By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
It’s been hard for Barbara Layog to see destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the country she grew up in.
Layog moved from the Philippines to Roosevelt County about nine years ago. The 34-year-old physical therapist at Roosevelt General Hospital said she’s noticed a similarity in cultures between her Filipino heritage and that of Americans in that they are willing to give when others are in need.
Layog partnered with the local Filipino community and her employer to raise more than $1,000 Tuesday from a food sale that featured Filipino fare.
Layog said the money will go to sending bread, rice and other foods to victims of the typhoon.
As of Tuesday, the national death toll was at 4,011 and more than 18,000 were reported injured, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
“Hopefully it will get there soon because I know that businesses are shut down,” Layog said. “I’m really thankful and appreciative for all the concerned kindness of the people of Portales. Even our patients expressed concern. The (Filipino) government can only help so much.”
Layog’s family, who lives on the island of Panay, was unharmed by the typhoon, but she said she has friends who are still looking for people.
She said she chatted via video with them when they still had access to the Internet and was able to see and hear the weather, which she described sounded like “trains passing every three seconds.”
“Our family is OK but our coastal area is known for providing seafood products. I’m really concerned. The people who are affected don’t have work,” Layog said. “As a Filipino, you always look back for those people. It’s our nature, even though we’re (in America). It’s not an obligation, we just share what we have because we have more than enough food here.”
Clovis Community College nursing student Rhona Bartlett moved to America from the Philippines in 2010 and has been tied to the Filipino community here since, which is why she felt inclined to help with the sale.
Bartlett, 29, said the fundraiser is a good representation of Filipino culture.
“We’re known for our hospitality and having very close family,” Bartlett said. “This is for a good cause and a little help is great.”
Rocky Houston, a radiology technician at RGH, stopped by on his lunch hour to purchase some treats and homemade Filipino cuisine.
“They need all the help they can get,” said Houston, who said the fried rice was excellent. “They need everything we can give.”