Man loses wife, 2 kids just split second during Luzon earthquake


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A man is left distraught as he lost his wife and two kids just “split second” during the earthquake that happened on Monday, April 22.
Man loses wife, 2 kids just split second during Luzon earthquake

Jason Dela Cruz was with his family ready to buy goods at the at the Chuzon Porac Supermarket in Pampanga. Upon arriving, he dropped off his wife, Manilyn and his children – Jacob, 6, and one-year-old Hailee as he went to look for a parking spot for his tricycle.

Man loses wife, 2 kids just split second during Luzon earthquake
Jason Dela Cruz was just looking for a parking spot for his tricycle after dropping off his family when the supermarket collapsed | Photo Courtesy: ABS-CBN

Jason has barely left the area when an earthquake shook the ground around 5:00 p.m. He screeched his tricycle to a stop as he ran towards the supermarket where he left his family.

Jason couldn't believe his eyes as he saw the four-storey supermarket collapse in a pile of rubble. Stone, cement, clouds of ash filled the area where he dropped off his family just minutes ago.

Jason said, “Biglang lumindol na, hindi ko pa nai-park ‘yung tricycle namin, bigla na lang bumagsak ‘yung ano, hindi ko na sila nakita. Segundo lang."

“Tinangka ko pa pumunta [sa loob] kaya lang wala na hindi na ako makapasok. Seconds nga lang po gumuho na ang building. Binubuhat ko na yung mga bato. Wala. Sigaw ako nang sigaw, hindi sila sumasagot,” the grieving father added.

Jacob, Hailee and Manilyn were three of the 5 fatalities recovered from the collapsed Chuzon Porac Supermarket. At least 16 died in Pampanga after a Magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.

Jason became more devastated when he saw the bodies of her beloved family. He could barely recognize them because they sustained injuries from the debris that fell on them.

Man loses wife, 2 kids just split second during Luzon earthquake
Jason Dela Cruz stares at the white coffins of his family | Photo Courtesy: ABS-CBN

Without his family, Jason no longer knows how to move on. He said, “Hindi ko po alam ang gagawin ko matapos nito…dapat sinama na nila ako.”

The widower shared that his son Jacob was supposed to celebrate his 7th birthday on the first of May. They were planning a pool party with their family and friends.

Chuzon Supermarket was in rubble as it collapsed after the earthquake
Chuzon Supermarket was in rubble as it collapsed after the earthquake | Photo Courtesy: Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Jason’s mother Sanita was also in grief over the tragedy. She said that before the family left, her daughter-in-law Manilyn promised to treat her for snacks while Hailee dances before them.

Sanita said, “Pagkalindol naalala ko yung anak ko at manugang. Yung kaba ko…”

“Bakit ang taong mabait pa sila pa ang kinuha. Ang daming taong mga salbahe. Bakit sila pa?” she added.

The grieving lola remembered her grandchildren. Sanita said, 6-year-old Jacob was kind and smart while 1-year-old Hailee was talkative.

Meanwhile, 25-year-old Lourdes Martin was one of the lucky ones who survived the tragedy. Her store was right next to the entrance of the Chuzon Porac Supermarket. After the building collapsed, she was trapped for two hours until rescuers came.

Martin made the painful decision to allow the rescuers to amputate her right leg which was pinned down by huge debris, as it was the only way for her to live.

— Sally, The Summit Express


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