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The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco was joined by the Filipino Community as well as by other concerned individuals in San Francisco, in a holy mass which was offered for the earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda victims on Friday, November 15, 2013 at the Philippine Center Gallery.  The Mass was co-celebrated by Msgr. Antonio Petilla of Palo, Leyte and Rev. Fr. Arnold Zamora and Mark Reburiano of San Francisco.

After the Mass, a briefing on the situation in the Philippines and of the various relief efforts being conducted by different organizations and agencies in the Bay Area followed.  Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon provided the audience with the latest statistics on the casualties and damages brought about by the typhoon.  He also presented the different ways in which people can send their donations to the Philippines, as well as the processes and resources on how Filipinos abroad can find their relatives who might have been affected by the typhoon.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, who was also at the event, expressed his sympathies to the victims and his support to the on-going relief operations, on behalf of the city of San Francisco.  He reiterated the strong partnership between San Francisco and Manila, and stated that the city itself has conducted its own relief operations for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.  They have launched the website, which contains links to organizations where people can send their donations.  Mayor Lee also ceremonially presented a check from the City of San Francisco to Consul General Marciano A. Paynor, Jr., which would benefit the relief operations for the typhoon.

California Assemblymember Phil Ting and Ms. Melissa Apuya from the office of Senator Leland Yee were also present during the briefing to express their sympathies and support.

Photo 1: Mr. Al Perez of the Filipino American Arts Exposition; Photo 2: San Francisco City Mayor Edwin Lee; Photo 3: Representative from the American Red Cross.

Representatives from AT&T and the American Red Cross spoke before the audience and provided information on the activities they are currently undertaking in order to extend assistance to the typhoon victims and their families in the US.  Speakers from the Filipino American Community, such as Ms. Yolanda Stern of the One World Institute, Mr. Al Perez of the Filipino American Arts Exposition, Filipino Americans for Progress, Golden State Warriors Basketball Team, Philippine Aid Network, Bundle of Joy, Save a Tahanan Inc., San Francisco-Manila Sister City Commission, among others, also took the opportunity to brief the audience on the means on how one can help and send donations that would benefit fellow Filipinos who were affected by the calamities.  END.