Belfast Telegraph

Justin Bieber visits Philippines

Justin Bieber has visited the Philippines to meet victims of Typhoon Haiyan after launching a worldwide campaign to help those affected by the deadly storm.

The Beauty And The Beat singer arrived from Australia and flew to Tacloban, the devastated capital of central Leyte province, where he distributed shirts, toys and basketballs to children.

The 19-year-old pop star visited a Tacloban school being used as an evacuation centre despite being heavily damaged by last month's typhoon, which left nearly 6,000 people dead and more than 1,700 others missing, and flattened entire towns and villages in the central Philippines.

Justin offered donors to his campaign the chance to win a prize of spending time with him in a studio while he works on his new album, saying: "The moment I heard about the tragedy a few weeks back, I thought I can count on you guys to make a difference."

He took a tour of the school before moving to an outdoor stage to perform for the people sheltering there.

UNICEF spokesperson Kate Donovan said: "He played a very beautiful set. He played a series of Christmas songs and some of his hits as well, including Baby."

At another school also used as temporary shelter, Bieber played basketball with some boys and posed for pictures with his fans.

UNICEF emergency cooordinator for Haiyan response Angela Kearney said: "Justin brought a lot of joy, hope and cheer to the hundreds of children who were there."

She added that the money Justin raises "will give some of the children who were caught in the path of Haiyan access to education, vaccinations, better nutrition, clean water and sanitation."

One girl told Manila's TV5: "It was like we were not hit by the typhoon, like Yolanda never came," of her feelings on meeting Justin. The typhoon is known locally as Yolanda.

Alicia Keys visited an air force base in Manila two weeks ago giving out crayons and colouring books to children of families who arrived on mercy flights by the Philippine and US military from the typhoon-ravaged provinces of Leyte and Samar. She was in Manila at the time for a concert.


From Belfast Telegraph