Liverpool fan Jo Li today wrote a heartfelt letter to Liverpoolfc.com to explain what is happening in the Philippines after the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan and how fans can help…
'When you walk through the storm, hold your head up high and don't be afraid of the dark. At the end of the storm, there's a golden sky and a sweet, silver song of the lark.'
Despite the fact that I've sang this song countless of times, I found it hard not to choke on the words during the Fulham match as I thought of my countrymen who have suffered the brunt of the typhoon Haiyan. Although I was pleased with the lads' performance, I found myself unable to fully concentrate on the match as I had to shift my attention between the game and the local news.
I am a Filipino Liverpool supporter living here in the Philippines. As you may have read or watched on the news, the super typhoon has left a region of my country in total devastation. The death toll continues to rise, estimated to be no less than 10,000, while those who survived continue to struggle with the lack of shelter, clean water and other basic necessities.
As we pull our resources together to respond to the needs of our countrymen, I am reminded of the indomitable spirit of the Filipino people. Though badly beaten and worn, we rise up together to meet the challenges at hand. We don't give up. This is the very same spirit I've associated LFC with. Maybe that's why, despite the distance, Filipino Reds have managed to become faithful supporters of the club.
Some Filipino supporters have taken to Twitter in recent days to reach out to fellow Reds.
The twitter account for Filipino supporters - @LFCPhilippines - tweeted: 'Dear Liverpool Family, you can help even if you're overseas. The Philippines needs you more than ever. YNWA! #kopinoys'
@swikey tweeted: 'Times like these that I play 'You'll Never Walk Alone' on repeat. Always a comfort song.'
@theREDcrazy tweeted: 'The words "at the end of the storm is a golden sky" never seemed more timely.'
In a trying time like this, it is overwhelming to feel the outpouring of support for my country. I've read about pledges from various countries, corporations and even private individuals. I've received comforting words from friends and strangers as they share the grief from the loss experienced by my countrymen. On behalf of them, please allow me to say thank you to all of you. Every bit of help means so much to those of us who are left with nothing.
However, I will continue to appeal to you, my fellow Reds. The work is far from over. The images taken in Tacloban, Leyte just shows one of the provinces ravaged by the storm. There are still other areas that badly need supplies. I received a message from a fellow football supporter @ilonggounitedfc where he described the need for food and clothing in the provinces of Cebu and in Panay.
Another fan tweeted: 'Situation getting desperate as people wait for aid to arrive. Need help not just in relief but also long-term rebuilding.'
I fear for my countrymen. I fear that the aftermath of the typhoon will take more lives if we are not able to provide food, water, medicine, shelter and other necessities. We are in dire need of your help.
We may have a long way to go from seeing that golden sky but I firmly believe that, we, as a country, are not alone in this. With your help, we will continue to fight for survival.
Fans who want to help, should click here to visit the website of the Philippine Red Cross.
Click here to follow Jo Li on Twitter.