Filipino-Americans Wait For News About Loved Ones03:51
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Gilda Gacho, center, who was born and raised in Tacloban, central Philippines, gets emotional as she is comforted by a well-wisher after a Mass held to pray for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in Carson, Calif. In Southern California. (Jae C. Hong/AP)
Gilda Gacho, center, who was born and raised in Tacloban, central Philippines, gets emotional as she is comforted by a well-wisher after a Mass held to pray for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in Carson, Calif. In Southern California. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

As relief efforts continue in the Philippines after the deadly typhoon that hit last week, many Filipinos in the U.S. are desperately trying to get through to loved ones.

Here & Now's Meghna Chakrabarti speaks to Jennine Ventura, a Filipino-American with family still in the Philippines. She's also a member of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns.

And Here & Now's Robin Young speaks to Marissa Reyes, a nurse in Queens, N.Y., whose mother's side of the family is on Leyte, which was devastated. Reyes knows that her aunt and her cousin's son have died, and there are other family members she is still waiting to hear from.

To hear the interview with Jennine Ventura, click the audio at the top of the page.

Interview Highlights

Marissa Reyes on her frustration with the government response

"The fact is, why the government — do something, quickly, you know? It's just so frustrating right now. So what I'm thinking is I'm just going to talk with the private sector, because I have some friends, nurses, there. And the private sector is so easy but government is so slow."

"Right now it's just so frustrating. My kids — they're young, they're 20-plus — they're the ones who's buying some foods just to give my direct family something to eat so that they're not going to die. They don't have nothing there. It's just devastating, devastating."

Jennine Ventura on the government's storm preparation

"The first press conferences that the president gave mentioned that Tacloban perhaps might not have been as prepared as other areas — saying something as if it weren't his fault, or wasn't the fault of his administration. And especially the fact that other verified reports that in Leyte alone, several evacuation centers that one would imagine would have been checked on in advance, to ensure that they would have been able to keep evacuees safe, also had flooding, also had building collapses, also had ceilings cave in. And the fact that there are these fundamental failures in disaster preparedness on behalf of the government led by him, is downright negligent."

Guest

  • Jennine Ventura, Filipino-American trying to find her family in the Philippines. She is also a member of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns.
  • Marissa Reyes, nurse in Queens, N.Y. with family in the Philippines.

This segment aired on November 14, 2013.

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