MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Teen heartthrob Justin Bieber visited young victims of Typhoon Haiyan on Tuesday, traveling to the Philippines after launching a worldwide campaign to help those affected by the deadly storm.
Bieber 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 elementary school that is being used as an evacuation center 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.
"It was like we were not hit by the typhoon, like Yolanda never came," one girl told Manila's TV5 Television, describing her feelings on seeing her idol. Typhoon Haiyan is known locally as Yolanda.
Bieber took a quick walk around the school and checked a temporary learning space that was packed with about 300 children, including some from the local neighborhood, before moving to an outdoor stage to sing, said Kate Donovan, a spokeswoman for UNICEF.
"He played a very beautiful set," she said. "He played a series of Christmas songs and some of his hits as well, including 'Baby.'"