SINGAPORE: It was a somber New Year’s Eve afternoon on Tuesday (Dec 31) as friends and family gathered inside a small memorial hall in Geylang Bahru to remember Abigail Danao Leste.
Ms Leste, 41, a domestic worker in Singapore, was one of the two victims who died in a car crash at Lucky Plaza on Sunday.
Standing in front of her casket, 13 friends, family members and staff from the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE) teared as the priest conducted her last rites.
A friend of Ms Leste's described her as a “very happy” person who had many friends.
“She’s very talkative. When we talk to each other, it is until no end. When she’s sad you can see that something is wrong. Because she’s a very happy person."
The friend, who declined to be named, found out about her death on Monday afternoon.
“I came to respect her and to say goodbye. She’s a good friend and I needed to see her.”
Mr Shamsul Kamar, the executive director of CDE, who came to pay his respects to Ms Leste, said that they were trying to help Ms Leste’s daughter come to Singapore and she should be here “within the next few days”. She also has a son.
Ms Leste’s employers have given their blessings to hold this wake for her, he said.
Mr Kamar said that the process of helping the victims has “not been as fluid as we want it to be” given the difficulty of communicating with members of Ms Leste’s family in the Philippines, and her employers who are currently abroad.
Ms Leste’s cousin, a foreign domestic worker in Singapore, organised the wake with the help of CDE. She declined to speak to the media.
She is working with CDE to decide on their next steps after the wake.
The memorial hall at Direct Funeral Services, 89 Geylang Bahru, has been reserved till Jan 2.
Members of the public who would like to pay their respects can attend a public viewing on Wednesday from 10am to 2pm.