plane strike at the World Trade Center
organizations are commemorating and
remembering the 20 victims of the World
Trade Center collapse on September 11,
2001, twenty people who had Filipino
origins. Two of those were actually on
board the planes that hit the twin
towers. Their biographies will be read
at the 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Vigil for
Filipino American Families on Sept. 9,
2011, from 7pm to 9pm at the Asian
American Writers Workshop, 110-112 West
27th Street, Sixth Floor, New York, NY.
This event is open to the public.
sponsors of the event are as follows:
National Historical Society (FANHS)
Metro New York Chapter;
Human Services, Inc. (FAHSI);
Kalusugan Coalition, Inc.;
Damayan Migrant Workers
Opportunities for Raising Empowerment
Filipinas for Rights
and Empowerment (FiRE);
UniPro, BaranGAY, NYU
International Filipino Association
Americans (TOFA) in New York Committee.
was also one other Filipino-American
who died in the plane crash in
name-reading activity was suppose
to be part of the upcoming
memorial celebrations but Mayor
Bloomberg decided to scrap this
tradition. A lot of the family members
were angered when this announcement was
made, saying the reading should remain
part of the ceremonies. Still, there
are others who agree to discontinue it
as a requirement.
around the world, Marie Rose Abad, a
New York-born daughter from an Italian
immigrant family and one of the victims
of the 9/11 attacks, has her name
emblazoned in a village in the
Philippines called the Marie Rose
Abad Village where her
Philippine-born American husband, Rudy
Abad, had a community of about 50
one-story houses built in 2004 in her
memory. Marie Rose was a senior
executive at the 89th-floor office of
the investment bank Keefe, Bruyette &
Woods when the second plane slammed the
21 Filipinos and Filipino-Americans who
died in the World Trade Center attacks
and the Pennsylvania plane crash were
M. de Chavez
Rufino Conrado (Roy) F.
(Larry) S. Sumaya
Betita Motus Wilson
Manolito Kaur (plane crash)
President George W. Bush and President
Barack Obama are expected to attend the
Ground Zero memorial services. The 9/11
attacks claimed the lives of 2,977
people, including 246 victims on the
four planes and 411 emergency workers
from the FDNY, NYPD, PAPD and EMT.
M E M O R I A M
O N L I N E
N E T W O R K
Grace Alegre-Cua: Romance and
Grace Alegre and Ildefons Cua found romance
at the south tower. Fresh out of graduate
school from the University of
Massachusetts, Ms. Alegre
applied for a job as an accountant at
Metropolitan Bank and Trust on the 17th
floor, where Mr. Cua
was the accounting manager, in 1986.
didn't get the job, but she found a
husband," Mr. Cua
said. They married shortly after the
interview and she became Mrs. Alegre-Cua. They
have two children, Nicole, 13, and
did not have any trouble finding
employment elsewhere. Two weeks after
the interview, she was hired at Chuo
Mitsui Trust & Banking Company,
where she worked for 14 years, most
recently at 2 World Trade Center.
only reason she did not get the job at
Metropolitan was that the position had
just been filled recently and Mr. Cua had conducted
the interview as a favor to the general
manager, he said.
was very smart," he said,
"but I couldn't hire her. I don't
know if we were in love right away, but
I was interested because of her beauty
From "Profiles in
Grief" of The New York Times
M E M O R I A M
O N L I N E
N E T W O R K
A Lifetime Romantic
Alviar used to
tell his wife, Grace,
that everyone is born with a fate,
and "your fate was to marry
me." He saw her dancing, long hair
swaying, at a party in their native Philippines
and asked where she lived. He was quiet
and modest, she said, but very handsome.
took him three years to win her heart.
But he stayed romantic. After 28 years,
he still brought her flowers and opened
doors for her. He loved to take her ballroom
dancing. Three years ago, they renewed
their vows. Mrs. Alviar
wore an embroidered Filipino wedding
dress. Their friends teased them
"You still answered `yes,' in spite
of everything?" Mr. Alviar pointed out
that they had been married three times,
in a civil ceremony, the religious
service, and then this one.
wife always drove Mr. Alviar,
60, to the bus station in Bloomfield,
N.J., so he could get to his job as an
accountant at Marsh & McLennan on the
94th floor of 1 World Trade Center.
"He always kissed me before he got
out," she said. But on Sept. 11, he
hesitated after the kiss. "It was
like he wanted to say something, but
because I was rushing, I just said
From "Profiles in
Grief" of The New York Times
M E M O R I A M
O N L I N E
N E T W O R K
MARLYN BAUTISTA: A
Bautista said the cleaning crew at Marsh &
McLennan loved his wife, Marlyn.
