They might be on the otherside of the world, but they still want to help.
UBCO students came together to raise funds for their friends, family, and others affected by the Taal Volcano that erupted in the Philippines, on Jan. 12.
The eruption has directly affected the province of Batangas, where the volcano is situated, just 50 kilometres south of the national capital Manila. Other affected provinces include Cavite and Laguna. Philippine media show neighbourhoods and towns near the volcano buried in ash and mud. Areas near the volcano, including Manila, experienced ashfall, which is dangerous when inhaled.
On Jan. 21, the UBCO’s Filipino Students Association (FSA) organized the dessert fundraiser. FSA executive member Chelsea Bigsot said the desserts were made by club members, with many being donated by members of Kelowna’s Filipino community.
“We have 18 Filipino desserts… we’re just thrilled with how many desserts we had and how generous people have been because it shows the heart of the Filipino community,” Bigsot said.
Jessica Tipan studies general sciences at the university. She has friends and family from Mataasnakahoy, a town within the 14 kilometre radius of the volcano.
“They’re in the danger zone and they had to evacuate my hometown,” Tipan said.
“This fundraiser means a lot to me because it’ll help not only my family, but my friends and relatives. They need a lot of things, like bottled water, face masks and other necessities.”
She added her friends and family are still in evacuation centres as it’s too dangerous to return for now.
According to reports from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the volcano seems calm but further eruptions may still occur due to continued magma movement. It’s unclear what will happen next or when residents will be able to go back to their homes.
As for Tipan’s friends and family, she said they might have a rough go when they go back to their town.
“Definitely, they’ll have to restart once they go back. Our town received a lot of ashfall, which did a lot of damage everywhere, especially to parts of the town closer to the lake (and the volcano),” she said.
“They don’t have houses to go back to, so they’d really have to restart.”