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Body of missing tourist who went rafting in CDO found

/ 07:08 PM June 15, 2014

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — The body of the tourist who went missing when the raft she was riding capsized three days ago, was found Sunday morning.

Roldan Kaamiño, one of the owners of the Kagay Journey-White Water Rafting and Kayaking, confirmed that the body of female adventure tourist Aizza Mae Balbin was found in the village of Bayanga.

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Balbin, a nurse from Loboc, Bohol, went missing when the raft she was riding capsized on Friday.

Balbin’s body was recovered by seven Kagay river guides at around 11:45 a.m. Her body was lodged underneath a boulder in what rafters call an undercut — a section of river where rapids hit a large obstruction creating a vacuum which in this case is about 14 to 20 feet deep.

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Kaamiño said guides had to clear and scoop out other debris before they were able to find the body, first finding the helmet which had gotten loose.

Three relatives of the victims, who arrived here Sunday morning, witnessed the recovery of the body, which was later brought to a local funeral home for an autopsy.

Marjorie Parades, a cousin of the victim, said Balbin’s body would be cremated as her mother wished to remember her as she was when she was still living.

The victim’s mother, Ruth, works at the municipal treasurer’s office of Loboc. Her father, George, is bed-ridden and is in a coma due to injuries sustained in a vehicular accident in 2005. George is a former music teacher at the Holy Name University in Tagbilaran City. Aizza has one other sibling, a 23-year old brother who works in an aircraft maintenance firm in Abu Dhabi.

Aizza worked online for a US-based firm as a nurse in charge of making plans of care for patients there. Aizza, together with brother, had been helping out in the expenses for their father. Both had also just bought a house for their parents as the home in Loboc is an ancestral house of the family.

Aizza was musically inclined and was a member of the Loboc Children’s Choir in her younger years. She was with the choir during the 2000 music festival in Tianjin, China, as well as in other parts of Asia.

Kaamiño said transportation and other expenses, including funeral, would be shouldered by the city government and Kagay.

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Kagay’s owners– Kaamiño, Chisum Factura and Rolly John Barrett, will also accompany Aizza’s remains together with relatives to Bohol.

Originally posted at 4:30 pm | Sunday, June 15, 2014

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