She was the kind of worker who kept her cubicle
and everything around it so neat "that
they didn't have anything to do," he said.
Bautista, 46, was a born organizer. She worked
in the accounts payable department and liked to
get there early "just to get things
started" and stay late "to make sure
everything was finished all right," her
husband said. "That was her style, always making sure
everything was in its place."
she was a girl, Mrs. Bautista helped sponsor a
town festival in Dagupan,
in her native Philippines. Mr. Bautista was
visiting from another part of the country, saw
her, and they became childhood sweethearts, he
said. Ten years ago, she became his wife. They
moved to Iselin, N.J., and just last year, she
received her naturalization papers. When she
was not working, Mrs. Bautista enjoyed nature
walks. "She was always amazed by what God
could do," Mr. Bautista said. "She's
with him now."
From "Profiles in Grief"
of The New York Times
M E M O R I A M
O N L I N E
N E T W O R K
Cecile M. Caguicla:
Preserver of Flowers
house in Boonton, N.J., that Cecile M. Caguicla shared with her
friend Maria Luciano, there are flowers everywhere
-- dried hydrangeas and other delicate varieties,
suspended in time. Miss Caguicla
knew how to preserve them so their beauty would
chose them from the buckets filled with blossoms
at the farmers' market that was always outside the
World Trade Center on Tuesday and Thursday
mornings. She was a steady patron of the market,
buying baked goods from one vendor, cheese from
another, stopping there on her way to morning
Mass at St. Joseph's Church. On Sept. 11,
"we separated at 8:10, and she was paying
for a blueberry muffin," Miss Luciano said.
"She always bought pastries for her office
mates. It was a happy morning."
Miss Caguicla, who was 55 and had
emigrated from the Philippines in 1975, was a
vice president in the corporate accounting
department at Marsh & McLennan. Her friend is
planting a garden in her memory, with hydrangeas
and sunflowers and geraniums &emdash; some of the flowers
she liked best. There will also be evergreens, to
From "Profiles in Grief" of
The New York Times
M E M O R I A M
O N L I N E
N E T W O R K
JAYCERYLL DECHAVEZ: Dreams
in the Clouds
Jayceryll deChavez never came across like
a know-it-all. He was smart but soft-spoken. Still,
he had his ambitions. For the longest time, he had dreamed
of working in one of the twin towers of the World
Trade Center. He even told his mother that he
wanted to build his own tower. Mr. deChavez got part of his wish.
He worked as an assistant to the portfolio manager
at Fiduciary Trust, a job that his parents said he
loved, in Tower 2. He was 24 and had just passed
the first level of a test to become a financial
analyst. He was eager to take a review class for
the next level next month. He lived in Carteret,
N.J., with his parents, Bibiano
and Asuncion deChavez.
Despite his humble manner, his parents said, Mr. deChavez never had to struggle
to ace tests. He had been at the top of his class
from elementary school through Rutgers, where he
studied finance and economics.
was a very ambitious guy," his father said.
in Grief" of The New York Times
M E M O R I A M
O N L I N E
N E T W O R K
BENILDA DOMINGO: Bus Ride
was heading home to Laoag City
in the Philippines from Manila after two years of
menial work in Singapore. Relatives introduced her to
the bus driver, Cefar
Gabriel. While she had been working abroad, one of
her brothers had married one of Mr. Gabriel's
sisters. By the end of the nine-hour bus trip, they
were in love.
had three children Daryl,
11, Yvonne, 5, and Lucki
Angel, 2. But for 14 years they kept postponing their
wedding, said Dorothy Gabriel, Ms. Domingo's sister-
in-law, because Ms. Domingo's parents, living in
Hawaii with their eldest son, were petitioning United
States authorities to allow Ms. Domingo to immigrate,
and a spouse would have slowed the process.
Ms. Domingo's visa finally came through, and she
brought the three children to America. She planned to
return to Laoag City to
marry Mr. Gabriel and to bring him over, too.
the two younger children with her parents in Hawaii,
and took the oldest with her to New York.
Domingo, 37, found work with an office-cleaning
company. "She was so proud that she was hired at
the W.T.C.," her sister- in-law recalled by
telephone from Canada.
Gabriel, still a bus driver in the Philippines, is
even more desperate to come to New York. "He was
so devastated," Ms. Gabriel said. "He wants
to come to see the place where it happened, and just
to be with his kids."
