Washington Twp. family searches for loved ones missing in Philippines

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November 12, 2013 8:35:29 PM PST
Filipino American Mayette Calleja-Baglieri and her husband Frank have spent hours on Facebook trying to learn the fate of loved ones in the Philippines.

"I feel like this is ethereal like it's not me. Like it's not me," Mayette said.

The majority of the Washington Township woman's family lives in the hard hit area of Tacloban- dozens of uncles, aunts and cousins.

Her 86-year-old aunt and matriarch of the family survived the typhoon, but Mayette just learned her first cousin Teresita was killed and another cousin named BetBet is still missing.

"I'm hoping that she's still alive and her children, we don't know anything about her children," Mayette said.

The new images coming out of Mayette's native country are hard to see.

She visits every year and has a home outside of Manila, the capital.

"I think this is only the beginning because so many families their lives have been destroyed, their homes, their occupations, it's not going to return to the way it was," Frank said.

Like so many, the South Jersey couple has been turning to groups like the Filipino Executive Council of Greater Philadelphia and Red Cross to figure out ways to send aid.

While they wait to hear word on family members, Mayette says an email from her daughter is keeping her strong.

"'Tindog Tacloban.' You know what that means? Standup Tacloban! Stand up! Don't stay down! Stand up! That was excellent. Tindog. I really felt that," Mayette said.


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