Pop star Bieber brings cheer in typhoon-hit Philippines
MANILA - Agence France-Presse
Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber, center, performs on stage during the first Australian stop of his Believe tour at the Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. AP photoPop megastar Justin Bieber sang to young survivors of the Philippines' deadliest typhoon Tuesday after he flew into the disaster zone to boost an international relief effort.
Bieber flew unannounced to the central city of Tacloban just over a month after it was devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan and sang Christmas carols to children at a local school amid tight security, witnesses said.
"He sang Holy Night for the children," said Kate Donovan, a spokeswoman for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), one of three aid agencies expected to benefit from Bieber's charity work.
Photos posted on social media showed young fans with mobile phones snapping away at the Canadian teen heart-throb, who has more than 46 million followers on Twitter.
Prior to visiting the Philippines, Bieber had posted a message on fund raising website Prizeo.com urging his millions of fans to donate to the victims of the typhoon, the strongest to ever hit land.
Haiyan cut across the central Philippines on November 8, destroying scores of communities along its path.
Tsunami-like storm surges it triggered also swallowed up many coastal areas, and were blamed for majority of the nearly 6,000 deaths.
More than 1,700 others remain missing and about four million have been displaced.
In his message on Prizeo, Bieber said those donating to his cause could win a chance to personally see him record music next year.
"In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, its victims in the Philippines need our help -- and they need it now," he said in his appeal.
Many other international celebrities have also lent their voices to the massive rehabilitation effort, including Grammy-award winning singer Alicia Keys who visited victims airlifted to Manila two weeks ago.