Ellis Derkx, a foreign visitor in the Philippines from New South Wales / The Netherlands visited the country on more than one occasion. On her facebook page, she says:
“Leaving Bali in a few hours.. Philippines, here I come again! Can´t believe it´s about a year ago and never expected to come back so soon, but yeaaah it´s true….”
Excitement and happiness flowed through those few lines. She must have felt and experienced something extraordinary in our country the first time she was here that she’s back again *so soon*.
But her second trip here this September 2013, not everything turned up wonderful.
A Plea For Help
You may have seen Olga’s post making the rounds in Facebook last weekend. That’s also where we came to know of Ellis and her situation. Olga was asking everyone who read her post to please help her find her sister Ellis who they assumed was somewhere in Cebu when she went missing.
We could not even begin to imagine how the family felt with Ellis hundreds, nay thousands of miles away from home and needing help. What do you do in this case when miles and oceans separate you? You can request help from the embassy, call people who have seen her lasts, but finding a person this way can be limiting especially if you are on the other side of the world.
Urgency in finding became paramount.
A Sister’s Love
Olga, bless her, posted a plea in social media requesting help in tracing the whereabouts of her sister. She posted on Cebu related Facebook pages from individual FB accounts to Cebu based news and government organizations. Olga’s FB plea took a life on its own and strangers respond to her call by sharing and re-sharing her post.
Friends of Ellis also shared the ‘missing poster’ in Twitter as well as on various community sites and websites hoping that it will reach someone who knew where Ellis is.
The breakthrough they’ve been hoping for finally came through via Facebook.
Facebook shares deliver
A certain Vyne commented on Olga’s post saying that after she shared the post, a friend of hers a Dr Leida in Cebu said that the hospital she is working for have a patient named Ellis Derkx.
It was confirmed, Ellis was found!
Thank God for Facebook! It took less than 24 hours to locate Ellis!
Despite finding Ellis admitted in a hospital and not in good shape with all her belongings lost, Olga was profuse in her thanks to everyone who has helped her find her sister.
Messages of thanksgiving all the way from The Netherlands from Australia from the Philippines from every side of the world poured in. The worry and desperation that permeates the first comments on Olga’s post has been transformed into comments of thanksgiving that Ellis is alive and soon will be reunited with her family.
Olga flew to the Philippines last September 20, it is with great hope that by now she is with Ellis and that Ellis is on her way to full recovery.
We tried to find out updates about Ellis via local news agencies through radio and print on how she ended up in the hospital, what happened to her, and what’s her status now but this story it seems was not covered in trad media.
But a credible source confirmed that Ellis is now with her sister and they are now both in Manila.
Power of Social Media
This is a social media miracle – one case of missing person is closed and family and friends can breathe a sigh of relief.
Thank heavens that the world is now connected and that even strangers rise to the occasion to help in spreading good causes like this.
Kudos to each one who shared, tweeted, spread the call for help. If we use social media wisely, we can all help create miracles like this.
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