Local Filipino community reacts to typhoon devastation

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - November 9, 2013

"My brother lives where the storm hit and we are worried," said Maria Isaacson.

Isaacson and her parents Carlito and Danika are anxiously waiting to hear news about Typhoon Haiyan.

Isaacson's parents are visiting her from the area hardest hit.

"She's trying not to burst into tears, I can tell in her eyes. It's devastating, especially when you're there, you don't know what's going on, it's heartbreaking," said Isaacson.

Filipino natives expressed their frustrations.

"We don't know exactly what's going on we heard 1,100 or more died already," said one customer.

"Their houses are gone and everything is gone basically. I feel bad for them," said Rowena David.

Many people from the Filipino community have been coming to Philly Pinoy to figure out how to send much needed items back to their family in the Philippines.

Owner Hyen David and his wife Rowena sell boxes that have a flat shipping rate of $60-$75. Once filled, the boxes are sent by cargo ship to the Philippines.

It's a Filipino custom for family members abroad to send back clothes and food.

Due to the typhoon, the Davids expect even more shipments from the close-knit community.

"They give back a lot, especially for the kids, the education - they do a lot for the Filipino community," said Hyen David.

"I feel so guilty that I wish I was there, so I can help them," said Rowena.

Rowena and her husband comforted fellow Filipinos the best way they can - through food. "When I come here, it makes me feel like I'm at home," said Isaacson.

For many, food and friends is the best they can get until they can get in touch with their relatives.

Meanwhile, the local Red Cross is offering family tracing services to help people find their loved ones in the Philippines.

Translation services are also available. Anyone in need of assistance can call 215-299-4889 or go to redcrossphilly.org.

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