Quantcast
Latest Stories

Wife recalls unusual conversation: He said, ‘I love you’

By

The sun sets behind the minarets of a mosque in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The days won’t be the same again for Jocelyn Santiago, wife of overseas Filipino truck driver Florentino Santiago, one of the 23 people killed in a tanker explosion in Riyadh. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Now she’s beginning to understand the unusual conversation she had with her husband the day before the accident, Jocelyn Santiago said.

Florentino Santiago, 44, a truck driver, was among the 23 people killed in a tanker explosion in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday.

According to Jocelyn, her husband called her twice on Wednesday, “which he seldom did.”

“He called at least twice a week but he rarely called twice on the same day,” Jocelyn said.

“His first call was around noon and he asked me to shop for the kids. His last words were ‘I love you,’ which I found unusual because he was more expressive when we exchange text messages,” she said between sobs in a phone interview.

“His last call was around midnight. He was quite surprised that I was still awake. I told him I had just finished preparing the flowers and the food that we would bring to the cemetery the next day.

“He asked about our children (Shaina May, 16, and Renz Joseph, 4). I told him they were already asleep. I asked him if he wanted me to wake them up so he could talk to them, but he said no. He told me, ‘Go to sleep now, take a rest. Take care of the kids, especially Renz, because he’s still too young,’” Jocelyn recalled.

“He did not usually say that to me. We usually just end every conversation with a simple ‘take care.’ That’s it. But it was different when we last talked. And now I know why,” she said.

So many plans

Jocelyn said her husband was planning on a trip home next March for the high school graduation of Shaina May.

“He had so many plans for us so it’s really painful to accept that everything’s gone in a snap. I still can’t believe he’s gone, he’s too young,” she said.

From their hometown in Pandi, Bulacan, a sister of Florentino said the family was appealing to President Aquino to help expedite the visa processing of their brother who has been tasked to go to Riyadh to fetch his remains.

“Our appeal now is for President Aquino to help in the release of the visa of our brother who works in Qatar, so he can travel to Riyadh and work on the repatriation of the body of our brother,” said Gregoria Santiago-Fajardo.

She said their youngest brother, Jovenal, a civil engineer working in Qatar, had volunteered to fetch Florentino’s remains and bring them home to Barangay Malibung Matanda in Pandi.

Fajardo said the family learned about the accident at noon on Thursday while they were gathered around their father’s tomb.

“I still have to accept that my brother is dead. We were all at the cemetery for our departed father, and that was the news that met us there,” she said.

She said the news was relayed to them by her husband, Marcial Fajardo Jr., who also works in Riyadh. She said her husband also informed them that a brother-in-law, Godofredo Gonzales, who was with Florentino when the accident happened, suffered minor injuries.

Fajardo’s neighbors received the news about the accident at the cemetery about the same time as the family, as many of their relatives work for the same company that Florentino was working for in Riyadh.

Owwa benefits

Carmelita Dimzon, the administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa), said she would work to speed up the repatriation of Florentino’s remains.

“We don’t have the date yet, but we expect the repatriation to be soon because the cause of death has already been determined,” Dimzon said.

She also said the family of the victim would receive P220,00 in burial and death benefits from the Owwa.

Aside from the financial benefits, Dimzon said, the Owwa would also be providing livelihood assistance to    Florentino’s widow and a scholarship for one child.

Dimzon added that the Owwa would also be extending assistance to the other injured OFWs who are still in Riyadh. With a report from Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Inquirer Central Luzon


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Florentino Santiago , Jocelyn Santiago , overseas Filipino worker , Riyadh , tanker explosion

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HLAK254RM36J4MNG6A3NFYASQM Jiggy

    asking for Pnoy’s help on the visa – isn’t that too much, asking for the President’s help?  tulong sa visa, Presidente pa ang ini-involve? sobrang kalabisan

    • pakita_ko_sayo

      Oo nga. Sobra namang depende sa presidente. Unahin na yung line agencies.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DE46XV4JUTB3WOWECSZ3TKLX7I Catherine

    Are you for real?  if your wife/child/relative died, i wonder how you would react and how you would take it if people would say that to you especially when the loss is still so fresh!  how could you be so insensitive? You will never understand the pain until you live through it!  Unless you are a cold, unfeeling creature that is devoid of any emotion/s.  well, this is just my opinion….oh..and please…mind your grammar! again this is just my opinion
    Catherine



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Avalanche sweeps Everest; 6 killed, 9 missing
  • Captain not at helm of capsized Korean ferry–probers
  • 4.9 quake jolts Batanes on Maundy Thursday
  • Presidents, celebrities mourn writer Garcia Marquez
  • MH370 search to be most costly ever at $100 million — analysts
  • Sports

  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • LeBron still No. 1 with NBA’s most popular jersey
  • Pacquiao back in PH, heads home to wife, kids
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Marketplace