From "Profiles in
Grief" of The New York Times
M E M O R I A M
O N L I N E
N E T W O R K
Judy H. Fernandez: Hard
Worker, Hard Player
Fernandez was not supposed to be at her office in the World
Trade Center on Sept. 11. She was scheduled to leave
for a business trip later that day, and could have
taken the morning off. But she went in to take care of
a few things.
Fernandez, 27, being conscientious was a way of life.
She worked as a benefits specialist in the human
resources department at Cantor Fitzgerald, and made a
habit of using her skills to help friends with their
careers, even landing her cousin Maria Santillan a job at eSpeed. She was so organized that
she made lists of all her goals and preferences:
everything from her favorite flower to her desire to
marry her boyfriend, Jon Plamenco.
"She knew what she wanted in life, and she was
going to do what she had to do to get it," said
her sister, Emma.
wanted to be on the go all the time," said her
mother, Corazon. "She loved anything
exciting." Years after her brother, Rich, taught
her how to ski, Ms. Fernandez took up snowboarding and
taught everyone she knew. She had a large and
tight-knit group of friends, and her organizational
skills would often be put to use planning parties and
Fernandez and her friends had a tradition: a monthly
girls' night. There was a girls' night scheduled for
Wednesday, Sept. 12, but because she was supposed to be
out of town, her friends moved it up to Monday the
10th. Nearly all of Ms. Fernandez's friends were there,
and her family has a photo of all of them, snapped at
From "Profiles in Grief" of The
New York Times
Sister of Ilonggo
engineer killed in 911 attack speaks out
By Florence F. Hibionada
Senior Reporter, Philippine News Service (PNS)
ILOILO CITY, PHILIPPINES - "We prayed hard and now our
brother got justice in heaven."
Words from Dr. Emiliana Grijalvo – Carmona, younger sister and
one of the surviving siblings of Ilonggo
mechanical engineer Ramon Grijalvo.
Engineer Ramon was among the 2,948 confirmed deaths in the
September 1, 2001 terror attack in American soil.
Perpetuated by suicide bombers under Muslim extremist Usama Bin Laden, Engineer Ramon’s
American dream was cut short ten years ago.
As much of the world rejoices in Bin Laden’s death in the
hands of American forces, for Dr. Carmona, "actual
closure" came way before the master terrorist’s
This as she vividly recalls the day it happened and shares
with Philippine News Service (PNS) the family’s ordeal
"I was watching television when the news on the attack
was reported…I did not realized then that it was the
building where my brother works," she began.
Engineer Ramon first set foot in America in 1963 following
the petition to migrate made by their eldest sister, Dr.
Gloria Grijalvo Madoramente. The years in between were
good to the Grijalvos with
Engineer Ramon and wife Nenita Baldago of Banate,
Iloilo blessed with two children.
"When the attack happened, my brother Ramon was
already employed with Empire Blue Cross/ Blue Shield which
was in the World Trade Center "Twin Towers"
building," she continued. "Minutes into the news,
I got a call from a niece informing me that their Tito
Ramon was in the World Trade Center. But nobody really knew
then for sure."
What followed thereafter was to be the greatest shock for
the Grijalvo clan as Dr. Carmona
and her siblings back here in Iloilo City stayed glued on
television for any news.
"That morning of the attack, my sister in law was
telling my brother not to go to work. She asked him to stay
home and wait for a delivery. But he said no..he wants
to report for work. And we are all early risers, we are all
punctual when it comes to work so he was there when it all
happened," she said.
Engineer Ramon’s office is on the 9th floor of the north
Tower of the World Trade Center.
"My brother was brought to the hospital. To this day
we do not know who helped him. Maybe it was the first
responders, the New York City firemen. And we were told he
was badly burned but was able to identify himself to
hospital personnel. He told them his name was Ramon Grijalvo and someone kept his
wristwatch and the wedding ring for safekeeping. He was in
great pain so they have to sedate him deeply," Dr. Carmona’s
story continued. "While in intensive care, a
Chinese-American family claimed him as their family member.
We don’t know too why or how they did that but three days
after, my brother died due to the severity of his burns.
And that Chinese-American family got his body and buried
him. They got closure thinking it was their family member
as my other brother, Engineer
Aurelio was presented with another body identified as
"He’s not my brother, he told them and for days we
were at a loss…finally we knew of the mistaken claim and
eventually, that body wrongfully buried as a
Chinese-American man was exhumed and there we got the
confirmation, our brother Ramon was returned to us,"
Since then, the Grijalvo siblings
took turns in joining thousands of other grieving family
members in New York as America remember all those who
perished in the September 11, 2001 terror attack.
