They call me Tito…
Tito, means “Uncle” to my new found Filipino nieces and nephews that live in the US and the Philippines.
I have known for a couple of years because of DNA from 23andMe and Ancestry that my birth father was Filipino. But not until a surprise DNA match on 23andMe appeared as a first cousin twice removed did I have a hot trail that Desiree, my daughter and the DNAngels could pursue.
This was the closest relationship result ever received from either search platform. Desiree immediately contacted Justine, this newfound 20 year old cousin. With the help of DNAngels , a non-profit DNA search angel group, we discovered that Justine’s great grandfather is my birth father Antonio Sayson. For you military buffs, my father was a Brigadier General in the Philippine Army and survived the Bataan Death March during WW2. It was 80,000 Filipino and US troops that surrendered to the Japanese in the Philippines and were forced to walk 90 miles with very little food or water to a prisoner of war camp.
While the Sayson family were surprised to learn of my existence, they have welcomed us with open arms. All my siblings have passed away, but I am the Tito (Uncle) to lots of nieces & nephews who have kids and grandkids of their own. Many relatives live in southern California and the remaining live in the Philippines. We have had two Zoom meetings where we’ve met 10 of my nieces and nephews which include their spouses and kids.
This is an amazing gift for us during this Christmas season. I began this search in 1993 over 27 years ago when I successfully found my birth mother and half-brother. The recent access to DNA made the search for my birth father a success. Thank you, Jesus and Laura, at DNAngels that spent hours making sure of the DNA match! It wouldn’t have happened without you.