"No news is good news" - CQ Filipinos hope as they wait
THE Filipino community in Rockhampton is hoping no news is good news following the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that hit southern and central parts of the Philippines last Friday.
Yesterday Norman Garden's Onie Horfilla was still waiting to hear from his brother Edgardo, who lived at the centre of Haiyan's destruction - Tolosa, near Tacloban City, 580km south-east of Manila.
Onie had sent Edgardo and his family countless text messages in the past few days with no reply.
However, Onie and Edgardo's other brother Luciano, based in the Middle East, had organised to fly to Manila yesterday to see if he could contact family members.
"As soon as he gets to Manila, he will try and squeeze on the military plane to Leyte...if our family are gone, there will be no rush to get there, but if they need support we might end up going over as well," Onie said.
Central Queensland Filipino Australian Association president Joey Mora said about four Rockhampton families had been directly affected by the typhoon and while families were on tenterhooks waiting for good news, they were braced for the worst possible scenario.
Communication lines with the Philippines had been cut making it impossible for any of the victims to make contact with anyone so there was still hope yet for the families.
About 2000 Filipinos live in CQ, and that number is increasing.
"Since 2006, when the 457 Visa opened up there has been an influx of skilled migrants - mostly tradespeople and professionals, including welders, technicians, meatworkers as well as doctors and nurses," Joey said.
He added about 200 families were members of the CQ Filipino Australian Association, who were in the process of planning fundraising events to raise money for the typhoon victims.
From December 1, the Filipino community would go Christmas carolling, and ask for money to go towards the victims and there would be an account opened for people wishing to donate to the cause.
CQFAA vice president Remy Conway will travel to the Philippines in mid-December, and she will take any money raised with her.
On Sunday, 10am mass at St Joseph's Cathedral will be dedicated to the typhoon victims and Filipino community. A morning tea will follow mass.
To donate money to typhoon victims, phone Joey on 0431 229 601 or Remy on 0408 075 906.