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Filipina in HK laments double blow to family in wake of ‘Rolly’

04 November 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Power lines have been cut off in many parts of the Bicol region

A Filipina domestic helper in Hong Kong whose father died of heart attack in Cavite at the height of Super Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) last Sunday is appealing for help to contact her family in storm-ravaged Catanduanes.

Mary Jane Estido’s father Eduardo, 55, succumbed to the attack as Rolly slammed into the Philippines with peak winds of 225 kilometers per hour.

Estido, 30, said the typhoon wrecked her family’s house in Virac, Catanduanes, dealing the family a double blow. Reports said 30,383 other homes in Bicol were destroyed. The super typhoon also cut off communication lines in the area.

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 “Namatay sa kasagsagan ng bagyo sa Cavite, inatake, tapos ang mga kapatid kong nasa Bikol, hindi nila alam ang nangyari,” said Estido in an online chat.

(He died of a heart attack in Cavite at the height of the typhoon, but my siblings in Bicol are not even aware of it)

Mary Jane is looking for a way to tell her siblings in Catanduanes about their pa's death

On Monday, the Office of Civil Defense in the Bicol region reported that the typhoon flattened Virac, destroying 80-90% of buildings there. The OCD placed the death toll at 19 Tuesday night, with 3 of the fatalities being reported in Virac.

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Only the media, Red Cross and Air Force are connecting Virac’s 70,000 population to the outside world, Estido said.

Wala po, zero communication ang Catanduanes dahil hinagupit ng bagyo po,” said Estido, who has been working for a family in Choi Hung, Kowloon for 2 years and 8 months. (There’s nothing we can do. Catanduanes has zero communication after being lashed by the typhoon).

Countless houses have been wrecked by Goni in Catanduanes

She said her mother and siblings are not aware until now that her father, who settled in Cavite with a new family, is gone.

Importante lang sanang malaman nila na patay na si Papa,” she said.

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(It’s just important for them to know that Papa is dead)

Estido said she is the breadwinner for her mother Merle Marquez, 7-year-old daughter, and siblings Lanie, Eduardo Jr and Joseph.

She said only her eldest brother Elmer has so far heard about their father’s death as he lives in another town in Cavite, and has since traveled to Naic to pay his respects.

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The twin tragedies dashed hopes of a birthday celebration for Estido, who is turning 30 later this month, and her daughter, who will be 7 tomorrow, Thursday.

Nakakaiyak, Diyos ko, nasalanta na ng bagyo namatayan pa,” Estido lamented. (Oh my God, it makes me want to cry. Not only were we ravaged by a typhoon, we also lost a family member).

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