MANILA — After her last grueling year in college in Dasmariñas, Cavite, graduating student Queen Leanne Daguinsin's family was anticipating her return to their house in Pila, Laguna.
But instead of enjoying her first day back, the family sat across the computer science student's casket in their living room on the second day of her wake on Thursday.
"Sobrang sakit para sa aming pamilya ['yung] pagkawala [niya] lalo sa gano'ng paraan. Ngayon hindi nila matangap [ang] pagkawala ng [kanilang] anak," said Guillermo Ricardo Daguinsin, the victim’s uncle, who spoke on behalf of her parents.
(Her death is very painful for the family, especially in that way. Now they cannot accept the loss of their child.)
“Paano nila mahandle yung everyday buhay, especially sa paggising nila. Paano tanggapin?” he went on.
(How can they handle everyday life, especially waking up? How do they accept that?)
Police suspect the 22-year-old La Sallian was killed by a still unidentified assailant who broke into her dormitory in the early morning of March 28, Tuesday.
The autopsy revealed she sustained 14 stab wounds: a fatal jab in the neck, 9 on different parts of her body, and 4 on her wrist and arms, which are considered to be defense wounds.
“Mahirap kung Ikaw lilibing sa anak mo lalo sa ganyang paraan,” her uncle said.
(It's difficult to bury your child, especially in that way.)
Her youngest sibling shared that his "ate" was well-loved by her friends and would be dearly missed.
"Si ate napakabait sa mga kaibigan, sobra matulungin, mapagbigay sa kaibigan. Kilala siya na gano'n. Sobra bilis magbigay ng tulong," he said.
(My sister is very kind to her friends, very helpful, generous to friends. She was known for that. She was quick to extend help.)
Leanne's friends, many from high school, rushed to her wake.
For her 15-year-old brother, Leanne was his pillar.
"Pag tanda naging super close na namin. Lagi kami nag-uusap pag may problema sa school, relationship, parents, problema kung saan man," he said. "Ramdam na ramdam ko supporta niya sa mga ginagawa ko."
(As we grew up, we became super close. We always talk whenever there is a problem in school, relationship, parents, whatever problem. I feel that she supports me in what I do.)
He also shared that among the 3 siblings, his sister was the most driven and diligent student.
"Grabe sa pag-aaral sobrang focused na hindi na siya lumalabas ng kuwarto para mag-aral. Noong high school days hindi na siya lalabas lang para kumain, maligo. Kakain lang tapos pasok ulit," he recalled fondly.
(She is so focused on studying that she never leaves her room to study. In high school, she would go out just to eat or take a bath. She would just eat and then return to her studies.)
DREAMS, CRY FOR JUSTICE
Leanne had plans to train as a flight attendant after completing her degree in computer science this year, her brother said.
"Nalaman ko lang pangarap ni ate nasa ambulansya ni mama pauwi. Habang umiiyak si mama gusto pala mag-FA (flight attendant) ni ate. Kaya pala gym lagi. Kaya pala pag nasa Pila, lagi niya ako inaaya. Gusto niya mag-FA dati pa," he said.
(I learned my sister's dream in mom's ambulance going home. While mom was crying, my sister said she wanted to be a flight attendant. That's why she always goes to the gym. That's why when she was in Pila, she always invites me. He wanted to be an FA ever since)
Leanne was killed before her dreams could take off.
"Nanawagan ako sa pulis sana mas mapabilis hustisya sa kapatid ko," her younger brother cried.
(I call on the police to speed up justice for my sister.)
"Bigyan natin pansin ang nangyari at tulungan kami makamit hustisya para matahimik ng kaluluwa," her uncle chimed in.
(Let's pay attention to what happened and help us achieve justice so that her soul can rest in peace.)
While police have yet to identify the killer, they said follow-up operations, particularly the backtracking of CCTV footage, were ongoing.
Authorities are looking into robbery as a possible motive.
But for Leanne's family, the assailant took off with not just her personal belongings, but their happiness as well.
"Mahal na mahal kita, ate. Sana kinuha niya na lang mga gamit. Sana hinayaan ate ko natutulog. Habang buhay dadalhin ko 'yun… Ma-miss ko si ate," he said.
"Kahit hindi ko gusto, sigaw ako nang sigaw, tinatawag ko si ate. Gusto ko makita si ate. Parang hindi ko matangap kasi napakabait ni ate. Di ko alam mangyayari."
(I love you so much, Ate. I wish the killer just took your belongings. I hope the killer just let my sister sleep. I will carry that for the rest of my life... I will miss my sister. Even though I don't want to, I keep screaming and calling my sister. I want to see my sister. I don't think I can accept it because my sister was very kind. I don't know what will happen.)
Leanne will be laid to rest next week her family said.