By Nanette Guadalquiver

HIGHEST TRIBUTE. A drone shot of the Loreta V. Alacre Evacuation Center located in the compound of Cadiz Viejo National High School, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, the alma mater of the caregiver slain during the Hamas attacks in Israel on Oct. 7, 2023. The building’s marker was unveiled in rites on Sunday afternoon (Nov. 5) before Alacre’s interment. (Photo courtesy of LGU-Cadiz City/Bilis Cadiz)

BACOLOD CITY – Loreta Villarin-Alacre, the 49-year-old caregiver from Negros Occidental who died during the Hamas attacks in Israel, was laid to rest Sunday afternoon during a sendoff befitting a heroine at her hometown of Cadiz City.

The funeral mass and interment were preceded by the unveiling of the marker for the Loreta V. Alacre Evacuation Center (LVAEC) in the compound of her alma mater, Cadiz Viejo National High School.

Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr. and Department of Migrant Workers Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac attended the rites.

“The LVAEC will always serve as a reminder to all Cadiznons that we have our own heroine. She was an icon of perseverance, persistency, hope and selflessness. She had always thought of her family’s welfare,” Escalante said.

Cacdac said it was a “huge honor” to witness the tribute given by the city government to Alacre.

“We are here with so much pride. She will be remembered forever with the evacuation center in her name, but more importantly when we see her name. She is also in our hearts and minds even up to the future generations,” he added.

Alacre, who was killed while attending a music festival near the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, was among the four overseas Filipino worker (OFW) killed during the Hamas rampage.

She was buried at a public cemetery in Barangay Caduha-an, following a mass at St. Peregrine Parish near the Alacre family home in Sitio Camay-an, Barangay Cadiz Viejo, exactly two weeks after her remains arrived in Negros Occidental on Oct. 22.

“She may be out of sight, but her memories highlighted by her unique heroism will linger in us Cadiznons,” Escalante said.

The City Council passed a resolution naming the city’s newly constructed evacuation after Alacre to honor her sacrifices as an OFW and a local heroine.

Alacre worked as a caregiver abroad for 19 years, of which almost 15 years was devoted in Israel.

As an OFW, she provided support to most of her seven siblings, financed the education of her four nephews and nieces, and built a house in Sitio Camay-an.

Alacre’s employer in Tel Aviv, Noam Solomon, described her in a social media post as a “dedicated and devoted” caregiver to their family.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) shouldered the expenses for Alacre’s funeral while the Department of Social Welfare and Development also extended financial assistance to her family.

OWWA Administrator Arnell Ignacio, who visited the wake on Oct. 23, committed to complete the construction of Alacre’s home in Cadiz City.

The Israeli government will likewise provide benefits from its own Social Security Institute to the Alacre family, according to the Embassy of Israel in Manila. (PNA)