By Quay Evano, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Jan. 23, 2014
CALGARY – A Filipino-Canadian who had just returned from a relief operation in typhoon-hit Leyte died days after a drunk driver slammed into his car.
Francis Pesa was severely injured after a drunk driver hit his car head-on on New Year’s Day.
“I was shocked. As soon as I heard it, we all rushed to his house and I was crying. He is a selfless person. He doesn’t like to put himself before others and he doesn’t demand respect, he gives respect more than he expects it for himself,” his friend Bryan Prodigalidad said.
The accident happened just two hours after he and his family arrived from the Philippines. The family brought medicines and relief to relatives and other victims of super typhoon Yolanda.
They had lost 40 relatives to the typhoon.
Pesa’s family declined to be interviewed, but told Balitang Canada that while in Leyte, he was tirelessly handing out medicines and food not only to their kin but also to strangers, even prisoners.
He gave almost all his personal belongings like watches and clothes to make sure everyone they met had something.
Pesa was brought to the hospital and fought for his life for five days. He later succumbed to his injuries and died.
Pesa’s friends and family were all shocked to lose such a very responsible person who always put others first before him.
Prodigalidad added, “He was always the one who’d brought us together, brought us everywhere. He was morally good”.
Pesa’s friends meantime said his death was ironic as he was always the designated driver who would make sure everybody was home safe and sound.
“I think the best memories are just being here. I remember he doesn’t need to drink to have fun. That’s the good thing about him. When all his friends wanted to drink, he’d be the one to say “no, no, you guys go’ and he’d be the one to drive them in the end. He knows his limits, and he knows not to drink. He is very responsible,” said another friend Jesse Serrano.
A nine-day vigil was held at the Pesa family’s home attended by friends, family and other representatives of the Filipino community.
His funeral is scheduled on January 25.
Meantime, the drunk driver has been charged and is awaiting trial.
Pesa’s family and friends are hoping they will get justice for Francis.