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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Candlelight vigil commemorates victims of Typhoon Haiyan

<p>The UF Filipino Student Association hosted a candlelight vigil for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, a natural disaster that struck the Philippines and caused about 5,000 deaths, at the Architecture Building atrium on Monday evening. All funds collected were donated to relief and support efforts.</p>

The UF Filipino Student Association hosted a candlelight vigil for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, a natural disaster that struck the Philippines and caused about 5,000 deaths, at the Architecture Building atrium on Monday evening. All funds collected were donated to relief and support efforts.

Students gathered for a brief candlelight vigil at about 8:30 p.m. Monday on campus to commemorate those lost and affected by the Philippine Typhoon Haiyan.

Andrea Espulgar, a 22-year-old food and resource economics senior and president of the UF Filipino Student Association, said the event was one of several fundraisers put on by FSA since the disaster.

Espulgar said donations collected from these events have helped her organization raise about $2,000 of its $2,500 goal. One hundred percent of the proceeds go toward disaster relief for the victims.

“It’s not just because we’re the Filipino Student Association, but because we’re a family,” she said. “Even though a lot of us didn’t grow up there, our homeland is really important to us.”

The ceremony began with the Philippine national anthem, sung in Tagalog, the language of the Philippines.

Abby Estilong, 49, then spoke about the effects of the strongest storm the Philippines has ever experienced and the devastation the island nation has faced.

“This was not a Filipino disaster; this was a global event,” she said to the crowd of about 50 students.

Other storms compared to Haiyan

Estilong is the adviser for UF’s Filipino Student Association and a member of the Philippine-American Association of Gainesville and Surrounding Areas. She has been a liaison between this community and students for about 15 years, and she said she is “very proud” of the actions of the students after this disaster.

“We have a Filipino association here in Gainesville, and we didn’t have to tell them to do it,” she said. “They came up with it on their own.”

UF students who attended, like Jason Feliciano, a 19-year-old public relations sophomore, called the event “really well-put-together.”

“I think it’s amazing when people get together and do something to commemorate their ancestry,” he said. “To see them put something on for so many people they didn’t know, it’s just a fantastic thing.”

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A version of this story ran on page 8 on 12/3/2013 under the headline "Candlelight vigil commemorates victims of Typhoon Haiyan"

The UF Filipino Student Association hosted a candlelight vigil for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, a natural disaster that struck the Philippines and caused about 5,000 deaths, at the Architecture Building atrium on Monday evening. All funds collected were donated to relief and support efforts.

The UF Filipino Student Association hosted a candlelight vigil for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, a natural disaster that struck the Philippines and caused about 5,000 deaths, at the Architecture Building atrium on Monday evening. All funds collected were donated to relief and support efforts.

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