Gordon at the news conference was Jagan Chapagain, director of the International Federation of Red Cross, the world’s largest humanitarian network.

“The challenges are enormous. It will take a couple of years for the recovery. It will not be a quick solution,” Chapagain said.

A Red Cross assessment of the typhoon-ravaged areas found that poverty is delaying recovery. The assessment team recommended a focus on shelter and livelihood for greater impact.

“Communities have shown extraordinary resolve in rebuilding their lives after this disaster, which has decimated thousands of livelihood,” said Alain Aeschlimann, the International Committee of the Red Cross’ head of operations for the Asia-Pacific region.

“We are seeking to help the most vulnerable, often located in more remote, inaccessible areas where aid does not always easily reach them,” he said.

10,000 balloons for Yolanda victims By Joey Gabieta Inquirer Visayas


HEARTFELT Residents and survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” put finishing touches to a giant heart-shaped lantern displayed in Tacloban City’s coastal area. AFP

Gone but not forgotten.

Survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda spread out about 10,000 red and white balloons on a 12-kilometer stretch of the coastal area in Tacloban City to symbolize not only a day of love but also of remembrance of those who were killed by the strongest typhoon to hit land in recent history.

Tropino Esperas, a 41-year-old soldier, was one of the survivors who honored the departed in Tacloban City. Esperas’ elder brother, Salvador, was among the more than 6,000 people in Eastern Visayas who lost their lives when the disaster struck on Nov. 8, 2013.

“My brother may have died but he will always be remembered. This day is not only a day of remembering but also of showing how we miss and love him,” he said.

Esperas said his brother died because he chose to stay in their house at Barangay 88 in San Jose district. The huge storm surge generated by the supertyphoon’s strong winds destroyed their house and killed Salvador.

Salvador’s family had evacuated to Tacloban Convention Center to seek temporary shelter. They have remained in the center to this day.


A balloon for remembering. Photo by Jenny Reyes, ABS-CBN News

The 10,000 red and white balloons, held on sticks in soft drink bottles, represented the number of people believed to have perished in the aftermath of Yolanda.

The occasion, called “Keep the Love Alive,” was held despite intermittent rain showers.

Based on the report of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, more than 6,000 people died during the storm, about 2,606 of them from Tacloban, considered ground zero of Yolanda.

Jeff Manibay, who is behind One Tacloban, organizer of the event, said the occasion was both a day to remember the survivors’ departed loved ones as well as to express gratitude for the enormous help the city received, especially from international donors and foundations.


Residents of Tacloban City line up on roadsides from the airport all the way to the city proper bearing 10,000 balloons to commemorate the 100th day of typhoon Yolanda. Written on the balloons are the names of those who died in the disaster. Photo by Jenny Reyes, ABS-CBN News

“We are all Christians and it is part of our tradition to remember them and to continue looking for missing loved ones so they could be given proper burial,” said Manibay, a radio broadcaster who lost his parents in the supertyphoon.

Written on the balloons were the names of the people killed and the organizations that extended assistance as well as the words “Keep the Love Alive.”

The balloons were placed at the roadside from San Jose to Anibong district.

San Jose and Anibong districts are considered to be the worst-hit areas by Yolanda due to sheer damage to properties and loss of lives.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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