Bayanihan in Action: Filipino Community in Kildare Rallies Behind Children Orphaned by COVID-19

Bayanihan in Action: Filipino Community in Kildare Rallies Behind Children Orphaned by COVID-19
COVID-19 has left Miguel Plangca’s four children orphaned after he lost his battle against the infectious disease two weeks ago. Their mother succumbed to cancer and passed away five years ago in the Philippines. (Photo from Miguel Plangca’s Facebook account)

The Filipino Community in Kildare, Ireland has raised more than €283,258 for the orphaned children of Miguel Plangca, a Filipino factory worker who died of COVID-19 in Ireland on 13 May 2020.  The overwhelming support from more than 8,000 donors from Ireland and other countries helped the Filipino community in Kildare exceed the initial target of €5,000.

Aged between 12 and 21, Plangca’s children,  Mikee, Michael, John, and Chekie, joined him in Ireland in 2015 after their mother, Gliceria, lost her battle to cancer.  Plangca’s recent passing has left the children to the care of their aunt, Fely Moore and to the County Kildare community.

Plangca, 55, moved to Ireland as a factory worker in Bird’s Eye Foods more than 20 years ago.  Since then, he regularly sent money to support his family in Ozamis City, Misamis Occidental.  Those who know him describe him as a hardworking man who always wanted the best for his wife and children.

“I remember saying to Mikee on one of our phone calls, ‘I am here for you and your siblings and I won’t leave you until Papa is back home,’ but 41 days later, we didn’t see him home alive,” said Aina Dugenio Conway in a Facebook post celebrating the latest milestone of the GoFundMe page she started for the Plangca children.  Conway currently leads the Filipino community in Kildare while at the same time serves as the Education, Arts, and Culture Officer of the Philippine Consulate in Dublin.  “The outpouring generosity of everyone in Ireland and around the world is astounding.  I cannot thank you all enough.”

Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio M. Lagdameo lauded the efforts of the Filipino community in Kildare in swiftly extending support to the Plangca children even before their father’s passing. “The initiative of the Filipino Community in Kildare is an outstanding example of the Filipino spirit of bayanihan.  We at the Embassy offer our deepest sympathies to Miguel Plangca’s children, and we hope that they are comforted by the kindness and generosity of so many people who stood by them in these difficult times.”— Source: DFA.GOV.PH

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