Ireland-based Cebuano family injured in Barcelona attack
CEBU CITY — An Ireland-based Cebuano family went to Spain for a vacation but ended up getting hurt during a terror attack in Barcelona.
Norman Potot, a 45-year-old from Barangay Gabi in Cordova town, Cebu; his wife, 39-year-old Pederlita, or “Pearly”; their kids, nine-year-old Nailah Pearl and five-year-old Nathaniel Paul were still traumatized by the incident.
The family, who is now based in Ballsbridge in Dublin, Ireland arrived in Spain last Monday to celebrate Nathaniel’s fifth birthday.
Hours before the terrorist attack on Thursday at Barcelona’s Las Ramblas tourist district, the Potots were touring the area when a van driven by a terrorist, plowed through pedestrians.
In an online interview with the Inquirer, Norman said he was busy looking for key chains that he planned to give away as “pasalubong” (souvenirs) when the attack took place.
“I was looking at the keychains when there was a commotion,” he said in Cebuano. “When I turned around, I saw the white van that was ramming into the people on the streets.”
He said he was hit on the left side and passed out.
Pederlita and their children were also injured in the commotion as people were scampering in different directions.
When he regained consciousness, Norman said, Pederlita told him that he was found bloody on the road.
He said his wife thought that he was dead and slapped his face hoping to revive him.
As of this writing, Norman was still under observation at the Hospital Del Mar in Barcelona, where he was sharing a room with his son, Nathaniel.
Norman said he suffered minor injury in the head, but the physicians put him under observation because of the minor hematoma in his kidney.
Nathaniel was also recovering after surgery on his fractured leg, which someone someone stepped on as he fell on the ground during the commotion.
Pederlita suffered minor bruises, while his daughter also had a fractured arm.
“My wife had bruises. My daughter had a fracture in her arm but it had been cemented,” he said in Cebuano.
Norman said they were grateful to the Filipino community and the consuls from the Philippines and Ireland who visited and expressed support to his family while in the hospital.
A physician based in Barcelona, identified only as Doc Eric, also helped them. His daughter, who was already out of danger, was temporarily staying at Doc Eric’s place.
Former Cebu journalist Dennis Santillan, who is now based in Ireland, said he learned from Pederlita that all of them were suffering from the trauma, especially Nathaniel who kept on crying.
Santillan is a family friend of the Norman family because Santillan’s wife and Pederlita worked in the same hotel in Dublin.
A week before the Potot family went on a vacation, the couple visited the house of Santillan.
Santillan said he even asked the couple to buy him dried fish in Barcelona.
Pederlita first worked in Dublin. When the couple got married, she brought Norman in Dublin to work together in a hotel and established a family there, Santillan added.
All of them are Irish citizens.
Norman is a native of Barangay Gabi in Cordova, while Pederlita is from Ozamis City. But they have a house in Pitogo, Consolacion, according to Norman’s cousin Ramil Norman. /atm
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