Irish support for Filipinos has ‘touched hearts’

Praise for Irish support to the Philippines

The Irish people have been thanked for their support for the Filipino community in Ireland in the wake of super-typhoon Haiyan.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic this week, Fr Alberto Escoto, a Divine Word Missionary priest working with his fellow Filipinos in Ireland said Irish people have shown a solidarity with his community which was greatly appreciated.

“The Irish are doing a lot and the community has been touched by that,” Fr Escoto said, adding that this was not only financial help, “but in words of support from ordinary Irish people. They have touched hearts.”


Fr Escoto, who assisted at last weekend’s Mass for the Filipino community at Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral revealed that a number of Irish Filipinos lost relatives in the disaster, but that the gathering for the Mass showed the “solidarity of the community”.

“We all thank God for those who were spared,” Fr Escoto said, adding that for those still in the Philippines, “the challenge now for them is to rebuild [and] “the challenges for us are the homeless and the jobless, those who have been left with nothing and who must get over the trauma”.

Meanwhile, in a new dispatch from The Philippines, Sr Anne Healy of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary, who has travelled into the disaster area to bring aid, told this newspaper of the current situation locally.

“Most people have nothing and no money to buy anything,” Sr Anne said of the scenes she has witnessed on Leyte Island, where people are now surviving on meagre supplies. She explained that the shortage of supplies reaching remote areas meant families were “receiving just two kilos of rice, a packet of noodles and a tin of sardines” until more food becomes available.

Needs are great

“Please pray as many are still suffering greatly and we cannot reach them all,” she added.

“There is food coming in from other places now but the needs are great.  The situation in Leyte and some of the other areas is becoming worse each day.”