The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Nation & World

November 11, 2013

Filipino expats in US seek news after typhoon

LOS ANGELES — The last time Armi Go called her 81-year-old mother in the Philippine city of Tacloban, the rain from the approaching typhoon was so loud they could barely hear each other.

Go, a 59-year-old sales clerk in Los Angeles, urged her mother to evacuate, but the elderly woman brushed off Go's concerns and stayed. Now she's missing, along with Go's brother and sister, and thousands of others caught in Friday's devastating typhoon. Since then, Go has been desperately calling any friend or relative she can think of for news of her family — with no luck.

"I was up to 2 o'clock calling," she said. "We don't know, we don't have any news. We are so worried, we don't know if she is alive or dead. We don't even know where she is."

Around the United States, Filipino expatriates like Go scrambled to find relatives trapped thousands of miles away and to send money and supplies into an area where nearly all communication and transportation were at a standstill. In Southern California, home to the largest community of Filipinos outside the Philippines, fundraising efforts from 5K walks to church rummage sales attracted hundreds as word spread about missing loved ones and harrowing tales of survival.

Many worried that their homeland would be permanently crippled by the typhoon, which came just weeks after last month's 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Bohol that killed 198 people. The U.S. Census listed more than 322,000 Filipinos in Los Angeles County alone in 2010.

"The county just suffered a one-two punch. The United States can probably weather that kind of devastation, but not the Philippines. It's just a poor country," said Bing de la Vega, who is organizing relief efforts through the nonprofit Philippine Emergency Disaster Relief Organization. "You can't help but get emotional when you see the magnitude of the devastation."

In New Jersey, expats gathered at Fiesta Grill, a Filipino restaurant in Jersey City, to watch a Philippine news channel via satellite.

One woman dabbed her eyes as she took in the devastation. Others boxed up donations of clothes, shoes and canned food at a direct shipping business to send to typhoon victims.

Adelia Ramos, 64, said she spent several days trying to reach family. She became emotional as she recalled getting in touch with them late Sunday.

"They are now safe, they are back in our province," she said, breathing in sharply and waving away tears. "But, the worries that they had, they couldn't get to our town, they had to walk for seven hours, and sometimes over dead bodies."

A 5K run held Sunday in Van Nuys, north of Los Angeles, raised $7,000 in four hours, and another, larger, fundraiser was in the works for early December — maybe an invitation-only dinner at a Los Angeles restaurant, de la Vega said.

Churches were also rushing to get donations together. The Filipino Disciples Christian Church in Los Angeles raised $400 over the weekend between an impromptu rummage sale and a special offering at Sunday's service. The 60-member church is continuing to collect goods for another rummage sale next weekend.

"We're hoping to reach at least $1,000," said pastor Einstein Cabalteja. "We're not really a big church but we're doing our best to help."

In Pasadena, stay-at-home mother Lura Henderson juggled caring for three energetic daughters, ages 7, 5 and 1, and seeking out news of missing relatives.

Henderson, who came to the U.S. 12 years ago, said her parents evacuated two days ahead of the storm with her 16-year-old brother, who has cerebral palsy. They returned to find their home standing, but Henderson's aunt and uncle remain missing. The family heard through word-of-mouth that the elderly couple survived, but they lost their home and were living in a tent on the street.

Henderson is trying to figure out how to organize a search for her relatives and get them supplies and money.

"There's no way to communicate with them. Somebody literally has to go to that island and search for them," she said. "We're trying to do something, because the news says that people there have had not food for four days now."

 

1
Text Only
Nation & World
  • Oklahoma police chief resigns over racial slur repost to Facebook

    A repost on his personal Facebook page of a racially-charged comment by the original poster of a comedy video has forced the police chief of an Oklahoma city to resign his office.

    August 21, 2014

  • US existing home sales rise for 4th straight month

     Sales of existing U.S. homes rose for the fourth straight month in July to their highest level in nearly a year, the latest sign that the housing recovery is picking up after stumbling at the start of the year.

    August 21, 2014

  • Aid group: US doctor who had Ebola has recovered

    At least one of the two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa has recovered and was to be discharged Thursday from an Atlanta hospital, a spokeswoman for the aid group he was working for said.

    August 21, 2014

  • Holder bringing personal perspective to Ferguson

     Eric Holder talks about the nation's civil rights struggles in a way no previous U.S. attorney general could — by telling his own family story.

    August 20, 2014

  • Senate control could rest with well-funded women

    Control of the Senate could lie in the fortunes of female candidates and the deep-pocketed donors, like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who are sending piles of cash their way.

    August 20, 2014

  • Iraq forces retake Mosul Dam; militants deny claim

    Boosted by two days of U.S. airstrikes, Iraqi and Kurdish forces on Monday wrested back control of the country's largest dam from Islamic militants, a military spokesman in Baghdad said as fighting was reported to be underway for the rest of the strategic complex.

    August 18, 2014

  • US stocks open higher; Family Dollar jumps

     U.S. stocks are opening higher, following gains in Europe.

    August 18, 2014

  • Federal autopsy ordered in Missouri teen's death

    Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on a black Missouri teenager whose fatal shooting by a white police officer has spurred a week of rancorous and sometimes-violent protests in suburban St. Louis.

    August 17, 2014

  • news_missingamish.jpg Official: Amish girls sexually abused in abduction

    Two young Amish sisters were sexually abused after their abduction from a roadside farm stand in northern New York, a prosecutor said Saturday.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine [Duplicate] Ukraine says troops entered rebel-held city

    Ukraine's government said Sunday that separatists shot down a Ukrainian fighter plane after army troops entered deep inside a rebel-controlled city in the east in what could prove a breakthrough development in the four-month long conflict.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit TX Gov Perry in Washington: 'Confident' in Case Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium