FILIPINO-AMERICANS FELT HURRICANE IRMA'S WRATH IN FLORIDA
Nearly two dozen mostly Filipino senior citizens weathered Hurricane Irma at the NANAY Community Center in North Miami, Florida before returning home. When Irma hit Florida, Marion Faldas, 57, did what he always does. He
kept open the doors at the NANAY Community Center in North Miami, just in case
some people needed shelter.
The senior center, wasn’t a designated shelter, but those who rely on
it daily just wanted to stay there when Irma hit–even if they were just
outside of a mandatory evacuation zone.
Twenty people showed up, of all ages, including a 93-year-old.
“Some folks just wanted to be there with people they knew to ride out
the storm,” Faldas told me by phone. “There’s a comfort level.”
Faldas said most people were housed on the second floor, in the event
of flooding. But as the storm shifted away from the east coast of
Florida, and toward the western coast on the gulf side, Faldas said the
only thing noticeable was the howl of Irma.
“It was a whistling sound,” he told me about the morning period
between 7 a.m. EDT and 11 a.m. EDT when the wind and rain came down
hard. “Always a whistling sound.”
Irma caused so many downed power lines, that nearly 6 million were
without power in the hot and humid state, including the NANAY Community Center.
Faldas transported the residents back to their homes on Monday.
For the most part there was no problems, except for one senior who sustained roof damage to their trailer.
“This was the worst I’ve experienced,” said Faldas, who immigrated
from South Cotabato in Mindanao in 1989, and is in South Florida,
with practically his whole family, from parents, grandparents, cousins
He’s a model of American immigration from the Philippines.
He even declared Hurricane Irma as about the same as the typhoon that hit
Tacloban even though technically the winds of hurricane Irma did not top Hurricane Haiyan/Yolanda’s 196 miles per hour.
“I would say almost the same as what happened with Yolanda,” Faldas
said. “But in the U.S. we have a good monitoring process, so we were
ready days before it happened.”
No matter how well prepared people were for Irma, the hurricane did
its best to confound tracking, beginning with a strike at the tip of the
Florida Keys, zig-zagging the state and then causing massive flooding
in Jacksonville at the top of the state.
NANAY Community Center founder Joyce Bruce sustained minor damage to her home when the
winds cracked the wall and allowed water to seep into her fourth floor
condo in Ft. Lauderdale.
It didn’t even matter whether you were in an evacuation zone or not.
Filipino American Joy Bruce, head of the NANAY Community Center stayed in her
condo in nearby Fort Lauderdale, while Faldas made sure the shelter was
As it turned out, she wasn’t safe from Irma’s fury.
“The wind was so strong it cracked the wall and water seeped in, and
on to the floors,” Bruce said Monday, while she and the whole state
cleaned up after Irma.
She was sopping up the water when I talked to her, though the floors were already warped and damaged.
Bruce lived through Hurricane Andrew in 1992 when she resided in
Kendall, one of the hardest hit areas during that disaster. “We were
pushing the door just to keep the wind from coming in,” she said as she
recalled Andrew, realizing that Irma was different for her. “We prepared
ourselves but thank God, it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. “
She said she learned a lesson from Hurricane Andrew. When forecasters picked
Miami as the hardest to be hit, she let friends come stay with her in
Kendall. But then the Andrew shifted and Kendall was demolished.
“Doesn’t matter where you go,” Bruce said. “If God is going to
destroy us, he’s going to destroy us, no matter where we go. Good is
good right now, he decided to save us from harm.”
It may be days before we discover all the damage from Irma, but it has kept us in the moment.
