Cebu-based officials and employees of the 2GO Group Inc. went out of their way to light candles and say prayers at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and at the Catholic public cemetery at Carreta, Cebu City on All Saints Day and All Souls Day for the souls of passengers and crew of the ill-fated MV Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Called undas in Filipino and Kalag-Kalag in Cebuano, Filipino families bring flowers and light candles as they spend time to pray and just be with their departed kin at cemeteries on November 1 and 2 every year.
The MV Saint Thomas Aquinas sank off the Port of Cebu after it was rammed by the cargo ship MV Sulpicio Express Siete at around 9 p.m. on August 16, 2013. The tragic sinking left 116 people dead and 21 missing. Forty-six of the casualties remain unidentified and were buried last September 25 at the Carreta Public Cemetery in Cebu.
Before the country observed undas, 2GO and the Cebu Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes installed lapidas at the tombs of those who remained unidentified.
On Nov. 1, 2013, flowers were offered and candles placed at each tomb. Guards and personnel of 2GO were deployed at the tomb site. Finally, the 2GO management sponsored the celebration of nine-day masses.
It is believed that 21 bodies still remain inside the vessel that sank at the narrow Lauis Ledge between Cordova town in Mactan island and the coast of Talisay City at the Cebu mainland.
Earlier, 2GO Group assistant vice president Lito Salvio said the shipping line already spent some P55 million for the oil spill clean up efforts at the coast of Cordova town. The amount did not include the hiring of foreign experts and use of equipment from abroad for the siphoning of oil from the sunken ship.
2GO transports relief goods to quake-hit Bohol for free (Philstar.com)