CEBU CITY (Updated) -- Two passengers died, three went missing, while 29 others were rescued when a motorized banca traveling from Carmen town to Camotes Island capsized in the middle of their journey at 9 a.m. Tuesday, February 6.
The Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) identified the fatalities as two-year-old Althea Gonzaga and Neriza Gonzaga, 30 to 40 years old.
Petty Officer 3 Richard Mangubat of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)-Camotes Island detachment said they are still searching for the three missing passengers -- Carel Palomar, 9; Andie de Leon, 2; and Kiven Gonzaga, 4 -- as of Tuesday afternoon.
Mangubat said that MBC Habagat Romeo, carrying 34 passengers, left Carmen at 7 a.m. and was supposed to arrive at San Francisco town in Camotes Island at 11 a.m.
But the vessel reportedly encountered problem at 9 a.m. and huge waves, brought about by northeast (amihan) winds, caused the boat to capsize, Mangubat said.
Majority of the passengers were reportedly going to San Francisco town to attend a fiesta in Barangay Sunog.
Luckily, some of the passengers were rescued after a vessel owned by Lite Shipping Inc. passed by the area.
Below is the list of the rescued passengers from the ill-fated vessel:
1. Romar Hermosilla, 51, boat skipper
2. Jordan Gonzaga, 18
3. Edward Jayme, 16
4. Rowena Peroso, 29
5. Margie Gonzaga, 24
6. Jucemar Gonzaga, 12
7. Sherlie Miao, 49
8. Mark Gonzaga, 16
9. Judith Palomar, 47
10. Bonifacia Gonzaga, 57
11. Jeylo Palomar, 13
12. Vitaliana Sampan, 77
13. Angelica de Leon, 13
14. Danny de Leon Sr., 45
15. Elena Sumalinog, 50
16. Marian Gonzaga, 14
17. Maria Medisa Gonzaga, 47
18. Josie Gonzaga, 51
19. Anidita Formetera, 55
20. Milagrosa Antida, 62
21. Junlie Mark Gonzaga, 5
22. Crisalyn Peraso, 11
23. Daniel de Leon, 5
24. Danny de Leon Jr, 9
25. Mary Jane Gonzaga, 10
26. Jinkie Palomar, 6
27. Ritchiel Mea Suralta, 9
28. Princess Farah Andrade, 3 months
29. James Ivan Gonzaga, 2
Mangubat said that Hermosilla, the boat's captain, reportedly defied PCG's advice not to sail due to strong waves.
“Wala gyud sila mananghid nga mubyahe sila (They did not ask for permission to sail),” Mangubat added.
At 9 p.m. Tuesday, the survivors and the bodies of the two dead passengers arrived at Ouano Wharf in Mandaue City on a Coast Guard Cebu patrol vessel.
PCG Cebu Commander Jerome Cayabyab said they will require Hermosilla to file a marine protest and they will also secure testimonies from the survivors.
Julius Regner, PDRRMO information officer, said that Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III has instructed them to assist the survivors and the families of those who died. They are also coordinating with the local disaster office in San Francisco.