On December 16, 2011 Typhoon Sendong destructively hit Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City, 800 km south of Manila, Philippines. Overnight, floodwater rose by 3.3 m (11 ft) in less than an hour while the 95-km/hr typhoon caused havoc and landslides. Over 1,200 people died; 500,000 individuals lost all belongings and 15,000 homes were severely damaged.
Whistler has lots of connections with the Philippines. That was one of the reasons why so many have helped. As of Feb.11th, we have shipped eight big boxes that were filled with 500 high school textbooks, blankets and clothing from our community to the disaster relief centre in Cagayan de Oro.
We were overwhelmed with the support from so many individuals. We would not have been successful without the help from teachers at Whistler Secondary School (specially Ms. Norrie and Ms. Shoniker), the Youth Group at our Lady of the Mountain Catholic Church under the leadership of Jeanette Callahan and Arnel Edigo, the Matchett Family (Connor, Christina, Shannon and Brad) and all the generous donors. A huge thank you goes to Marissa Peña of Manila Express in Vancouver. I got in touch with Marissa in January explaining our project and after one email she generously offered to sponsor the sturdy balikbayan (which means "back home") boxes along with the freight from Vancouver to Manila. Through the further assistance of Our Lady of the Mountain parishioners, we are raising funds to cover the freight from Manila to Cagayan de Oro.
Again, a big "Maraming Salamat!" to the donors and everyone who gave a hand to help the victims of Typhoon Sendong.
Anita and Marc Facundo
Mountain safety a priority
I would like to thank Rob Boyd, of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, and Doug Forseth, of Whistler Blackcomb, for their very quick and professional responsive to an incident that occurred on Friday. While skiing on Upper Dave Murray and heading into the Toilet Bowl my ski partners and I came upon four racers tucking over the blind roll onto Toilet Bowl proper. There was a coach spotting the kids; however, the "training session" ended when my ski partners and I intervened and explained in no uncertain terms that race training on a public run, especially in such a usually congested area, should not be occurring.
I mistakenly thought the coach and racers were from the WMSC and sent an email to Rob Boyd. He responded almost immediately and assured me that safety was a priority for the club and that the training of their racers included instruction in when and where it was okay to go fast. He very quickly talked to all his coaches and eventually discovered that the coach involved was from a Lower Mainland club.