The body of the Palaweña teacher who died in the Iloilo-Guimaras sea tragedy was flown home Wednesday afternoon.
Eden Perales’ casket arrived around 3 p.m. at the Puerto Princesa City International Airport (PPCIA) accompanied by her husband Patrick, who had survived the accident.
Bereaved friends, relatives, and family members welcomed their arrival nearly five days after the boat they were riding keeled over in the water passage connecting Iloilo and Guimaras.
Eden’s remains were brought straight to a funeral home in the city after it was claimed from the cargo area of the PPCIA by her family.
In a brief interview with the local media, Patrick said Eden was only in the country from Al Ain, UAE where she worked as a teacher for a one month vacation.
Eden arrived on July 10 and was supposed to go back on August 12.
He said Eden’s friend, another teacher working in UAE from Malabon, also died in the tragedy.
Patrick described their experience as “so traumatic”. He said he did not expect that the strong winds and waves would overturn the motorized boat they were riding.
They were part of a group tour that went to Boracay for a holiday.
Adignita Elijan, the officer of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in the province, was also at the airport to support Eden’s family.
“In behalf of the regional office ng Region 4-B MIMAROPA, tayo ay nandito para ipaabot ang pakikiramay sa pamilya ng Perales. Nandito lang kami kasama ninyo, makikipagtulungan kung ano ang puwede nating maitulong dito sa pamilya ng Perales,” said Elijan.
Elijan told Palawan News that Eden’s family will also receive assistance from their agency.
Earlier, Western Visayas regional police spokesman Joem Javier said the dead were mostly passengers of two ferries that flipped over in sudden gusts of wind and powerful waves off Guimaras and Iloilo provinces.
Phillipine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesman Armand Balilo also said one of the ferry boats, M/B Cheche, was carrying at least 42 passengers.
Another boat, M/B Keizha, reportedly had four crewmen on board, while the third ferry, M/B Jenny, carried an unspecified number of people who were rescued and brought on board a coast guard ship.