Hague-based Pinoys pray for 2 dead seafarers
|Pinoys in The Hague offer prayers to two Filipino seafarers who died in sea mishap|
THE HAGUE – Filipinos condoled and prayed for two compatriots who died from the accident caused by the collision of MV/Maria ship and fishing boat Texler 68 at the Dutch port Den Helder.
Owned by Rederij Groen or Green shipping which is based in The Hague, MV Maria is the ship that Captain Dennis Sabang and First Officer Edwin Javier were manning together with three other crew members, when it sank after the collision.
The Pinoys were under contract from Anscor Swire Agency, as other seafarers on other ships owned by Green Shipping.
Pinoy couple Lenie Lobaton and Jojo Vicente who welcomed seafarers to their home in Scheveningen and are close to Sabang, offered a special prayer for the two dead Pinoys.
The loss of Sabang is most painful to Vicente who considered him as a second father. Vicente already lost his real father but was happy to have Sabang in his life.
He described Sabang as a kind and jovial person, always full of humor.
|Pinoy seafarers at sea also offer prayers for their colleagues|
But in the more than two years of friendship, it was only during Sabang’s last visit last month that Vicente noticed something different about the seaman.
"Dati dati noon mapagkwento siya, magpagbiro pero nung last pumunta sya dito malungkot siya, umiinom nang mag-isa. Nanonood lang siya ng TV nakatitig sa TV," a tearful Vicente said.
Sabang’s fellow seafarers who are currently at sea are grieving his death too and even joined the special prayers through Facebook.
Alan Joe Sarabia, who was also close with Sabang, reminisced about the times he spent with the captain -- sightseeing in the Hague's downtown and red light district, evenhaving a meal at a Chinese restaurant last month.
Sarabia said he introduced Sabang to the Vicente family.
Sarabia said the accident has weighed heavily on the minds of seafarers currently at sea.
"Sa nangyari sa kaibigan namin nagkaroon kami ng takot at naging alerto kami ngayon. Sa ngayon po doble ingat po kami sa lahat ng kilos namin pati sa pagtulog na halos di na nga kami makatulog, konting galaw eh gising agad talaga eh dahil sa nangyari natatak sa isip namin," Sarabia said.
Sabang’s wife, Marichu, who is in Manila, is still waiting for confirmation when his body will be repatriated to the Philippines.
"Nagpapasalamat ako sa kanila lalo na ke Lenie at Jojo. Hindi ko masasabi. Natutuwa ako na marami na ano sa asawa ko, na maraming nagmamahal sa kanya. Yun lang ang masasabi ko," Marichu said.
The Philippine Embassy in The Hague can’t provide a definite timeline because they are still waiting for the papers from Anscor Swire’s agent in The Netherlands.
"Ngayon kausap namin yung agent to facilitate, yung death papers, report of death, yung mga kailangan na dokumento for the report of death like certificate of embalmment, yung mortuary certificate so that makauwi yung body," Consul Charlotte Tang said.
Tang said gathering and processing documents needed for Sabang's repatriation may take some time since documents and records have to be translated into English from Dutch.
An investigation into the cause of the accident is still ongoing. Tang said it will still take weeks before she receives the final report from the Dutch Maritime Police.
But Tang reassured the grieving families that the Philippine Embassy is doing its best, is always on standby and ready to assist in expediting the process so that the bodies can be repatriated back to the Philippines the soonest possible.