Oplan Hatid leads Alro’s final journey home
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - December 22, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - For members of the group behind the free transport for survivors who flew to Manila following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda, bringing the remains of six-year-old Alro Aguipo back to his home in Santa Rita, Samar is the “ultimate Oplan Hatid.”

Aguipo, who survived the wrath of the typhoon unscathed, died on the night of Dec. 13 in Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) in Quezon City due to complications caused by a brain tumor.

A necrological service, also organized by Oplan Hatid, was held at the Manila North Cemetery chapel Friday night. The group – composed of three vehicles carrying Alro’s remains and his family – left Manila following the service.

In a Facebook post, Oplan Hatid member Junep Ocampo said they expect to arrive in Santa Rita yesterday afternoon. He drove the Aguipos to PCMC when they arrived in Manila on Nov. 22.

Alro was supposed to undergo surgery at PCMC, but he contracted pneumonia.

He fell into a coma on Dec. 9 and died four days later. The city government of Manila paid for his funeral expenses.

Alro’s parents Alfredo and Rosarita were not with him when he died because his mother was confined in San Lazaro Hospital due to measles. His maternal grandfather Crisanto Baysa and his aunt Melanie took care most of his needs when his parents are not around.

Raising funds

Through social media, members of Oplan Hatid were able to raise funds to grant the wish of Rosarita to bring the remains of Alro back home.

Initially, Ocampo said they planned to transport Alro’s remains via C-130 – the same mode used by the Aguipos when they went to Manila almost a month ago. Unfortunately, the Philippine Air Force informed them that C-130s no longer flew to and from Tacloban.

“We tried PAL and Cebu Pacific. All fully booked. Then we tried RORO buses, but they would only take the passengers, not Alro’s remains,” said Ocampo.

“It was then that we decided to do it Oplan Hatid-style,” he said.

Ocampo said James Deakin, a columnist in the motoring section of The STAR, was able to raise P36,000 for fuel and other expenses of the team who will bring Alro’s remains home.

He said the other P30,000 donated by various people who saw posts about Alro will be given to the family to help them get back on their feet.

AGUIPOS ALFREDO AND ROSARITA ALRO ALRO AGUIPO CEBU PACIFIC CRISANTO BAYSA JAMES DEAKIN OCAMPO OPLAN HATID SANTA RITA
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