she WANTED to be an architect, armed with a skilled drawing hand. But while a 30-minute fire claimed the life of UST High School senior Kathrina Kae Verdote in the morning of Aug. 24, her hopes and dreams have not turned into ashes.

“We decided to display her works and let the people see how great she was,” good friend Marian Cantor said of 15-year-old Kathrina, who was an artist in the Junior Thomasian Writer’s Guild and a member of Technical Artistic Skilled Circle. “She loved to draw and she’s good at it.”

Friends and classmates arranged an exhibit of Kathrina’s drawings at the High School lobby as tribute to a friend and an artist.

In addition, Maria Beltran, another friend, said they would still fulfill Kathrina’s dream of a comic series even after she’s gone.

“Maski wala na siya, plano pa rin namin ipagpatuloy yung binabalak namin na comic series. Maski isang comic book na lang,” Beltran said.

Last Sept. 2, a Mass was celebrated at the UST Santissimo Rosario church in her memory. It was presided by Vice-Rector Fr. Rodel Aligan, O.P. and was attended by her family and friends.

UST-HS regent Fr. Allen de Guzman, O.P. declared Tuesday as Life Appreciation Day “to remind everyone that every little time we spend on earth is important because we never know what can happen next.”

Cecilia de Torres, Kathrina’s aunt, told the Varsitarian that Kathrina was trapped in her room in the family house at Additional Village in San Juan when the fire was started by faulty wiring.

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Kathrina’s parents, Rafael and Cristy, and her two sisters, on the other hand, escaped the blaze by jumping from the house’s terrace.

Realizing that Kathrina was left behind, De Torres said Cristy tried to go back for her daughter, but was prevented by Rafael because smoke had engulfed the house and the windows have started to shatter.

De Torres said the younger Verdote would have survived if only the firefighters acted on time. She added that it took the firemen one hour to respond to the call.

“Dumating yung mga bumbero sa bahay, mga 4:30 at wala pang tubig. Naghintay pa sila ng magdadala ng tubig,” de Torres said.

The remains of Verdote were placed in an urn, blessed, and were buried in the razed house last Sept. 4. Mary Rose M. Pabelonia and Joanarc T. Villaflor


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