"My first impression when I was first got there in
Ground Zero – grabe man sila…nga-a
(How could they do this? Why did they have to do it this
way?)…..it’s complete devastation," Dr. Carmona shared
saying it was an overwhelming sight to be with young
mothers, young wives, parents and like them, bereaved
"Bin Laden…he will now meet with his creator….I did
not really think it was possible to find justice because
the cause of my brother’s death and the others, it was a
terroristic attack and the enemy is not easy to get,"
she said. "With Bin Laden dead now though, what is
Engineer Ramon’s homecoming to Iloilo happened every 2 to 3
years where they would all stay at the family home in Sta.
Cruz, Arevalo, Iloilo
"We came from a modest family. My brothers Aurelio and
Ramon grew up with our uncle-priest, Monsignor Panfilo Brasil.
Ramon was closest to Aurelio. He loved Ilonggo
songs and Filipino music. One of his favorites was Yoyoy Villame.
He was a happy person, loving family man," Dr. Carmona
said of her brother.
Engineer Ramon left behind his wife who has since remained
unmarried. He has two children, one now successful lady
lawyer based in New York.
"My sister-in-law after the attack had difficulty
moving on. One year after it happened, we visited her and
everything was still in place, untouched. My brother’s beer
bottle still there on the table where he left it. Even the
peanuts he loved to eat, left
untouched. His pajamas under his pillow, still there and
when we asked her to keep it away, to move on, I remember
how my sister-in-law cried and begged us not to do
that," she said.
Engineer Ramon was 58 years old when he lost his life that
He was a Mechanical Engineering graduate of the University
of San Agustin here in Iloilo City. He was one of the 12 Grijalvo siblings who hailed from Guimbal, Iloilo.
In one of the memorial set for the victims and heroes of
9/11, Ramon's daughter Rachel honored her father in words
spoken from the heart.
"Ramon Grijalvo was much
more than the title under his name could ever tell you. He
was a devoted husband, married 23 years. He was the father
of two children, 18 and 16 at the time he was taken away.
I'm his daughter. I'm 20 years old now, and no matter how
much time has passed, it is still so hard to see his
picture here. I wish he was still here with us, but now I
only have the wonderful memories he has left me.
I'll always remember your laugh, Papa. And how you would
clap your feet when I would play the piano. I miss you so
much. I love you. "
And yet another message for the world to see posted back in
February 8, 2005.
"Ramon Grijalvo was my
father, and he was taken away from we
when I was only 16 years old. He was the most amazing
father and husband to my mother, and we will never forget
him. He lived a full, happy life and knowing that eases our
pain. What I miss the most about him is his laugh. Rest in
Peace, Papa. I love you."
Posted by jessa on 05/10/2011
12:56 PM [891 views]
Frederick Kuo Jr.
Part of Church's Soul Is Gone
At the Community
Church of Great Neck, Frederick Kuo
Jr. was always at the center of everything. His parents had
also been active there and so he just grew up with it. "He
poured a lot of everything he has into the church," said
Fred Kuo, the oldest of Frederick's
four children. "So many people were dependent on him for
Frederick's contributions ranged from helping to set up for
services to giving occasional readings to arranging for members
to get there, even when it meant enlisting his children or
driving them himself.
Recently, the church merged with a Chinese congregation, to
bring new young members into its aging congregation. As usual,
Frederick, whose mother is Filipino and whose father is
Chinese, was right there to help bridge the gap. His son said
that the new members identified with his father even though he
was Asian-American and didn't speak any Chinese. "I've often
thought to myself," Fred Kuo
said, "that church wouldn't run without him."
Profile courtesy of THE NEW YORK TIMES.
Arnold A. Lim
Man on the Verge
Arnold Lim, an analyst
with Fiduciary Trust Company International, had promised his
mother that he would be married by the time he turned 30. He was
close to making good on his pledge.
He was engaged to be married to his girlfriend of seven years,
Michelle Leung, and her family gave an engagement party for the
couple two weeks before the attack on the World Trade Center,
where Mr. Lim worked. He was 28; the marriage was planned for
September this year.
"He was so happy," said his mother, Amparo
Lim. "He told me, `I'll buy a big house, and you will live
there, too.' And I told him, `No, you will live your own life.'
