Greed led the owner of the MV Princess of the Stars to allow it to proceed on its final journey despite Typhoon Frank warnings. This is the same corporation which owned the even more ill-fated Dona Paz, a ship whose loss on December 20, 1987 killed nearly three times as many as the famous Titanic.
The manner by which Sulpicio Lines handled the terrible tragedy is most deplorable. However, there is yet another tragedy that has not been written about much, which has befallen the town of San Fernando in Sibuyan Island. San Fernando is the town closest to where the sunken ship lies.
This quaint fishing town of some 22,000 residents is also struggling against an equally daunting devastation away from media glare that is focused on the capsized MV Princess of the Stars just a few kilometers from the shore. Majority of the families have lost their homes and been displaced. There is hardly food and shelter available. The children are in dire straits. They have lost all their books, toys, clothing and are very much in need of basic necessities. Government agencies, owing to a lack of resources, just cannot be depended on to address all the tragedy surrounding us today. In today’s Philippine Inquirer report, Dr. Ted Esguerra of the Philippine Coast Guard mentioned that attention should be given to the children of this island.
As private citizens, and as human beings, we can do our part. My friend, Cathy Babao-Guballa is initiating a campaign to help the Children of San Fernando, Sibuyan Island.