Retired Cebuana professor killed in motorcycle accident in Brazil
A retired Cebuana professor known for her advocacy in gender rights died in a motorcycle accident while on vacation in Brazil last Wednesday.
Portia Doroy Dacalos was riding a motorcycle driven by Oliver Mann, the 43-year-old son of her childhood friend, Rebecca Mann, whom she was visiting in Limeira City, Brazil.
News reports quoting local officials in Limeira said the 60-year-old Dacalos and Oliver Mann were headed on a roundabout of Limeira City to Piracicaba City in Sao Paulo, Brazil when they collided with another motorcycle.
Dacalos died on the spot as Brazil’s emergency response unit arrived on the scene.
Mann who was operated on for serious injuries was declared in stable condition.
Arrangements are still being made to bring Dacalos’ mortal remains home to Cebu.
Dacalos, who was single, was about to proceed to the United States for a holiday and was on vacation with another professor on sabbatical leave, Prof. Lilia Tio, according to UP Cebu Dean Liza Corro.
“She was much loved by us during our student days. Until her retirement, she was one of the well-loved personalities in the University of the Philippines Cebu campus,” her former colleague Prof. Henry Espiritu posted on his Facebook page.
Dacalos retired two years ago after three decades of teaching and guidance counseling in UP Cebu.
“Sessions with you are a few of my fondest college memories. You were always upbeat, happy, sassy. UP Cebu and the world lost a wonderful soul with your passing,” said US-based Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo, a mass communication graduate of UP Cebu.
Dacalos was an advocate of women and children’s rights.
She was part of the pioneering team of UP Cebu’s first Gender and Development Office with fellow advocates Dr. Rhodora Bucoy, Prof. Madrileña de la Cerna, Dr. Sofia Logarta and the late Prof. Purita Sanchez.
After retirement, she continued her advocacy, attending forums and symposiums around the country and abroad.
Dacalos was a past president of the Legal Alternatives for Women (LAW) Center Inc., a commissioner of the Cebu Provincial Women’s Commission and a commissioner of the Cebu City Family Affairs Commission.
Her projects included offering psychosocial services to a group called “The Survivors,” a group of wives who were victims of domestic violence.
Last year, Dacalos was awarded Outstanding Professional of the Year in the field of guidance and counseling by the Professonal Regulation Commission..
She was cited for her contributions in disaster response and crisis management, particularly as volunteer counsel for stress debriefing for survivors of calamities.
In 2002, Dacalos was named one of the Ten Outstanding Women of Cebu City for her educational achievements and efforts in advocating women’s rights.
“Life is a gift. While you still have it, use it to the utmost so that it will give meaning to what you are doing. And to me, as a single person, that is by serving my community,” Dacalos said in an interview with UP Cebu student Mark Salomon last year.
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