Victim set to marry American boyfriend

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

CRISTY Marie Estella, 18, was barely two months away from realizing her dream to finish high school, marry her American boyfriend and escape poverty.

She and two of her friends died in an accident in Barangay Poblacion, Boljoon, Cebu last Thursday afternoon.

Estella was supposed to be the first one to earn a diploma in her family.


She was the third in a brood of seven. Her family lives in the mountain barangay of Dalayday and survives on farming.

“Daghan pa unta kaayo siya og maabot (Life had so much in store for her),” her father Cecilio, 48, told Sun.Star Cebu.

To continue her studies, Cristy Marie worked as a househelp in the town proper. With her family’s meager income, it was her only choice.

Best friends

Cristy Marie was set to graduate on March, together with her best friends Judy Ann Lomera, 18, and Joanne Marie Romero, 16.

Her boyfriend, known as James, had planned to visit the country for her graduation.

James, who reportedly works in the US Navy, was support to escort her at the stage in receiving her diploma.

“Mao na ‘ta to ang plano nila (That was their plan),” Cecilio said.

Upon learning about the accident, James booked a flight immediately and is scheduled to arrive today.

Cristy Marie got acquainted with her boyfriend through her employer. They communicated through the Internet for two years.

The couple planned to marry in Boljoon after Estella’s graduation.

She was supposed to finish college here before they would go to the US.

Cecilio was elated about the plan.

“Kahibaw man ko nga monindot gyud iyang kaugmaon (I was confident she would have a bright future),” he said.

On one occasion, Estella told him she would fix their nipa hut.

“Gusto siya nga mohayahay sad mi (She wanted a comfortable life for us),” Cecilio said.

While Cristy Marie was studying, her boyfriend sent her money, which she shared with her family.

“She always remembered us),” her father said.

When Cecilio got diagnosed with ulcer, James helped the family in the hospital expenses until he was cured.

Her family said they would not settle with Al-Dhinier Hadjul Sanaani, 26, the driver of the silver Toyota Vios that hit the victims.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 08, 2014.

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