Tragic bride appeared in Inquirer ad in 2002


San Mateo County firefighters and California Highway Patrol personnel investigate the scene of a limousine fire on the westbound side of the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge in Foster City, California, on Saturday, May 4, 2013. Five people died, including newlywed Neriza Fojas, when they were trapped in the limo that caught fire. AP PHOTO/OAKLAND TRIBUNE-BAY AREA NEWS GROUP, JANE TYSKA

CAMILING, Tarlac—Neriza Fojas died in a limousine blaze in California but the fire she left in the hearts of her parents is the love of a conscientious and dutiful daughter whose zest for life is best remembered in her well-organized scrapbooks.

Fojas was killed on Saturday when the limousine carrying her during a night out with friends in California to celebrate her civil wedding caught fire. Four of her companions, all Filipinos, died.

The volume about Fojas’ life as a nursing student starts with the Jan. 14, 2002, issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The clipping was an advertisement of Centro Escolar University, where she was then a senior. Wearing a pink nurse uniform, she was chosen for the ad because she was the college muse.

‘Discovery year’

Fojas, 31, also had a separate volume about her participation in beauty contests, from her “discovery year” as Miss Sportsfest in high school, to being Miss Lions Club to being first runner-up in the annual Miss Camiling pageant.

On these pages, she typed what could have been her way of introducing herself in these pageants: “From the native town of Leonor Rivera, the famous Maria Clara… CAMILING. I am Neriza Fojas.”

“She put these albums together before she left for the United States [in 2005],” said her mother, Sonia. “She never tired of doing this.”

There are missing photographs in the albums—those taken during school recognition programs where she received academic honors.

“These photos were removed because they would be included in the video presentation being prepared for the wedding,” her mother said. “We did these through Skype, I would flip through the album and she would tell me which ones to get.”

“She always called,” said her father, Carlito. “The last time we talked was Saturday before she died but it was a quick talk because we were on a bus then. But the day earlier, on Friday, we talked through Skype and she showed us her pasalubong (homecoming gift). She bought me a shirt and her Nanay, a bag,” he said.

“It was the last time she would greet me. When she showed me the bag through Skype, Neriza greeted me with advanced Happy Mother’s Day,” her mother said.

Fojas was scheduled to come home on June 2 for her June 19 church wedding in Batangas.

“All my three children are very good children. But as Neriza was the youngest, she was always there,” Carlito said.

Home every year

After graduating from CEU, Fojas started working on her travel papers and examinations that would allow her to work in the United States, following in the footsteps of her older sister, also a nurse in Hawaii.

She left in 2005 and she would come home every year to visit them. Fojas took her parents to Hong Kong in 2007, to Cebu in 2008, to Bohol in 2009 and the following year, to Ilocos.

When the couple retired—Carlito from the Philippine National Bank as a cashier, and Sonia as a Department of Agriculture technician—their daughters took them to the United States.

Carlito said what happened to Neriza was painful. “We just think that she’s in California, working so we won’t feel that she’s gone.”

Town’s prettiest

Wednesday was Camiling’s town fiesta and as the parade of muses passed by their house, the Fojas couple were once more reminded that sometime back, it was their daughter who waved to the crowd as one of the town’s prettiest.

Inside their home, a portrait of their daughter is on an altar with white roses and candles. A novena is offered every day for the repose of her soul. Friends and relatives continue to pour in to sympathize and condole with the family.

“What is most painful is that we can no longer see the remains of our daughter. She is coming home in ashes,” Carlito said.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Yet Jua

    Rest in Peace…

  • mamer2

    the LORD does work in ways we, humans, just can not understand.
    Let us just have Faith & Trust in the LORD.

    • kanoy

      GROAN….the LORD never told the good katolik to have a civil wedding,,,,consummate it,,,,spend lavishly on a bachelorette party of wild drinking and partying to rival sodom and gomoraha…with plans to return to the RP to consult with a pedophile priest should the deflowered married woman get married then have a big church wedding and WEAR A VIRGIN WHITE DRESS….give protestants a break!!

      • $5699914

        You sure have mental issues that needs to be resolved, fast!
        Quick! get your pill and take it. Now!

      • mamer2

        You sure are a judgmental religious fanatic.
        Where did the Catholics come into my comment…., and all those other things you mentioned.
        Yes, you do have a mental problem. Both emotional & mental.
        Pray…, it does not reach into your “spiritual core”.

  • r c

    it is suspicious to me.. it is too much neglect or intentional.. i would have killed that driver if i saw him..

    • mamer2

      So would I…….., probably not.

  • maceren

    Learning as nurse in the Philippines and after National Examination not working as nurse in the Philippines but in a hurry to go USA to earn big money!!! BAD KARMA WAS WAITING FOR THAT ?

    • maceren

      why the government not make a law that fresh nurses after graduation are obliged to work 5 years as nurse in RURAL HEALTH CENTERS in the Philippines and than are free to go abroad as nurse ?????

      • mamer2

        Why prevent these fresh graduates from going where they please.?
        NOT the Gov’t or anybody, except the parents/relatives of these fresh grads worked for and paid for the expense of schooling.
        Let them have the RIGHT to pursue their “happiness” wherever they please.

  • Sollie Sinson

    God won’t give us everything… i wonder why?

    • mamer2

      Never question the LORD, thy GOD.!

    • Jose Pepe

      I agree with mamer2. Maybe this nurse has a swollen pride because of her successes in life. Maybe she hurt someone because of her status. I remember a girl before who becomes an accounting manager in a Bank. She becomes very rude and “mayabang”. 2 boyfriends at the same time, feeling “sosyal”, shouting at boyfriend. You know what GOD did to punish her, the Bank closed, she lost her job. It’s one way GOD is telling us to always be humble and get our two feet in the ground.

  • Diepor

    Why is her looks important. Some people are just shallow.

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