Cebuano victims of Iloilo-Guimaras strait tragedy laid to rest
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Tears were shed and cries resounded through the walls of the Carreta Cemetery on Monday, August 12, 2019, when the Baguio and Janson families of Barangay Ermita, Cebu City laid to rest seven of their members, who died last August 3 after the motorbanca they were riding on capsized in the Iloilo-Guimaras Strait.
The families were emotional as they said their last goodbyes to Jared and Bernardo Janson; and Romnel, Danilyn, Dannelle, Angelina and Romeo Baguio Sr.
The matriarch of the Janson family, Marcialisa, sobbed throughout the burial of her husband and son, who never came back from their Guimaras trip alive.
Jared and Bernardo went with the Baguio family to accompany Angelica Baguio, Marcialisa’s sister, for a traditional pamamanhikan for the betrothal of Angelica’s son, Romeo Jr.
They never reached Guimaras alive, nor were they able to come home to their matriarch, who said that she was waiting for them in their home when she heard about the news of their deaths.
The widow was surrounded by her eight other children while she held unto his son’s coffin barely letting go until he was placed into the tomb.
For the Baguio family, the nine-year old son of Romnel and Danilyn, and older brother of Dannelle, was rushed to an ambulance after he lost consciousness during the burial of his family.
The nine-year-old is the only one alive in their family. He was the only one, who did not go to Guimaras because he had to go to school, according to one of their relatives.
The child’s cries left him breathless causing him to lose consciousness. He soon recovered after he was administered first aid in the ambulance of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).
The eldest son of Romeo Sr. and the person who handled the Baguio family’s affairs, Rommel, said that their family would no longer go after the owners of the motorbanca that caused the deaths of their members.
Standing by his previous statements, he said that they had to accept the incident as an accident, and it was nobody’s fault.
“Dili naman mabuhig balik akong ginikanan ug mga igsoon. (My parent and my siblings will not live again if we go after them),” said Rommel.
However, Ermita Barangay Captain Mark Miral said that he would be coordinating with the owners of the motorbanca in Iloilo so the Janson and Baguio families could get the financial support that they were entitled to after their family members’ deaths.
In a press conference before the Requiem Mass at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish-Recoletos, he said that the financial aid could help the families get back on their feet following the tragedy.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said in previous statements that the city government would pay for all burial expenses of the families, and provided additional P5,000 financial assistance to each of the families.
He also said he will be writing to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Iloilo to further investigate the incident on how the motorbanca was allowed to sail on a rough sea day.
The mayor also joined the families during the Requiem Mass in Barangay Ermita. /dbs
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