Safe from devastation

Rebecca Sevilla is relieved to have heard from her father Ramon (pictured centre below in blue shirt), who travelled to the Philippines before Typhoon Haiyan hit. Picture: Lauren Pilat.
Rebecca Sevilla is relieved to have heard from her father Ramon (pictured centre below in blue shirt), who travelled to the Philippines before Typhoon Haiyan hit. Picture: Lauren Pilat.

The 68-year-old Girrawheen grandfather suffered a stroke shortly after the typhoon and was taken to a hospital where he was unable to be contacted by family in Perth for a week. Ms Sevilla said she finally got through and spoke to her father on Saturday.

‘We can now relax a little bit knowing he is OK,’ she said.

‘We talked briefly because the reception was really bad but it was good to hear his voice. He is expected to come back to Perth today.’

Mr Sevilla travelled to his home country of the Philippines with his wife Annabelle four weeks ago to visit family and was expected to return last week.

Ms Sevilla said her father had family in Ormoc and Leyte, so he went back there frequently with her stepmother to visit.

‘He went back four weeks ago and unfortunately he was a bit ill from the aftershocks of the earthquake, which was four weeks ago, but we knew he was still OK then,’ she said.

The 34-year-old said after the earthquake and typhoon she heard through word of mouth that her father was alive, but needed to speak to him herself.

‘The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said ‘until you speak to him personally he will still be registered as a missing person’,’ she said.

‘Since last Sunday we had been trying to get in contact with him but unfortunately we hadn’t been able to speak to him directly because the communication lines were down.

Ms Sevilla said her cousin on her mother’s side was on Boracay Island for a holiday and couldn’t describe the devastation he saw in words.

‘He saw bodies hanging in trees,’ she said.

‘From what we understand the death toll is around 2500 but that’s people who are somebody’s brother, sister, father, mother, niece, nephew ” it’s devastating.’

– In an effort to help Filipinos impacted by the natural disaster, Ms Sevilla has set up a fundraising initiative.

To donate, go to redcrossfund raising.org.au/Rebecca_sevilla.

– The Filipino-Australian Club of Perth will hold a fundraiser on Saturday, November 23, at its clubhouse on Catherine Street in Bedford at 7pm.

Call James on 0435 304 543.