by Marjorie Carmona Newman, ABS-CBN News
EDMONTON, CANADA — The Filipino community in Edmonton mourns the loss of one of its own, after a fatal vehicle accident in January claimed the life of Oscar Manalo.
“One more thing I can remember about him. He was so selfless, he took care of my boys and gave them a beautiful Kobe jersey,” remembered cousin Stephanie Viaje. “He loved basketball, and so does my son… so I will miss you Kuya Jun, and we love you.”
The 43-year old Manalo was turning east in his Toyota Corolla when an F-150 truck struck him. The truck careened off-road, and Manalo’s car struck a pole.
The report declares that alcohol, drugs, and/or excessive speed were not factors in the accident.
Manalo was declared dead on arrival.
Manalo and his family arrived in Canada a few years ago from Pampanga.
Without any relatives to support, he and his family made Edmonton their home, and established a new community of close friends.
A viewing was held over the weekend, where family, friends and his church community gathered to celebrate his life.
“Si brother Jun sa aking alala ay napaka sariwa pa sa lugar na ito sa edmonton siyay agaran pumunta sa aming lugar para kami ay tulungan. Ang kanyan kagandahang loob ang nananatiling buhay sa amin,” said Pastor Dennis Lachica.
A GoFundMe page has been set to assist bringing Manalo’s remains back to the Philippines, where his family and relatives in Pampanga long to say their final goodbyes.
“Allow me to say — maraming maraming salamat po sa mga taong tumulong sa amin,” said his late wife, Catherine Manalo. “It is never easy and it is hard to accept, but I know the Lord has a plan. He is in a better place right now.”
Manalo’s fatal accident was the first traffic fatality investigated by the the Edmonton police service in 2017.
Manalo left behind a wife and two sons.