Rotary Club of Queensborough West Cracks Stalled Enigma of Perla Manuel Lucenta

Bringing Hope and Closure to Her Family and Friends

A Journey of Redemption: Restoring Dignity to a Forgotten Soul

By Beverly Villafuerte-De La Cruz
I want to share a heartwarming and inspiring story that unfolded amidst the shadow of despair and neglect, a story that exemplifies the power of compassion and collective action.
In a shelter for the marginalized and destitute, a woman named Perla Manuel Lucenta fought a silent battle with cancer. With no family to support her, she faced the painful reality of her illness alone. As the days ticked by, her condition deteriorated, and hope seemed elusive. It was in this moment of solitary suffering that fate intervened. The Philippine Embassy, responsible for the well-being of its citizens abroad, took to social media to seek any information about Perla's next of kin. Through this online plea, someone who had once known Perla came across the post and shared with common friends, but was discovered with a heavy heart that she had passed away unnoticed. It was Rotarian Eddy Casiño Aranez who managed to coordinate this uncertain situation to the club and other organizations involved. The news shook these compassionate individuals to their cores. Despite their sadness, they resolved to bring closure to Perla's journey to extend the kind hand she never received in life. Determined to restore her dignity, the Rotary Club of Queensborough West, in cooperation with the Association of Bukidnon in America, embarked on the challenging endeavor.
Through thorough discussions and unwavering resolve, the club decided to undertake the arduous task of identifying her body and arranging for her to be reunited with her family. They leveraged the resources and support of another organization, ABA (Association of Bukidnon in America) fortuitously based in Perla's homeland, to navigate the complex process of repatriation. With relentless effort and the unwavering support of both organizations and friends, Perla's body was finally identified. A sense of relief washed over ABA and the rotary club members, knowing that their efforts ensured she would not be left unclaimed or forgotten. Perla's story took an unprecedented turn, transforming from one of neglect to an opportunity for redemption. Gathering the remaining fragments of her life, Perla's remains were cremated in a solemn ceremony, offering her the dignity she deserved. Through the tireless dedication of the organizations and club involved, they orchestrated the final step in her journey, returning her to her family and providing closure not only for them, but for all who had played a role in her redemption.
The redemption of Perla's story serves as a reminder that society must not turn a blind eye to those in need. It is a call to action, urging us to build a world where compassion triumphs over indifference, where the journey does not end in isolation but in communal support and genuine care. Rotary Club of Queensborough West share this story with the hope that it serves as a catalyst for change - a catalyst that inspires individuals and organizations alike to extend a hand to those silently suffering. Let us unite in love, compassion, and solidarity, ensuring that no one faces the trials of life's darkest moments alone.