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Friday, October 17, 2008

Looking Back "M/V princess of stars tragedy" last JUNE 21, 2008

this is written by a concerned tita of mine from dumaguete after my uncle never returned from the tradegy of M/V princess of the stars

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Anyone of us may face tragedy in her life at one time or the other. Tragedy happens, anywhere, anytime, to anyone….This week end proved that point. The capsizing of M/V Princess of the Stars off the island of Sibuyan is one tragedy that is too personal to our family because one of the 800+ plus is my brother in law EMIL ABREU.

I didn’t even know he was on board in the first place, not until I got a text message from my mom asking me to contact my old company, Sulpicio Lines Inc – the operator of the said vessel. Apparently, the Cebu bound flag vessel of SLI left Manila port on its usual schedule- 8pm of Friday, it was expected to arrive Cebu at 430pm the next day. Since typhoon Fengshen or “Frank” has been lambasting the archipelago with its heavy rains Friday night, there was an immediate fear on my family as to the whereabouts of my brother in law who didn’t arrive home on the expected day.

As a vessel stewardess of the company for 5 years, I am more or less aware of the protocols being observed by the CoastGuard and the operator for different typhoon levels. And since it was Signal #1 when it left Manila, I knew it had the go-signal of the governing agencies…So I had hoped that it just anchored to safety to avoid the ire of “Frank”.. Unfortunately, I had power outage all day yesterday ( Sunday), so my two mobile phones were battery empty, there was no electric, so no way to check on internet and what’s worse, my landline also died…I was exhausted with desperation..

I went to my friend’s house to at least have an access to landline, but it was shortlived coz just minutes after I arrived there, her landline went off too…I couldn’t contact my mom, and my sister who has been crying buckets of tears since Saturday..

Last night, with the power going on and off for couple of times, I kept tuned to the news…locally and internationally just to get information on the survivors and the rescue operation being done to the ill-fated vessel. My brother in laws’ name didn’t surface on that short list.

As of 8am today, I got information that 28 survivors have been accounted for and have been in the care of the municipality mayor of the town where they were found and rescued, but unfortunately EMIL’s name is not in the list…

I could do nothing but pray. I could not do anything but wait…the family could do nothing for now but be there for each other…and yes, this is the tragedy that I mean to say.
This tragedy is beyond our wildest dreams, we always wish it would not happen to us, but it did, and its something that we have not foreseen nor prevented…

I have not slept for two days just thinking about EMIL, my sister Em-Em and their kids…their youngest boy Miko is only 11 or 12 years old…their family is still very young, too sad, too bad!

I cant deny the fact that we are faced with all the worse scenarios…I hope my sister and the family is ready for that....Im an island away from them…making each day a torture..

So to all who has time to read this, I hope you can say a little prayer to the hundreds of people greatly affected by “Fengshen or Frank”…May his force slow down and eventually wear off…Please pray for EMIl, coz that’s the only thing we can do for now….

Take care all..