Guam resident recalls disaster in Philippines - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam resident recalls disaster in Philippines

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - It's been over a week since Supertyphoon Yolanda ravaged her way through the Philippines leaving thousands dead and thousands more injured and missing. One Guam resident came forward to share her account of the disaster area and the continued efforts here at home to help our brothers and sisters in the Philippines recover.

Annie Payne was in Singapore attending a convention when she first learned about Yolanda. "I turned on the TV and Aklan is in disaster, it's showing there," she said. The news hit close to home literally as Payne has family living in Libacao, Aklan - an area just a half hour plane ride from Tacloban - the hardest hit city. She immediately called her niece.

She recalled, "She broke out and she said, Auntie, my mom, doesn't have a house anymore."

Aklan is just one of several areas declared a state of national calamity and while Payne had planned a vacation after the convention, the news moved things up. She immediately made her way to Manila where she describes the airport like a refugee camp as all domestic flights had been cancelled leaving many stranded. She proceeded to Boracay and two towns out witnessed the devastation.

"Houses is crashed in the ground, people don't have a roof in their head, coconuts are already twisted, they are just standing without roots and without leaves 1008 so I saw those devastations up to our province, our town," she told KUAM News. "When I arrived to the city, my house, the left side of the roof was gone, but I am okay with that."

And while none of Payne's family were harmed, not everyone was as fortunate. Payne says she rented five motorcycles as it was the only transportation capable of getting through the heavy debris and with the groceries she had purchased in Manila, did her best to help feed close to 200 families. Payne, who currently lives in Dededo, just returned this past Saturday.

She was on hand today where the Filipino Community of Guam was accepting donations aside from the over $100,000 in funds donated in the past week. FCOG president Roy Adonay said, "We're also asking people, it's not only money when it comes to helping people but it's actually manpower because we need to be able to sort out this thing, we need to put them in proper boxes so it will be ready to be shipped off to the Philippines."

And while Adonay says he's not surprised by the generosity of the people of Guam, Payne says she truly grateful for the support. "We are very touched, and very happy that people in here, my Kababayans are very warm hearted, they think about us," said the president.

Donations such as canned goods, clothing and hygiene products are being accepted at the FCOG community center in Dededo along Bello Road for the victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda. 

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