Development & Education

Filipina jazz singer in Los Angeles feels helpless as her homeland tries to pick up the pieces

This story is a part of

Global Nation

This story is a part of

Global Nation


Filipino-American jazz singer Charmaine Clamor.


Charmaine Clamor, a jazz singer from the Philippines who now lives in Los Angeles, says it's devastating to see what's happening in her native country right now.

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"It's hard for me to sleep at night in my comfortable bed where I can turn on the air conditioning and control the heater," she says, "when my brothers and sister have nowhere to sleep or they can't find their family." 

Clamor says while her immediate family members, who live north of Tacloban, are safe, she has close family friends who are in the affected areas. Some of her relatives have already flown to the Philippines to help find missing relatives in remote areas.

She says while Filipinos are used to typhoons since they occur every year, Haiyan was unexpected in how powerful and destructive it was.

"There is a sense of 'Oh, we can recover from this,' and then there is a sense of desperation that it is going to take longer than usual," she says.

Clamor says it's difficult to accept that so many people are homeless and it's heartbreaking to see her people in so much sorrow. But she says people need to be cautious before donating to relief efforts and she has posted warnings about that on her Facebook page.

"The victims of the typhoon need the funding and our [Filipino] government is corrupt and I just want to make sure that the funds go directly where they are needed and are not diluted," she says.