Mr. Lim, the youngest of her three sons, lived with her in the
apartment in Stuyvesant Town where he was raised. She misses him
Jorge Lim, the eldest son, said that because he was almost 10
years older than Arnold, their relationship was often more like
father and son. "I remember changing his diaper, cleaning up
after him," Jorge said. "I would take him everywhere. I
remember the first time that he went to kindergarten,
everyone had fun because I was the one who used to go on a lot of
school field trips with him. One of his classmates remembered
recently that there was always an older person going to these
trips with Arnold. They used to think I was a parent."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on May 5, 2002.
Manuel L. Lopez
Craving Greens and Gadgets
When Manuel Lopez was not
putting in long days as a corporate tax manager for Marsh &
McLennan in 1 World Trade Center, he liked to tend the big garden
he and his wife had in Jersey City. The backyard plot bore beans,
tomatoes, mustard greens ‹ the last an important ingredient in sinigang, a tangy soup of Mr. Lopez's native
But while Mr. Lopez, 54, liked vegetables, he was crazy about
gadgets and electronics. DVD players, laser discs, cameras ‹
"Everything that came out, he had to be the first to get
it," said his daughter, Minnie Morison. "We have five
or six televisions and there's only
three bedrooms in this house."
Mr. Lopez often trawled the Internet in search of hot deals.
"There was this DeWalt drill that
kept being auctioned on uBid," his
daughter said. "He wanted it so bad, but he was stubborn and
he was always outbid. I was like, `Why don't you just go to Sears
and buy it, and I'll pay the difference?'
"A couple days after the World Trade Center, a drill showed
up in the mail. It was really weird for us.
"No one's opened it."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 4, 2001.
Manuel Lopez, 54, home was his palace
After moving to Jersey
City from the Philippines in his mid-20s with his pregnant wife,
Manuel Lopez found his passion in creating a comfortable place
for his family.
In recent months, he organized the remodeling of the family's
duplex, paying close attention to light fixtures and other
details. He also filled with house with plenty of electronic
gadgets, from DVD players, stereos and cameras to a TV set in
each bedroom, his family said.
It was on a morning during which Mr. Lopez, 54, known as Manny,
exercised that passion for nesting that his life was cut short.
Moments after arriving at work on the 98th floor of Tower One of
the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, he called his wife, Rosalia, to go over some details of their
Ten minutes after he hung up, the first jet struck the World
Trade Center. His wife, hearing the news on the radio, tried to
call back, but she was not able to get through to him.
"He wanted to provide a better life for his future
family," said his daughter, Minnie Rose Morison, also of
Mr. Lopez knew hard work would provide a better future for his
family, they said. He was vice president of the federal tax
department at Marsh & McLennan, his employer for 15 years,
and often arrived at work early.
On the fateful morning, Mr. Lopez was driven to the PATH station
in Jersey City by his son, Mannie Jay
Lopez, who had returned home from an overnight work shift before
heading out to a class at New Jersey City University.
"He always had a joke to tell," his son said. Mr. Lopez
was fond of electronic gadgets, and was an avid reader of Stereo
Review and other magazines to keep up with trends in
In addition to a new TV in each of three bedrooms, Mr. Lopez kept
a classic TV in the kitchen, a Sony from the 1980s, for
"sentimental" reasons, his son said.
"He joked a lot and he loved to go shopping," his wife
It was the example of hard work, done with a sense of humor, that his son remembered. "He
wanted to show me a better life," his son said.
Mr. Lopez's remains were not positively identified until more
than two months after the tragedy, on Nov. 16. Officials made the
identification using DNA tests, his daughter said.
In addition to his wife, daughter and son, Mr. Lopez also is
survived by two sisters, Jovita
"Betty" Lozano of New York and Avelina
Cabal; and two brothers, Geronimo Montero and Benjamin Montero,
all of the Philippines; and other relatives.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. today in Arlington
Carl Allen Peralta
Filipino 9/11 victim is identified
Edmund M. Filipino Reporter 10-03-2002
The New York City's Office of the Medical Examiner has positively
identified Filipino-American Carl Allen Peralta of Staten Island,
among those who died in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade
Filipino Reporter has learned.
Peralta, 37, a broker with Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor
of WTC One,
was identified following the standard comparison of nuclear or
mitochondrial DNA from remains with samples provided by
The medical examiner did not specify what Peralta's body part was
from the rubble that killed more than 2,800 people.
Profile by George Berkin published in
Carl Allen Peralta
New York, NY, United States
broker, Cantor Fitzgerald
World Trade Center
June 18, 2002
USA is a nation of immigrants. It is the immigrants that brought
to America the skills of their brains and hands to make this
place a great nation to live a peaceful life, full of freedom
and love for fellow men and humanity. You, together with the
others, will go down in history as innocent victims of terrorists
who envy and hate the successes of the Americans. May you rest
in peace. God Bless you and America.
