by Nikka Corsino, GMANEWS.TV6 Jan 2010

Yoko Ono, widow of the late Beatles member John Lennon, has donated ¥5 million or P2.5 million for the thousands of victims of Tropical Storm Ondoy (international code: Ketsana), which hit the Philippines September last year, killing hundreds.

Yoko Ono sympathizes with victims of storm Ondoy (Ketsana) which devastated the Philippines in September 2009. A statement from the Philippine Embassy in Japan said Ono visited the Philippine Embassy in Fujimi, Tokyo before Christmas to personally pledge the donation.

“[Ono] learned about the very severe and continuing conditions of the “Ondoy” victims and decided to take action. As a mother herself, she feels deep sympathy and love for suffering children,” the statement read.

A total of 464 people were killed when Ondoy brought a record rainfall in Metro Manila and several nearby provinces on Sept. 26, 2009. Thousands were left homeless by the floods it caused.

Ono, an artist herself who belongs to an aristocratic family, grew up in the Fujimi manor that now houses the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo. The mansion was built by Ono’s uncle, who later sold it to the late President Jose P. Laurel.

After World War II, the Philippines bought the property from the Laurel family and is now called the “Jewel of the Philippines.”

“The Fujimi residence is very close to my heart and I consider it my home sweet home in Japan. I am therefore very grateful to the Philippine government for maintaining the house in a good condition all these years,” the statement quoted Ono as saying.