Described by his friends as kind, caring, jolly, and outgoing, everyone was shocked to find out that Jason Sibug, a 29-year-old Filipino worker from Tolosa, Leyte passed away last February 5. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) found his dead body in his basement room on the said date. The cause of death has not been disclosed except to Jason’s family.
A hotel and restaurant management graduate, Jason is the breadwinner for his family consisting of five siblings. He immigrated from Malaysia to Canada in 2013 as a temporary foreign worker for Canadian Tire located in Athabasca, Alberta.
Jason’s friend Rod Cunanan shared that Jason still reported for work on February 5. He, however, went home early saying that he felt ill. He was offered pain medication but he decline. His housemate allowed him to rest and didn’t bother to disturb him again.
At about 6’oclock though, Jason sent a message to his girlfriend Maria “Gab” Pelagia saying he is distressed. Because Pelagia was working, she couldn’t personally come but asked a close friend to get in touch with Jason and comfort him.
By 9’oclock, the RCMP arrived at the residence to take Jason’s lifeless body and bring it to Edmonton for autopsy.
According to Pelagia, Jason seemed to be withdrawn weeks before his unexpected death. She also shared that he was giving away items he was preparing to send in a balikbayan box.
“I did not have a clue that those were signs of his depression,” Pelagia admitted.
Nympha Mondana who had known Jason since he arrived in Athabasca said “he had not been working out like he used to and was less frequently eating with us.” She figured it was all done as a way for Jason to save money.
Migrante Alberta’s Cynthia Palmaria, on the other hand, released a statement pointing out “Jason’s plight as a temporary foreign worker here in Canada represents the struggles and hardships that most temporary workers in our community are experiencing.
“To be uprooted from your family and friends in order to survive and support your family has become a harsh reality [as a result] of lack of decent opportunities in the Philippines.”
Canadian Tire owner Lenard Lesage expressed “Jason will be deeply missed. He was all you could ask for in an employee, he was punctual, friendly, always wanted to learn. We enjoyed working with him.”
Jason worked hard for the company and became a store supervisor last fall. He was in the process of permanent residence application.
Jason’s group of friends led by Rod Cunanan has started raising funds to support his family. Lesage assured they will offer help for Jason’s family as well.
As an OFW also all we wanted is to give better life and brighter future for our family but sometimes God only knows as he may have a better plans for us.