Santiago F. Dumlao, uncle
Maria Theresa Santillan
Busy With Wedding Plans
Maria Theresa Santillan, known to her family as Maritess, was the meticulous, well-organized
type. A customer service representative with eSpeed,
the Cantor Fitzgerald subsidiary, she had been busy since last
November planning a wedding scheduled for next May.
Her mother, Ester Santillan, said her
27- year-old daughter had filled up a binder with information
about every detail -- music, reception, flowers, photographer,
wedding gown, church -- and by the time she disappeared from the
103rd floor of 1 World Trade Center everything except for the
invitations was set. "She was smart, beautiful, a very
loving daughter," said her mother. "She had the kind of
smile that lit up a room whenever she walked in."
Ms. Santillan, who had two younger
brothers and still lived in the family home in Morris Plains,
N.J., planned to invite 250 people to celebrate her wedding to
Darren Sasso, a civil engineer who had
been her boyfriend since high school. The wedding was to have
taken place at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in
Ms. Santillan had wanted to release
doves after her wedding to symbolize love and peace. After her
memorial service, six doves were released into the sky.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 6, 2001.
Maria Theresa Santillan,
2 vibrant cousins loved working in New York
Theresa Santillan and Judy Hazel
Fernandez had always been close so the 27-year-old first cousins
welcomed the chance to work together at the World Trade Center.
Miss Fernandez got a job at Cantor Fitzgerald about three years
ago, and when a job opened up at the company's eSpeed subsidiary, the first person she
thought of was her cousin.
"It was always a dream of my sister's to work in the
city," Miss Santillan's brother,
Victor, said. "I think it was just New York and the prestige
of actually working at the World Trade Center."
Working with her cousin made the dream even better.
"They were closer than cousins," recalled Ms. Santillan's father, Ex. Some people even thought they looked like sisters. Both
majored in biology and were Rutgers University graduates. Miss Santillan attended the Newark campus; Miss
Fernandez, New Brunswick.
Also very close to her family, Miss Santillan
lived with her parents in Morris Plains. Her father dropped her
at the PATH station a few times a week -- Sept. 11 was one of
"We carpooled that morning together," said Ex Santillan, who is the brother of Ms.
Fernandez's mother. She worked in the North Tower on the 103rd
floor, her cousin on the floor above.
"The North Tower was the first that was hit," Santillan said. "She called me about 9,
after the building was hit. She had a frantic, high-pitched voice
and was crying that the building was hit by a plane. I thought it
was a small plane, and I told her to get out of there, to keep
cool and not panic."
He didn't hear from her again.
Just two months earlier, the families celebrated Miss Santillan's engagement. Everyone was looking
forward to the May wedding. Miss Fernandez was to be maid of
"She was very smart, very intelligent, very loving, very witty -- everything you can think
of," Miss Fernandez's mother, Corazon, said of her daughter
who lived in Jersey City but was a frequent visitor to her
parents' Parlin house. "Whenever
she came home, she said, 'Mom, I'm here,' and kissed me and asked
for her dog (an American Eskimo named Brook)." Miss
Fernandez could not have pets in her apartment.
The weekend before the tragedy, Mrs. Fernandez told her mother
she was going on a business trip on Sept. 11.
In a Sept. 10 phone call, Miss Fernandez mentioned she would go
to work before leaving. She told her mom a limousine would pick
her up at the Trade Center.
"I asked her why she was going to work when she had such a
long trip, and why not stay home and have the limo pick her up at
the apartment?" Mrs. Fernandez
said. Her daughter said she had things to do. They exchanged,
"I Love Yous."
Mrs. Fernandez said her daughter and her niece "were full of
life, full of ambition."
Rich Fernandez of Pennsylvania, Miss Fernandez's brother, said
his sister had talked about a future with her boyfriend, Jon Plamenco.
"The four (the cousins and their boyfriends) spent a lot of
time together -- they were inseparable," Rich Fernandez
Ex Santillan also recalled the
"They had about 90 guests -- friends and relatives --
everybody was happy and looking forward to the wedding next year.
We considered her fiancé part of our family. He and his parents
have been with us almost every day since Sept. 11. He is like a
brother in our family."
"We were together since my sophomore year in high
school," Darren Sasso of
Parsippany said of Ms. Fernandez. "We were together like
91/2 years through thick and thin."
The 26-year-old added, "There was just something about her .
