JR and I never really grew up very close like most siblings because we were seven years apart. When I moved to Manila for college, he was only 9 years old so he stayed in Aklan, a province in the Philippines, with my parents. When I moved to the US at 23, he was barely finishing high school. But despite being far away from each other, we learned to love and appreciate one another. Because I couldn’t be there physically with him whenever he needed his Kuya (older brother), I compensated my lack of presence by supporting him financially, in any way that I can. He had many flaws but he was loving and was very protective of me, my parents, his friends and his seven-year-old son, Jhazz. He was also the first person I came out to. He loved me unconditionally and assured me that everything was going to be okay. He was very proud of me as I was very proud of him.
I’m not the one to ask nor beg anyone for help. Like many of my family and friends know, I've worked very hard to be where I’m at and for whatever I have today. There is no good timing for a circumstance like this but recently, I’ve quit my job to do a 6-month unpaid externship at a hospital to complete my degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Because of that, I am currently living off of my savings until I finish my clinical rotations in May of next year. I was supposed to start a part-time job on Monday, 12/18, to augment whatever money I have in order to live and be able to still send some money back home but because of what happened, I had to let go of the job to be with my family in the Philippines. My parents have lost two kids already and as their eldest son, I have to go back home to be with them. As a breadwinner, my family depends solely on me to help them with everything.
Therefore, I am asking any of you who can extend a helping hand so I can help my parents give my little brother the proper funeral that he deserves. The money will be spent on interment services and any necessary expenses brought by this very sad and unexpected tragedy.
It’s been hard to ask for help but at this time in my life, I’ve learned to accept that I need all the help I can get. Any amount is a big help - not just money but positive thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.
To those who have already contributed in any way, thank you so much! I am delighted to know that I have family and friends I can count on at this very sad moment in my life. I will be eternally grateful to you.
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