LONG BEACH, California -- With his roots and family in Marikina, Leo Ignacio spent the whole day watching news coverage of the latest natural disaster in the Philippines.
“I have a sister and two brothers and mostly close relatives. For sure, I'm always worrying about what's their condition and I know Marikina, since it is a valley, it's always flooded every time there's a natural disaster na dumadating,” said Ignacio, chairman of the board of directors of the Marikenians Community Scholarship Foundation International.
Ignacio's family lives about a mile away from the heavily flooded river beds in Marikina.
“I just have a call from my sister, they're okay. The floods going inside the house and thankfully they're all safe,” he said.
Ignacio is the former president of the Marikina Association of Southern California. He, along with other members, also started the Marikina-Marikenians Community Scholarship Foundation International, which originally intended to provide scholarships for children in Marikina.
After six months of applying, they got their approval as a non-profit organization less than two weeks ago.
The foundation will concentrate on providing assistance to families in distress. They will begin their charity to their hometown by collecting money to send to disaster relief efforts in the Philippines.
The group is planning to create fundraiser events in the near future to help assist family, friends, and neighbors victimized by the latest natural disaster.