Emil Guillermo is a journalist and commentator. Reach him at http://www.twitter.com/emilamok
FILIPINO-AMERICAN COMMUNITY CELEBRATES NATIONAL HOMELESS PERSONS' MEMORIAL DAY, HOLDS MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR VICTIMS OF CATASTROPHIC NATURAL DISASTERS IN THE PHILIPPINES
On December 20, 2015, The South Florida Filipino-American
), NANAY Inc (www.nanay.com
) and Drewmarc Mulligan Ministries
) will be holding a special Memorial Service beginning at
4:00pm to celebrate the National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day; to remember
those homeless Floridians who have died on our streets or in our emergency
shelters from illness or conditions directly related to their homelessness;
and, to pray for the safety, health and wellbeing of those who were rendered
homeless by catastrophic natural disasters in the Philippines. With the NANAY Youth Council taking the lead,
the event will be held at NANAY Community Center located at 659 NE 125 Street,
North Miami, Florida 33161 and will be followed by a dinner reception to celebrate
the Christmas holiday season and the spirit of gift-giving. For more information please contact NANAY Youth Council at 305-981-3232 (Marc-Eli Faldas, Coordinator).
FILIPINO-AMERICAN COMMUNITY CELEBRATES NATIONAL HOMELESS PERSONS' MEMORIAL DAY, HOLDS MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR TYPHOON
HAIYAN (YOLANDA) VICTIMS
December 3, 2013 – North
Miami, Florida. In the Philippines, the effects of the devastation caused
by the strongest storm recorded at landfall have created a state of
homelessness and despair that will be felt for years to come. According
to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),
the number of people made homeless in the Philippines by the devastating Super
Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda had risen to 1.9 million (http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/philippines-homeless-from-typhoon-hits-1-9-million-1.2429083
) and 3 million people have been
displaced, with 371,000 people currently living in 1,086 evacuation centers and
2.7 million people displaced elsewhere.
The Philippine government says 9.8 million have been affected in 44 provinces,
539 municipalities and 56 cities. Of
those affected, 4.9 million are children; 1.5 million are children under the
age of five; 3,637 have died,
12,501 have been injured and 1,186
are still missing (http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/17/21496134-typhoon-haiyan-a-crisis-by-the-numbers?lite).
Each year since 1990, on or near December
21st, the National Coalition for the
Homeless has sponsored National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day to bring
attention to the tragedy of homelessness in the nation. In 2012, over 150 communities
representing 40 states participated in this Annual event to help commemorate
the lives of homeless people and to increase awareness about the serious
implications of homelessness,
particularly among youth who are exiting the justice system, transitioning from
foster care, or living on their own without family or governmental support. According to the latest
information from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are
633,782 homeless people in cities throughout the United States. In 2012, 55,000
Floridians were living with no permanent residency.
December 21, 2013, NANAY Community Economic Development Corporation (NANAY
CEDC) (www.nanay.com), Drewmarc Mulligan Ministries (www.drewmarc.org) and The South Florida
Filipino-American Fellowship (www.sffaf.org) will be holding a special Memorial Service
at 11:30 am to celebrate the National Homeless Persons’ Memorial
Day; to remember those homeless Floridians who have
died on our streets or in our emergency shelters from illness or conditions
directly related to their homelessness; and,
to pray for the safety, health and wellbeing of those who were rendered
homeless by the catastrophic Super Typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda in the
Philippines. The event will be held at NANAY
Community Center located at 659 NE 125 Street, North Miami, Florida, and will
be followed by a lunch reception to also celebrate the Christmas holiday season
and the spirit of gift-giving.
PLEASE JOIN US AND TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO REMEMBER THOSE WHO HAVE
DIED AND THOSE WHO ARE STILL SUFFERING FROM
HOMELESSNESS IN OUR COMMUNITY.
DONATIONS FOR RECONSTRUCTION PROJECTS IN THE PHILIPPINES WILL BE
COLLECTED RIGHT AFTER THE MEMORIAL SERVICE.
ALTERNATIVELY, YOU MAY SEND YOUR DONATIONS TO:
659 NE 125
Miami, FL 33161
For Further Information, Please Contact:
Marc-Eli Medina Faldas
VETERANS AND HOMELESSNESS
Feb. 24, 2011 (Bristol Bay Times) - Bill Would Fight Homelessness Among Veterans