Filipino community leader tells of plans to fundraise for victims
DUBLIN-based Jun Bibat had to wait six agonising days to learn that his family had survived Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
The 48-year-old father of five and president of the Filipino association in Beaumont, said he was "over the moon" when his brother Jojo (50) managed to make contact.
Haiyan has left nearly 600,000 people homeless, and 20,000 are missing. The UN put the latest death toll at almost 5,000.
Mr Bibat said it had been "mental torture" watching TV reports from the region.
Members of his large family live in Tacloban, Ormoc city and eastern Samar, all of which were devastated.
His brother was the one who confirmed everybody was safe when he rang on Thursday morning, though some of the siblings have lost their homes and possessions.
His other siblings – Annabelle, Didigh, Noemi, Sarah, Orbha and Leah – and his mother Luz have all been affected by the typhoon.
Mr Bibat, who works in Nicky's Plaice, a fish shop in Howth, and his colleagues will be involved in fundraising this weekend.
His boss, Martin McLaughlin, said: "I have a fridge full of fish donated by the fishermen. We've been given a stall free of charge. My staff and staff on the pier are giving up their time."
They will be at Howth Market on the pier from 10am to 6pm today and tomorrow and hope to raise around €10,000 for victims of the disaster.