Over $18k raised for Tulong Mindanao

National 2 minutes, 10 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THOUSANDS of dollars was raised yesterday for the victims of the Typhoon Washi through The Brunei Times first charity event Tulong Mindanao Charity Auction and Bazaar.

A 30-minute gym session with international celebrity actor and fitness guru, Wu Chun, went under the hammer for US$3888 ($5055) to an online bidder on the Tulong Mindanao Facebook page. A one-on-one basketball session with the star also sold for US$2626.

Altogether, sixty lots were auctioned off during the event held yesterday at the Indoor Stadium in Berakas, including all inclusive business-class tickets to Melbourne with Royal Brunei Airlines, electronics, household appliances, vouchers for gym memberships, subscriptions to The Brunei Times and hampers of skincare products, among others.

All auction items were donated by sponsor companies as part of the effort to raise money for the 600,000 people displaced by Typhoon Washi in the Mindanao region of the Philippines.

Edel Bartholomew, president of the Filipino Association in Brunei, shared that there were many Filipino expatriates who have family members affected by the tropical storm which ravaged entire communities last December.

"They're very happy and pleased there are people like us and Bruneians who are doing their best to support the Philippines," she said. "I think this will be of great help to our fellow countrymen in the Philippines suffering from or been affected by this typhoon."

Bartholomew added that plenty of volunteers from the Filipino community gave up their time to help sell off items such as clothing, food, books and knick knacks which were collected through a charity drive organised by The Brunei Times.

Rachel Thien, senior reporter at the news organisation and part of the working committee for the event, praised the dedication of the Filipino community.

"Just by looking at the support yesterday by the Filipino Association and the organisers Prismworks, they came in so early at 7am and stayed until 7pm. We initially didn't have enough manpower to roll out the carpets and fix everything up but they just called more and more of their own people to band together and it's really nice to see Filipinos help other Filipinos and Bruneians stepping as well."

Thien said one of the reasons behind initiating the project was the large number of Filipino expatriates in the Sultanate.

"There are over 20,000 Filipinos living in Brunei... So it's a perfect platform for The Brunei Times to initiate its first charity project. We definitely hope to be working with other non-government agencies and even government agencies in the near future for more charitable projects."

The Brunei Times