Orphaned Filipino family living in County Kildare overwhelmed by €280,000 fundraiser

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Paul O'Meara

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Paul O'Meara

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paul@leinsterleader.ie

Orphaned Filipino family living in County Kildare overwhelmed by  €280,000 fundraiser

Miguel Plancga

Donations have flooded in from across County Kildare for the family of a native of the Republic of the Philippines, who died after contracting Covid-19.


Miguel Plangca, 55, worked at the Birds Eye  food plant at the IDA industrial estate at Monread Road in Naas.He was brought to hospital and into the Intensive Care Unit, where he passed away on 13 May.


He passed away earlier this month and a cremation ceremony was held on May 15. It was followed by the saying of the rosary outside the family home in Allenwood.

Miguel is pictured with family members Mikee, Michael, John and Chekie

Miguel battled the disease for 41 days before becoming the second Filipino to die of the disease in Ireland.

His death sparked a fundraising drive. The amount stands at €281,000 today

Miguel  left behind four orphaned children, who live in Allenwood.

They are Mikee, 21, Michael, 19, John, 14, and Chekie, 12, and older half sister Stephanie, 29, lives in Abu Dhabi.

All of the children were born in the Philippines.

Miguel Plangca arrived in Ireland 20 years ago to find work and  had been a factory worker since then.

He sent money back to the Philippines every week, but five years ago, his wife Gilcerica died of cancer.

The fundraising effort is being organised through a go fund me page,  having started out with the modest ambition of generating €5,000.

The family is now being minded by their aunt Fely Moore, who herself got Covid-19 and recovered, and her husband john.

Mikee is a carer for Michael who has intellectual developmental delay. John attends the St. Farnan’s secondary school in Prosperous while the youngest family member, Chekie, is a pupil at the Scoil Mhuire primary school in Allenwood.

Mikee said her father's condition worsened  quickly having begun with classic coronavirus indicators - a cough and fever, along  with breathing difficulties and he spent some 41 days in hospital before he passed away.

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“Given that our mother died in 2014 dad’s death was like it happened the second time around. He was always there as a guide for us. All of us are deeply grateful to all who donated and never for a moment did we think there would be such a huge response,” Mikee said, adding that life will be a big responsibility now for her as the guardian.

Aina Conway, Education Arts and Culture Officer at the Philipinne Consulate in Dublin,  said the  response has been overwhelming considering that “we thought of seeking €1,500 through the page”.

Ms Conway added: “It was daunting and a little scary at first but this is incredible and the children can see the love that there is in the community. This is so touching; it is love in action and we are so, so grateful.”