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Filcom leaders mourn passing of One Visayas president

14 January 2019

Representatives of various organizations pray for Connie Sampilo’s soul.

By Daisy CL Mandap

Tears flowed freely as friends and fellow officers of One Visayas president Concepcion “Connie” Sampilo gathered in Edinburgh Place, Central on Jan. 13 to mourn her untimely death.

Sampilo, 56, died on Jan. 5 from complications from pneumonia, with blood cancer as the underlying cause, while on vacation in Taguig City.

Connie Sampilo
She left behind her husband, Rodolfo, and two grown-up children, Carlo and Hinalyn.

A date has yet to be set for her burial as her family is still awaiting Hinalyn’s return from Dammam, Saudi Arabia, where she works as a nurse.

Sampilo’s death came as a shock to many of her friends, as she hardly spoke to anyone about feeling unwell, preferring to consult doctors privately.

But at least one recalled seeing big welts on Sampilo’s back (a usual symptom of a blood disease like leukemia) while giving her a massage. “May mga bukol din akong nakapa pero pinalitratuhan lang niya at tiningnan,” said the friend.

Sampilo reportedly consulted a doctor sometime in October, but afterwards told her family that it was just for a cough. She left Hong Kong in late November for what was supposed to be a short vacation in the Philippines, but failed to return as planned on Dec. 6.

By then her health appeared to have deteriorated that she had to be taken to various hospitals for treatment, until she succumbed to her various ailments at Taguig Pateros District Hospital.

While she sought treatment, Sampilo continued to keep mum about her real condition to friends.

At the memorial, fellow One Visayan officer Nerissa Jimena recalled a leader who worked tirelessly to promote her group’s causes while continuing to provide for the needs of her family back home.

Her latest big project would have been the annual One Visayas Festival, set this year on Feb. 17.

Jimena said Sampilo had promised to return to Hong Kong on Jan. 25 to oversee final preparations for the event. She was originally scheduled to return on Dec. 6, but merely said she was still feeling unwell and could not leave as planned.

Alann Cayosa Mas, who as a former chairman of Philippine Alliance, had worked with Sampilo on several projects, recalled her as someone who always extended “all-out support” to fellow officers.

Mas also recalled with sadness how Sampilo had, for the first time, decided to book the venue for the Feb. 17 event by herself.  Now that she’s gone, her fellow officers will have to provide proof of her death so the booking could still be kept by her group.

“Ganito din ang nangyari nang mamatay si Naz (Ampang, who also died suddenly while in the middle of preparations for an annual PhilAlliance event). Kinailangan kong kumuha ng death certificate para mailipat sa pangalan ko yung booking.”

One Visayas founder and vice president Blanche Abasa described Sampilo as “very secretive” that even her employer, a local lawyer who’s an ethnic Thai, was not aware that she was ill.

The employer, who reportedly got upset that Sampilo chose not to use her medical insurance to seek treatment in Hong Kong, made a day-long trip to Manila on Jan.12 to pay final respects to Sampilo and to contribute to the funeral and burial expenses.

In a Facebook post, Abasa said: “She will always be remembered, and we will always treasure memories of her being with One Visayas Hong Kong.”

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