We might be living in an extraordinary time, but it is unthinkable for a grieving man to walk five kilometers while carrying his son’s body just to go home and provide the baby with a decent wake.
This was the experience of Rodel Canas, 23, a resident of 19th Avenue in Barangay East Rembo in Makati City.
After his 32-day-old son succumbed to hospital-acquired pneumonia resulting from severe sepsis, personnel at the Rizal Medical Center in Pasig City gave him his son’s body, encased in a box wrapped with packaging tape. Because there was no available means of transportation due to the enhanced community quarantine in force in Metro Manila, he had no choice but to walk home despite a curfew.
His wife was awaiting his return
On 11 March, Canas brought his wife to the Pasig hospital where she prematurely gave birth. Diagnosed with congenital heart disease, the baby was confined for a month before he died on Monday, 13 April at 2 p.m.
Before he left the medical facility, he was presented a bill for P245,000, covering the delivery and confinement, which he could not settle as he is only a construction worker.
The next day, he sought the help of East Rembo barangay chairman Thelma P. Ramirez for a certificate of indigency, since he had yet to settle his bills and bury his son.
However, learning of his situation, the barangay chairman arranged for the child’s burial, as Canas wanted to bury the body in a vacant lot at the compound he was renting.