. . her personality . . . she was obviously a beautiful girl . .
. she had a great family. There was no reason I wouldn't want to
A memorial service for the cousins will be held at 10 a.m. Nov. 3
at Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, 89 Ridge St., Newark.
In lieu of flowers, the families ask that contributions be made
to a scholarship fund that still is being planned.
Miss Fernandez also is survived by her father, Cirilo Corazon; and her sister, Emma of Philadelphia.
Miss Santillan also is survived by her
mother, Ester; and brother, Raymond, both of Morris Plains.
Profile by Lisa Irizarry published in THE STAR-LEDGER
Rufino Conrado F.
Still a Tourist
Roy Santos was a
perpetual tourist in the city that he loved. He had lived in New
York for nearly six years, but still relished it. His mother,
Aurora, called him "a Broadway addict." He had to get
tickets to all the latest shows, loved "The Producers,"
loved "The Lion King." On the memorial Web page Mr.
Santos's friends created, there are photographs of him against
the New York skyline, the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade
Last Christmas, his brother Ronald and Ronald's wife, Rosemary,
stayed with him on the Upper East Side. It was a typical Roy good
time. They saw "Cabaret," had Christmas brunch at the
Marriott Hotel's revolving restaurant, and spent the rest of the
day in Central Park, playing in the snow. On New Year's Eve they
were supposed to go to Times Square, but Roy Santos got the flu.
It was the second year in a row that he had gotten sick and
missed it. "Next year, I'll be ready," he told his
On Sept. 11, Mr. Santos, 37, was at the trade center again. This
time, Mr. Santos, a computer consultant for Accenture, was
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 16, 2001
David Marc Sullins
frustrating Every year when the anniversary of 9/11/01 comes, we see the horrifying images and sit
through the documentaries about that day. Some of us watch them,
unable to look away, even though doing so brings back memories
and emotional scars that may only be starting to heal from the
a way though the scars get a tiny bit better and while never
forgotten, these memories will be a part of us that were at 9/11
can’t help but notice during these special reports and
documentaries the constant remembrance of the FDNY and NYPD yet
no mention of EMS. You see hand written signs that say “God Bless
FDNY & NYPD”, the pictures of flags being raised by FDNY
members, and the clips of speeches thanking these agencies for
course the loss of the members of these agencies was tragic and
they are heroes – one and all. It is no fault of the FDNY or NYPD
that the 8 EMS professionals who died that day did not get the
same hand written signs or public mentions. As bigger
organizations they are better known, and perhaps our society
simply sees EMS as an extended part of the emergency services
question is was their sacrifice truly unnoticed? Take one
EMS member David Marc Sullins.
David was an EMT with Cabrini Medical Center who was
working a double shift when the first plane hit. Without thought
for his own safety he raced to the scene – his peers
pulled several people with various injuries from the South Tower
and transported them to the hospital – these patients noticed.
returned a final time to the base of the South Tower and went
back in to help more people, despite the growing concern that it
may collapse – his partner noticed.
has been written in several other tribute articles to David that
he was a dedicated EMT, just getting into paramedic school; a
person who loved his job and the people he worked with. Often he
would give small toys to his pediatric patients to ease their
fear and anxiety – those writers and children noticed.
did not make it home that day; he never made it out of the South
Tower when it collapsed. His partner awoke in a hospital bed
wondering what happened, alive – but noticing David wasn’t with
30 years old, being an EMT in the greatest city in the world on a
day that is one the greatest tragedies of the United States.
David didn’t go to the Towers looking for recognition. Neither
did the other 7 EMS professionals, 341 firefighters, 23 police
officers, 37 Port Authority Officers and so many other rescue
workers that perished that day.
went for their love of the job, their sense of duty to the
people, and from a calling few others can relate to. Those of us
who reflect each year on the sacrifice of these emergency
personnel, and who are inherently connected to the 8 EMS
professionals like David Marc Sullins,
know this love, this dedication and hear the call. But most of
all – we noticed.
remains were recovered on March 23rd 2002 in the
South Tower rubble. Perhaps this gave some closure to his wife,
family and friends – a group of people who do not have to
“notice”. They know David’s ultimate sacrifice, his heroism
– and this writer hopes – their own.
always think of Marc as an obedient and hard-working son. He was
a gifted musican who can play the piano
by ear with my favorite song "right here waiting" by
Richard Marx. He would do his chores around the house without
complaining. He would make us laugh with his good sense of humor
especially everytime he impersonate
actor Jim Carrey.I can still remember
how happy he was when I bought him his first car and I named it
"yellow boat" coz the color was yellow. We travelled to
his homeland (Philippines) together. Although I am not his
biological mother, Marc recognized me as his own mother and never
fail to call me on mother's day and my
birthday (June 12). His birthday is a day after mine, June 13.
