FORMER social worker Felicidad Ylagan, 47, died a meaningful death for she passed on serving people.
A few minutes before the mudslide covered Brgy. Guinsaguon, St. Bernard, Leyte two months ago, Ylagan or Dade as she was fondly called by her friends and fellow social workers, was able to make a call to St. Bernard Mayor Maria Lim-Yap to inform the latter about a loud explosion in the area.
“Ylagan would have wanted to save the group because she was among those who called up Mayor Yap early through her cell phone that there has been a loud explosion in Guinsaugon but the line was cut-off,” Vina Aquino, information officer of DSWD Region VIII said in a statement.
On that ill-fated day, Dade was with mothers and members of the Guinsaugon Women’s Health Organization (GWHO) that she helped put up with the Department of Health.
The group was celebrating the organization’s third year anniversary that day.
Their efforts to improve the plight of local women were already paying off and the group was looking forward to providing another year of fruitful service this year. However, their noble undertaking was cut short by the tragedy.
Three days after the incident rescuers dug up Dade’s wallet containing P1,700. This gave her husband and two grown up kids hope that she could still be alive only to be disappointed after two more days of waiting.
Rescuers found Dade already lifeless. Her loved ones identified her through her ring and dentures.
Dade was a pharmacist by profession but landed in the field of social work for her passion to touch the hearts of people and serve the less fortunate.
The native of Bohol also worked as day care officer for two decades at the community day care center in Guinsaugon, where she served as a surrogate mother to young children left in the center.
Before she died, she was working as clerk in the mayor’s office.
With her educational background as pharmacist it could have been easy for Dade to find a good paying job in pharmaceutical companies, but she opted to stay in Guinsaugon to serve.
“I saw in her the inherent qualities of a social worker. In fact, she was more of a social worker than myself. She was a shoulder to cry on especially for the abused and neglected women and children,” shared municipal social worker Arcelyn Egidio of Dade.
Dade’s exposure to community organizing and social work started in Guinsaugon when she was appointed project implementor of Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services in the area.
She organized people in the community and helped build village structures and core shelters as well as various organizations.
In 2005, she helped implement the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program where she actively participated in coming up with programs that will benefit the disadvantaged children of Guinsaugon.
Fellow social workers said her aspirations may have cut short by her untimely death, but her dreams will live on to the memories of those who survived the incident.
Written by Miriam V. Torrecampo for People’s Tonight.
Published in May 6, 2006