Over the weekend, a number of Filipino organizations came together to organize Bangon Pinoy!, a prayer service and fundraising event for the survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
It reminded me of all the Pinoy gatherings from my Glee Club tours, when we were hosted by Filipino communities in Europe. It wouldn’t be a Pinoy event without lots of food (the arroz caldo and Spanish bread alone were worth coming for!)…
… lots of singing, and lots of people. Celeste Legaspi’s Isang Mundo, Isang Awit (sing it with me: “Je t’aime, te amo, I love you!”) also inevitably becomes part of the default soundtrack for these things.
It was Marlon’s and my first time to go to a Filipino community gathering since we moved to Amsterdam. There are over 17,000 Filipinos in the Netherlands, but majority of them don’t live in Amsterdam. The Filipino population in the Netherlands is dispersed pretty widely, with the larger communities being situated in the nearby cities of Amstelveen, Hoofddorp, and Den Haag, where the embassy is.
As you can see from her somewhat bewildered expression, it was also Tala’s first time to experience Filipino levels of noise! I think I need to let my inner fag hag out more often at home to prepare her for our trip to Manila this Christmas.
And it was Tala’s first time to meet a little Pinay just like her. They even look alike! Her new friend’s name is… wait for it… Tara.
Here in Holland, Filipinos aren’t the only ones working to bring aid to the survivors of Haiyan. The Netherlands’ response to the Philippines’ cry for help has been swift and decisive. Here are some of the things our Dutch friends have done to bring relief to those most in need.