Now, I missed those calls. I found his biological father in Sioux
Falls, SD and also his biological mother in the Philippines.
Although it was a bittersweet reunion, he was happy to finally met both of them. I can never forget his face
when he hug me and thank me for finding his biological parents
and sister because he knew that I worked so hard in finding them
because at that time adoption papers were sealed in Washington,
I always think of Marc and still cry everytime
I look at his picture. I will always miss him and will never
forget and cherished our conversations together (the promises he
made to me, his goals, and the happy times we share together as a
*** Posted by His
adoptive mother on 2006-09-07September 9, 2003
"Larry" S. Sumaya
The Ski Club Ambassador
Larry Sumaya's friends and family had a
lot of names for him. Like Phil, short for Filipino, his
ethnicity. Or Horatio, because Hilario
was the first name on his birth certificate. Or Gooch and Clem,
for reasons no one can quite recall.
Then there was, um, Christie. He got that one after showing up on
the slopes wearing a black-and-pink skiing outfit. Unfortunately
for Mr. Sumaya, the color scheme was a
tad too unisex. "There was a nice-looking girl wearing the
same jacket," said Bob Sitar, a friend and fellow member of
Mr. Sumaya's ski club. "It was
pretty funny, and we teased him about it."
But the good-natured Mr. Sumaya, 42,
took the kidding in stride, always ready to tackle the steep fast
curves of the mountain, the rolling greens of the golf course,
the waves of the Jersey Shore, the social currents of big-city
bachelor life. "He was always smiling, very outgoing,"
said his sister Charito LeBlanc.
Mrs. LeBlanc and her husband, Joseph, miss him the most on
Sundays, because that was the day Mr. Sumaya
would spend time at their home near his in Staten Island,
watching sports, smoking a cigar in the backyard, firing up the
Mr. Sumaya, a technology manager at
Marsh & McLennan, liked to talk politics and knew how to
press home a point. "He was tough to argue with," said
another friend, Tom Todaro. But he was
also slow to anger, and played the ambassador in his ski club,
putting newcomers at ease.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 19, 2001
Hector Tamayo loved to sing: Engelbert
Humperdinck and Elton John, country music and campfire favorites,
especially the one that begins, "Today, while the blossom
still clings to the vine . . ."
At home in Holliswood, Queens, he had a
karaoke machine with thousands of songs. "He had a lot of
friends, most of them are relatives, and on Friday nights and
Saturday nights and sometimes weeknights they would drink
together and sing together," said his sister-in-law, Sylvia Mercene.
Many of those relatives lived with Mr. Tamayo at some point,
because he opened his house to family and friends when they came
to the United States from Aklan
province in the Philippines, as he had in 1980. "As a joke
we call his house the Ellis Island," Ms. Mercene
said. Five of his six siblings are now in the United States, as
are his wife, Evelyn, and their two children, Ian, 20, and
A civil engineer, Mr. Tamayo, 51, was working in 2 World Trade
Center on Sept. 11.
His family remembers him as a happy person who loved jokes, his
family and, of course, to sing: "A million tomorrows will
all pass away/Ere I forget all the joys that were mine
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 24, 2001.
Cynthia Motus Wilson
Instiller of Love
Cynthia Motus-Wilson was a people
person, according to her husband, William Wilson, and their
daughter, Cynthia Motus-Chan. "She
was very caring," Mr. Wilson said. "A small woman,
five- foot nothing. But a heart bigger than Alaska."
Ms. Motus-Wilson, 52 and the head
receptionist at International Office Centers Corporation in the
World Trade Center, was proud of the culture of her native
Philippines but had recently become an American citizen. She was
an accomplished craftswoman, creating everything from delicate
flower arrangements to wall hangings. She was about to move with
her husband into her first house, where she would have a studio,
in Warwick, N.Y.
After her death, Ms. Motus-Chan and her
brother Braulio Jose found a loving
note from their mother attached to a life insurance policy and
adorned with a drawing of a smiling face. She had highlighted her
request that the two take care of each other. "She really trusted
myself and my brother," Ms. Motus-Chan said. "This is still hard.
But it's easier because she made us independent and
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 30, 2001
Los Angeles, CA, United States
store manager, The Gap
UA Flight 175
Partner of Daniel R. Brandhorst
Adoptive father of David Brandhorst