Manila, Philippines – The widows of the fishermen who died after their boat FB Dearyn was rammed by the oil tanker Pacific Anna in the West Philippine Sea, advocated for government assistance and commemorated the sacrifices of those killed.
The maritime incident is described as a collision – as opposed to a collision – because Pacific Anna rammed the FFB Dearyn, which was stationary at the time.
Two of the widows were present when the ill-fated fishing boat was towed to Rivera Wharf in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Olongapo City on Monday.
“Naalala ko po talaga siya, kasi masakit po ang pagkawala niya; di ko po talaga inaasahan,” said Ailyn Samarita, 43, the widow of Dearyn skipper and owner Dexter Laudencio.
(I remember him, his loss was so painful for us; we didn’t expect it.)
“Wala na kaming pang hanap-buhay,” she complained.
(We no longer have a source of livelihood.)
Samarita said she plans to set up a business.
“Binabalak ko po magtinda sa harap namin mga lutong ulam.”
(I plan to sell home cooked meals.)
The widow also pointed out that it will cost a fortune to repair the wooden boat, worth an estimated seven million euros.
Melanie Mejeco, who was widowed after the death of Romeo Mejeco, 38, also became emotional upon seeing the badly damaged fishing boat.
“Umiyak po talaga ako naalala ko ‘yung asawa ko,” Mejeco said.
(I cried because I thought about my husband.)
The fisherman also left behind four children.
“May mga nag aaral pa akong mga anak… wala na kaming aasahan na maghanap-buhay,” said the widow.
(Our children are still studying. We can no longer rely on anyone for our livelihood.)
“Bigyan po sana nila kami ng sapat na tulong, yung agarang tulong. Kasi gumagana ‘yung araw, yung mga naibibigay po na tulong sa amin nagagamit na po namin.’
(I hope they give us enough help, immediate help. As the days go by, we use the different forms of help we get.)
The widow noted that his husband earned P100,000 per month.
“Yung asawa ko lumalaot dahil ng target niya para maipagawa ‘yung bahay namin, ‘yung bahay namin giba-giba na,” she said.
(My husband wanted to renovate our dilapidated house, that was his goal.)