Vigil and benefit concert planned for people affected by Philippines typhoon

typhoonvigil350A vigil and benefit concert for victims and survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated a wide swath of the Philippines, are being held at UC Berkeley’s International House.

Candles will be lit on the steps of I-House tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 15) at 5:30 p.m. The entire campus community is invited to attend the 30-minute vigil “in solidarity with the victims and survivors,” say the organizers, among them I-House resident Aya Fabros and I-House staffer Larnie Macasieb, both of whom are from the Philippines. Details are available here

“It is impossible to simply watch things unfold without doing something, anything, even from afar,” says Fabros. “I am inspired by the outpouring of initiatives from around the world and within the country, especially from survivors themselves who help each other out despite the tragic loss and continued suffering they have to endure.”

The benefit concert for typhoon relief is being planned for Wednesday, Dec. 4, in I-House’s Chevron Auditorium. More information is posted online here.

Earlier this week, Berkeley Chancellor sent out a message in response to the typhoon-wrought devastation in the Philippines. He wrote:

To Berkeley faculty, staff, students and alumni:

Today our thoughts are with the people of the Philippines as they struggle to cope with the terrible devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful cyclones ever recorded.

We are also reminded that our campus is a global community that includes students, faculty, staff, scholars, alumni and friends with ties to the Philippines. We are currently trying to gather information about the effects of this disaster on members of our campus community so that we are in position to provide them support and resources during these difficult days. We will also be ready to support efforts by faculty, student and/or staff associations with an interest in supporting aid and relief activities. Together, we will do all we can to help those in need.

At the moment, we are not aware of any faculty, staff or students who are currently in the Philippines. However, should you know of someone who may be there and in need of assistance, please notify Andrew Goldblatt, risk manager, at

I would also ask that you please take a moment to reach out to colleagues, friends and students with loved ones in the Philippines. Students in need of counseling should contact Counseling and Psychological Services at the Tang Center at 510-642-9494. Faculty and staff should call CARE Services at 510-643-7754.

If you are interested in learning more about ways you can help victims of the typhoon, a good place to start would be this list of aid organizations recently compiled by the New York Times.

In the days ahead we will keep you updated as we learn more about efforts of our community members to assist with disaster relief.