By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

June 14, 2013

UNION CITY, Calif. – On May 4th, a Filipino bride and her friends were on a stretch limousine that burst into flames along San Mateo Bridge. On Thursday night, in a religious gathering commonly observed by bereaved Filipinos 40 days after losing a loved-one, survivors, as well as families and friends, celebrated the lives of Neriza Fojas, Fyla Geronga, Jennifer Balon and Anna Fe Benneth Alcantara, in a mass at St. Anne’s Catholic Church.

“In the midst of pain, or darkness and sorrow, we are here today to celebrate, to remember,” Parish Priest
Father Geoffrey Baraan said in his homily.

To this day, Fyla’s husband Aldrin is inconsolable.

“There’s still a certain time of the day that I would just cry, especially in the morning and afternoon,
because those are times that we really had each other and spent time together,” a tearful Aldrin said.

The children Fyla left behind said they talk to their mother in their prayers.

“I tell her that I miss her and that I love her,” 12-year old Yoare said, smiling sadly.

Since the tragedy, Aldrin has not returned to work and now worries over the family’s finances.
Fyla was their breadwinner.

The Gerongas have decided to hire a lawyer, not just to explore the option of filing a criminal case against the limo driver, owner and manufacturer, but to sue for damages as well.

“We have kids to take care of,” Aldrin pointed out.

Abner Alcantara, whose wife Benneth also perished in the blaze, has likewise hired a lawyer to seek justice.

“People responsible should be held accountable,” he insisted.

He added that his children are still traumatized.

His 14-year old son, Andrei, shared that he dreams of his mom. “In my dream, we were just sitting in the room and she said that she misses me,” he said.

Survivors of the fire still refuse to talk to the media. But they confirmed to Balitang America that they have sought legal advice.

A source said the survivors have told the grieving families that immediately after entering the toll bridge, they heard a thud and smelled smoke. But the driver reportedly did not stop the vehicle.

Although a local ABC station recently released a report that cited that a ruptured air spring caused the fire, the Alcantaras and the Gerongas said they will only believe the finds that officially come from the
California Highway Patrol (CHP).

The CHP said it could take another couple of weeks to complete their investigation. The CHP said what’s
important, is that authorities conduct a thorough investigation for the family’s sake.

“I can wait. I just want to really know what happened,” concluded Yoare.

You may contact Henni Espinosa at for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • kikayPang0
    14 June 2013 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Don’t commit to a Fil. lawyer , they will settle the case for a bag of rice .

  • medeliaright
    17 June 2013 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    To Hell kikay, to hell…