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Filipina DH dies after collapsing in bathroom

19 August 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Gemma's exact cause of death is still being determined

Veteran domestic helper Gemma Foronda, who should be turning 57 in December, had complained last week about pains in her belly and of passing dark-colored urine.

Last night, at around 10pm, she reportedly went to the bathroom to take a shower as she would normally do after her day’s work. As she was taking a long time inside, her fellow domestic worker alerted their employers, who then called the police. 


Responding officers found the worker unconscious on the bathroom floor and rushed her to Kwong Wah Hospital where she was declared dead just before midnight. 

Her younger sister, Salie Foronda, told The SUN that on Aug 13 and 14, Gemma had complained of fluctuating blood pressure, apart from abdominal pain, so she urged her to visit a doctor.

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But over the next few days, whenever Salie called, Gemma would reportedly assure her she was fine.

On the day she died, Gemma reportedly did her usual chores in the morning, such as taking her ward to school, going to the market, cooking and ironing clothes.

Her death thus took everyone by surprise.

Salie said her sister’s body will be autopsied Friday morning in Kwai Chung mortuary to determine the cause of her death.


Gemma is survived by her husband Loreto Landicho and adult children Joel, James and Krizzia, who all live in Lemery, Batangas.

Her family has asked that her remains be shipped home, said Salie.

Gemma (far right) came back to HK to join her younger sister, Salie

The Foronda sisters were originally from Santa Ana, Cagayan. Gemma first came to Hong Kong for her first overseas deployment, then returned home. After that, she went to work in Kuwait, then Bahrain, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.


When she learned that Salie had come to Hong Kong to work, Gemma decided to join her here. She started working for her employer in Kowloon Tong four and a half years ago.

“Masaya nga ako noong nandito na uli siya kasi lagi ko siyang nakakausap kahit hindi kami sabay ng day off dahil pang-Sabado siya,” said Salie. (I was happy when she came back here because I could talk to her frequently even if we could not have our day off together because her rest day is Saturday.)

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

Whatever her health problem was, Foronda must have sensed the outcome. A day before her demise, she posted on Facebook a Tagalog version of Psalm 4:1:

O Dios na aking tagapagtanggol, sagutin nyo po ako kung ako’y tumatawag sa inyo. Hindi ba noon ay tinulungan nyo ako nang ako’y nasa kagipitan? Kaya ngayon maawa kayo sa akin at pakinggan ang dalangin ko.” (O God who is my protector, please answer me if I cry out to you. Didn’t you help me when I was in crisis? So now have mercy on me and listen to my prayer.)

Gemma’s family will receive Php120,000 in death and funeral benefits from the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration.
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