LIHUE — Boyd Phillips has been to the Philippines.
He has met many people there. His wife, Lani, is Filipino. Those are just a few of the reasons the Hanamaulu man joined a crowd of about 50 for a prayer vigil and rally Friday evening outside the Historic County Building.
“It’s a disaster over there and they need all the help they can get,” Phillips said. “It’s really a heart-breaking situation.”
In his trips to the Philippines, he’s found the people there friendly and caring. He hopes locals do all they can to help them.
“If you’ve never been there you need to go, so you can see the people yourself,” Phillips said. “Even in desperate times, they’re still nice people.”
Randy Francisco, president of the Kauai Chamber of Commerce, said Kauai is, as usual, answering the call.
“I can tell you in the years I’ve been here, Kauai has always responded with the highest aloha, the deepest respect and the greatest honor,” he said. “Because it’s not about how much. It’s about how many of us.”
Donations are coming in.
Falko Partners donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross. Shawn Smith, of Falko Partners, said they are committed to doing all they can for the Filipino community devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
“I wish we could do more,” he said.
Syngenta Hawaii and First Hawaiian Bank have announced donations of $100,000 to benefit those in the Philippines.
“In less than a week, this is what we are,” Francisco said. “Many are offering to help.”
Money and prayers are needed most.
“One goal is to help spread our aloha, to share the spirit we have all the way to the Philippines,” said Marynel Valenzuela, president of the Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce.
Ernie Pasion, recently installed as the 2014 President of the Diocesan Congress of Filipino Catholic Clubs, offered a prayer.
“We pray for our fellow Filipinos, whose lives suffered the wrath of Typhoon Haiyan,” he said.
“Give them courage to face the long road to recovery, give them enough grace to accept your will, despite their huge losses.”
Pasion said nothing can take away or destroy the faith of those in the Philippines.
“Where there is faith, there is hope,” he said.
Virgie Cruzada, president of the Kauai Visayan Club, prayed for enough financial support to come in to help the victims start a new life — some with their loves ones, some without.
She concluded with a final prayer, “that victims of this calamity who continue to suffer may find comfort and put their hope in the glory which shines from the cross, and may they find their liberation by casting all their cares on the Lord our God. May they always hold on to peace and calm in spite of their trials.”