As some of you may know, my husband John and my brother Chris run a watersports company called 250K Kiteboarding. They operate kitesurf safaris out of a tiny 2-hectare island in Culion, Northern Palawan.
When Haiyan, the biggest storm on earth crossed the Philippines just days ago, that little island lay directly in the path of its eye. We could only expect the worst. Amazingly, thanks to our brave and dependable staff there (and my awesome brother Chris who made sure to tie everything down!) nothing on the island was damaged and more importantly, NO ONE WAS INJURED. It was nearly 3 days before we heard word from the island staff, but we are relieved to know they are all alive and well. My brother Chris is now focused on helping others who lost so much more in this tragedy. He is greatly involved with relief work on the ground, coordinating, etc.
Small towns such as Culion (south of Coron) in Palawan have suffered terribly. Ninety percent of the coastal homes no longer exist. Our staff’s and friends’ homes are now just posts, the elementary school no longer has a roof over their classrooms, cement structures are the only things left standing in this small, coastal town. There is minimal communication because of a collapsed signal tower. Many of the boats have sank or are heavily damaged which means fishing for their daily sustenance as well as travelling to buy diesel for generators is now limited. Resources are running low. Coron town where many of the residents of Culion go to for replenishment is also running very low on supplies. You get the picture.
The international media has been covering other places in the country, but almost no one has heard of Culion. The navy and military is already on the scene in Coron town, the main port of Palawan, but in disaster situations like this, a common problem is proper infrastructure and coordination. Distribution of goods is difficult, and often does not reach the little islands way out there. This is where we on the ground and sea can go and help.
This afternoon, Chris is meeting with the town mayor to micromanage relief, assess the situation and prepare a detailed list of items needed in the most desperate places. Then we will be chartering a sea vessel to bring goods to the thousands affected by Typhoon Haiyan. We will update you as we hear back firsthand from him.
Here are ways you can personally donate to Operation Reach Culion, I can personally pass on donations and you can scan the bank receipt and email me when you have sent your help. Those in the Philippines can drop off goods at our collection point in Makati, pls PM me for details.
On behalf of my brother and all the rescue teams out there right now, THANK YOU for helping us reach Culion and those affected by this disaster.
+63 9999 700012
Or email me for details of options for BDO, CHINATRUST, and BPI transfers.