Winnie Mateo, 66, from Kapolei, Hawaii, said her 90-year-old father is waiting for her and other family members' arrival in the province of Ilocos Norte, Philippines.
But Mateo and hundreds of passengers have been stranded on Guam – or in Manila heading to Guam – after the Taal Volcano eruption on Sunday grounded flights.
By Tuesday afternoon, some passengers received good news.
United Airlines announced it will be operating an extra section Wednesday between Guam and Manila to accommodate any remaining affected passengers. Philippine Airlines resumed flights from Guam to Manila Tuesday.
United's UA2800 will depart Guam at 9:20 a.m. on Jan. 15 and arrive in Manila at 11 a.m. UA2801 will then depart Manila at noon and arrive on Guam at 5:35 p.m. that same day.
Mateo is traveling with four other family members and they're among hundreds of passengers who have been stranded on Guam since Sunday.
Mateo's brother, Danilo Daoang, said it's the first time for them to visit their father and family in the Philippines in four years.
Romy Rodriguez, 65, traveling with his wife Lourdes Rodriguez from Texas, hopes to make it to his nephew's wedding on time.
Rodriguez said they've been waiting for their flight since Monday night and had no assurance on when their departure would be.
The accommodations were all but comfortable, Rodriguez said, "But what can we do? We have to wait for our flight."
John M. Quinata, deputy executive manager for the A.B. Won Pat International Airport, said Tuesday United Airlines canceled flights for about 117 passengers on Sunday. That number has increased by an additional 97 passengers since Monday night coming from Honolulu, Hawaii — for a total of 214.
Help from the community
According to Quinata, those stranded were assisted by not just the airport authority and the airlines, but also with the help from the Filipino Community of Guam, which provided meals for those stranded since Sunday.
About 100 people received meals from Wendy's Guam franchisee Jun Espaldon. He received a call around 9:15 p.m. Monday that there was a need for food for about 100 passengers.
"We decided the best thing was a bagged meal for each passenger - with a sandwich, fries and nuggets," he said. Mimi Sos, manager at Wendy’s Dededo, put together 100 meals for the passengers in 30 minutes, Espaldon said. Transporting 100 drinks in cup holders could get messy if something fell over, so he enlisted the Cold Stone Creamery Micronesia Mall location's help, through manager Mon Sugatan, to put together 100 cold canned drinks for the passengers.
Ron Adonay of the Filipino Community of Guam sought the help of Espaldon.
James Robinson, president of the non-profit organization, said it was an unfortunate situation, but was happy to help with any way they can.
As passengers were given meals, Quinata said, Sam Shinohara, managing director for United Airlines' Asia/Pacific operations, gained approval to provide hotel lodging and food vouchers for United passengers who were still stranded.
"We try to accommodate as much as we can," Quinata said, noting that the airport authority only manages the facility while the airlines are responsible for the accommodations of their passengers.