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Holy Week outings turn tragic

At least 19 dead in separate cases of drowning, boat sinking
Outriggers like these are popular modes of interisland transportation, but are the least capable of surviving strong waves. —DELFIN P. MALLARI III

Outriggers like these are popular modes of interisland transportation, but are the least capable of surviving strong waves. —DELFIN P. MALLARI III

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday outings in parts of Laguna, Quezon, Cavite and Batangas provinces turned tragic, killing at least 19 vacationers, including two children.

Many of the dead were from accidents involving boats. The others died in separate cases of drowning.

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One of the youngest fatalities was a child traveling aboard a boat with pilgrims in Laguna Lake, while another young fatality was aboard a tourist boat in Quezon province headed for Sombrero Island.

In Quezon, Junrex Dilao, 12, was found dead by fishermen and rescuers after strong waves caused the motorized boat he was riding to capsize and sink in Sibuyan Sea in San Francisco town on Good Friday, according to police.

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Quoting Rebecca Ruga, village chair of Pagsangahan in San Francisco, Senior Supt. Rhoderick Armamento, Quezon provincial police chief, said the boat left on Good Friday for Sombrero island, known for its white sand beach in Burias, Masbate province, for a picnic.

Strong waves battered the boat, causing it to capsize and sink.

Missing passengers

Insp. Randy Buenaventura, San Francisco police chief, said fishermen in the area rescued four passengers but four others were missing.

Henry Buzar, Quezon disaster management coordinator, said authorities sought help from other towns in the Bondoc Peninsula district and coastal towns in Masbate to help search for the missing.

In Laguna, 7-year-old Jonalyn Procopio was among those killed when an outrigger boat with pilgrims capsized in Laguna Lake on Maundy Thursday.

Coast Guard and local rescuers found the child’s body and the remains of the other fatalities—Lester Kent Desoloc, EJ Manalo, Jenard Pailan, Joan Resureccion and Maria Jolyn Quinola—on Saturday.

Rommel Palacol, of the Laguna Action Center, said the boat, with only one outrigger, was likely overloaded with 16 people onboard.

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The passengers were mostly residents of Pila town in Laguna province, who were headed for Jala-jala, Rizal for a mountain trek as part of their Holy Week ritual, Palacol said.

Deadly joke

Quoting survivors, Palacol said one of the passengers sat on one edge of the boat to play a prank joke on the other passengers, causing the boat to tilt over.

At least 12 passengers had been rescued.

Separate cases of drowning also piled up during Holy Week’s two holiest days.

In Pililia, Rizal, 7-year-old Limeah Cabral drowned while swimming in a creek on Maundy Thursday.

In Cavite province, Noel Anthony Restauro drowned while swimming in a resort in Barangay Sabang in Dasmariñas City on Good Friday.

map holyweek tragediesKarl Gamaliel Demillo, 21, also drowned at Malibic-libic Falls in Barangay Lumipa in General Aguinaldo town, Cavite on the same day.

In Batangas province, 6-year-old Girlie Talag drowned at Rosman Beach Resort in Barangay Nonong Casto in Lemery on Good Friday.

On the same day, Piolo Pilapil, 16, drowned in Barangay Bagong Silang in Calatagan, Batangas.

In Balete, Batangas, Freddie Fernandez drowned while swimming in the lake in Barangay San Sebastian on Good Friday.

Pool deaths

Gasper Perlas drowned in a pool at Praxises Resort in Rosario, Batangas, on Maundy Thursday.

In Quezon, at least three, two of them children, died in separate drowning cases on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

JV Kim Dimaalihan, 10, drowned at the Palm Ville Subdivision club house swimming pool in Barangay Isabang, Tayabas City on Good Friday.

In Unisan town, Roy Amparo Cabangon was found dead in Malatandang Beach Resort in Barangay Ilayang Kalilayan, also on Good Friday.

Police said Cabangon was intoxicated when he drowned.

On Maundy Thursday, 5-year old John Michael Castillo drowned in Tayabas Bay in Barangay Matandang Sabang in Catanauan town.

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