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HK Filcom mourns death of 'Magsasakang OFW'

10 September 2018

By The SUN Writers
Rose Perido (rightmost and inset) with her fellow farming enthusiasts 

The Filipino community in Hong Kong has lost one of its most dedicated  leaders, migrant worker and agriculture trainor Rosanna “Rose” Perido.

Perido, who was married but had no children, died at her home in Indang, Cavite, on Sept. 6, exactly on the date of her 50th birthday. She had been home for only four days when she passed on.

The cause of her death was not immediately known, but some of her closest friend said Perido was diagnosed with lung cancer. Others, however, claimed her ailment was a mystery even to her.

According to one of them, Hong Kong, entrepreneur Angel Payos, Perido was taken to hospital after complaining of shortness of breath. She was in hospital for about two weeks, before asking to be flown home.

Payos said Perido was cheerful and hardly looked sick during her confinement.

But according to Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre who met Perido at Manila airport, the OFW leader was already quite sick on arrival.

“When I met her at Manila airport, she couldn’t even speak and we communicated through sign language. It was very fast,” he said.

But Dela Torre declined to give any more information, saying, “She didn’t want the cause nor her hospitalization broadcast to the community.”

Staff at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office said Perido was escorted on the flight home by a doctor and staff from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. They were met at the airport by Dela Torre, who then joined Perido and her escorts in the short trip to her home in Cavite.

Perido, who had reportedly worked for the same employer for 18 years, was a volunteer trainor in the agriculture livelihood course of POLO/OWWA for the past 12 years.

People who knew or trained under Perido were shocked and saddened when Labatt dela Torre announced her demise on Friday evening, Sept 7.
Perido's photo in Labatt Jolly's Facebook post

Dela Torre, who had worked closely with Perido on several agri-based livelihood seminars at POLO, took to Facebook to express his grief over her untimely death.

“We announce with great sadness the passing of one of our most active volunteer trainors in the field of agriculture, Rose Perido,” he wrote.

“Rose exemplified the hardworking, selfless and dedicated corps of volunteer trainors of POLO HK, without whose sacrifice of spending their day offs in teaching and training our OFWs, Polo OWWA HK would’ve been hard pressed in preparing our OFWs for their eventual return. She didn’t mind the long hours, and even added value to the training through her field trips to farms in Hong Kong.”

“I am sure many of her students and graduates, many of whom have returned and engaged in agriculture in their hometowns, will miss Rose and her deep interest in farming, and her abiding concern for the welfare of OFWs. Every Sunday, she was always there, on the dot, and she would go home long after her students had gone.”

Labatt Nida Romulo, who was posted in Hong Kong pending Dela Torre’s return, also expressed shock at the news about Perido, to whom she awarded a plaque of appreciation only last month, during the graduation ceremony for the latest batch of POLO trainees.

“Tuwang-tuwa ako sa kanya dahil well-appreciated siya ng mga tinuturuan niya rito,” Romulo said.

Romulo said she was impressed by Perido’s knowledge of modern agriculture, including how to optimize production from whatever size of farmland.

Perido used to teach two lessons each on Saturday and Sunday with 30 trainees per four-lesson batch. That meant at least 240 trainees graduate from the agricultural livelihood course in a month, or an average of 2,880 graduates annually.

Small wonder that within the first hour of the announcement of her passing, scores of Perido’s friends and former students had expressed sorrow and surprise. As of Sunday evening, nearly 400 had shared their grief over the loss of someone they fondly called as the “Magsasakang OFW”.

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