Vigil held for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in Saratoga

SARATOGA, Calif.

Aquino is facing harsh criticism over his administration's disaster readiness and response.

In the Bay Area, hundreds of people with ties to the region gathered Saturday night to share stories and information.

Everyone at the special mass at the Church of Ascension in Saratoga has two things in common. Most are from the Tacloban region of the Philippines and they've all been impacted by the typhoon.

"I think they drowned because my place is across the ocean," Dublin resident Cielo Northington said

Tales of loss and sorrow filled the church. Because the place many still call home looks nothing like their childhood memories.

Aida Arteche lost her two sisters-in-law and niece in the typhoon. She admits her grief is overwhelming.

"Until now I can't move on, I don't know what to do. Every day of my life I always wanted, I wish I could go home and see them, see my brothers and sisters," Arteche said.

Just getting to devastated Tacloban isn't easy. And getting information out is almost as hard.

Thousands of Taclobans live in the Bay Area and many at this event have not been able to reach their loved ones in the Philippines.

San Jose resident Roberto Arteche still doesn't know if his daughter, Sanrose, is alive.

"I'm just interested in the situation, you know, if she's OK or what," he said.

He's taking the prayers from Saturday night's vigil with him on Thursday when he flies to the Philippines to look for his 6-year-old daughter himself.

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