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VIDEO: Miss World Visits NY, NJ; Raises $20,000 for Supertyphoon Haiyan Victims

Raw footage: Miss World Megan Young, Philippine Independence Day Council Inc. press conference held Wednesday, November 20 at Double Tree by Hilton in Newark, New Jersey (Videography by Pepe Pe)

Co-written by Felix Manuel

New York, November 21, 2013--The Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI), which works year-round for the largest Philippine Independence Day celebrations in the East Coast of the United States in June, together with the Miss World Organization (MWO), held a fundraiser--about 230 people attended-- at Double Tree by Hilton in Newark, New Jersey last night, November 20. Despite the freezing weather, members of the Filipino-American community flocked to the event for a worthy cause plus the chance to see the Philippines' first-ever Miss World winner Megan Lynne Young, who was escorted by reigning Mr. World Francisco Javier Escobar Parra, a N.Y.-based Colombian model.

VIDEO: Miss World Visits NY, NJ; Raises $20,000 for Supertyphoon Haiyan VictimsA special program unfolded during the night featuring the best Filipino talents in the New York Tri-State area. Steve Douglas, MWO events director, praised the resilience of the Filipino people amidst the recent tragedy that happened in the Philippines.

Tacloban on Leyte island in the east-central of the Philippines has been a hot topic in international news lately when supertyphoon Haiyan (Yolanda), touted as one of the most powerful storms on record, slammed into the province Friday, November 8. Deaths have been estimated from 4,000 to 10,000. As of this writing, nearly 11 million people have been affected in Tacloban and nearby 7,251 villages in 471 municipalities and 51 cities according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in the Philippines.

At the fundraiser, a moment of silence was held for the victims and to honor them, Douglas requested N.Y.- based Filipina singer Kay Habana to sing "Bayan Ko." It was the most emotional moment of the evening. Several guests in the audience were in tears knowing how tragic the typhoon was; some of them have family members who are still missing nearly two weeks after typhoon Haiyan hit the island nation.

A check worth $20,000 was turned over to MWO to help the Philippines. Young was very grateful for the money that will surely benefit the needy people in the affected areas--mainly Tacloban and Ormoc, which she will personally visit on November 28 and 29.

At a press conference prior to the fundraiser--Young, Douglas, Philippine Consul General to New York Mario de Leon, Jr. and PIDCI President Fe Martinez were present--it was announced that Miss World will be back in NYC next month; she will also attend the 116th Philippine Independence Day Parade along Madison Avenue in June next year. The parade, organized by PIDCI, is considered the biggest Independence Day Parade outside of the Philippines.

Young is set to visit the Beverly Hills Country Club in Los Angeles for another fundraiser today.

Photo by Rex Romero shows Miss World Megan Young doing an impromptu "singkil" at last night's fundraiser for supertyphoon Haiyan victims.

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