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MiaY

My father just died in Cebu and I don't know what to do

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MiaY

My father is a Japanese national who retired in Cebu a couple of years ago.  He passed away yesterday at UC Med Hospital.  I am a US citizen and am snowed in my house in the Seattle area.  There is more snow forecasted for the rest of the week so I don't think I will be able to travel to Cebu any time soon.

To complicate things further, my father has been taken advantage of by a Filipino woman by the name of Clemen.  My understanding was they were not married, and they we're just 'friends', but a doctor at the hospital told me this woman introduced herself as my father's legal guardian.  Although my father did not want it, she instructed the hospital to perform CPR.  It was not successful and he passed away yesterday.

My father's wishes were to be cremated and buried at the family plot in Tokyo, Japan.  Clemen gave me an email address to Cebu Rolling Hills Memorial Chapel.  As I am emailing them to clarify the cost of cremation, Clemen messages me from my father's phone, telling me that she is at the funeral home and my father's body has already been transferred, because the hospital did not have a freezer.  She tells me that the funeral home will send me a copy of the death certificate, but they have not.  They have, however, increased their cremation prices to include documentation (5000), embalming (3000), pick up charge (3500) and a daily storage fee of 1000/day.  They want my authorization and payment in full upfront via Western Union.

I am not familiar with the culture, so I don't know if this is normal.  I would like to get my father's ashes send to me in the US or to my relatives in Japan, but I'm not able to pay the exorbitant fees from couriers like Airherse.  My relatives will call the Japanese Embassy when it opens on Tuesday, but I am not hopeful that they will be able to help.  I would greatly appreciate any advice from other expats.

Thank you. 

Tiffany

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Ozepete

Sorry you lost your father.

Be careful and only pay once you receive proper invoice from the service provider emailed to you direct from them.

You may need a reliable agent here to look after things for you. There is a reliable member of this group who handles visas etc who may be able to help.

 

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Jawny

Sorry about your loss.  The prices mentioned do not seem excessive.  It is not surprising the funeral home hangs on to the death certificate until they get paid.  Also, the methods used for billing and payment may not meet your expectations.  So, using Weatern Union does not seem out of the ordinary. 

Shipment of the remains can be costly. The Japanese embassy may offer some assistance unlike other embassies. 

 

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to_dave007
22 minutes ago, Jawny said:

Shipment of the remains can be costly.

It's my understanding that it can also be complicated, as the receiving country may require specific medical documents before permitting entry.

1 hour ago, MiaY said:

To complicate things further, my father has been taken advantage of by a Filipino woman by the name of Clemen. 

This may be a matter of perspective..  perhaps your father didn't feel that way.  

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savarity

The Western Union part would raise a red flag with me. Once you send that money by Western Union, it will be gone, and you'll have no recourse if something is amiss.

Are you sure about these details? Have you contacted the hospital and asked about that doctor you spoke with? Does his/her name/number show up on the hospital's website? Try to verify details first by other channels, don't just trust voices over the phone telling you things. Was anyone trying to rush or scare you to send Western Union money as fast as possible?

Search for a phone number for the funeral home online, call it. Make sure it connects to the same person you talked to before. Why don't they accept credit cards? Businesses in the Philippines do accept credit cards.

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shadow

By all means, contact and deal with the funeral home directly. Western Union does not allow payments to a business, only to "friends and family". I know this because they have banned us for being a "business". But they may have an employee designated to collect funds, call them directly, their number is 63323462543.  

It is the hospital and attending physician that is responsible for filling out the application for a death certificate, and they will usually not release it until the bill is paid or at least arrangements made to do so. Deal with the hospital directly too, avoid sending money to anyone whom you are not certain is directly associated with the hospital or funeral home.

If something smells fishy, it usually is.

Sorry for your loss. 

www.pointmancebu.com

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Headshot

BTW, if a death certificate was issued, it would have been done by UC Med (since that was where your father was declared dead), so ask them about it. The funeral home would have nothing to do with that. It would surprise me if UC Med doesn't have a refrigerated morgue. It is a very modern hospital. I was just there (in the ER) night before last for my MIL.

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KID

Sorry for your loss Mia

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Roadhawg

Sorry for your loss

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Soupeod

Sorry for your loss as well, good advice given above.

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MiaY

THANK YOU everyone for your advice and wishes. I have managed to convince the Japanese Consulate to step in and help.  I will wait to share my experience as we are still negotiating and making arrangements.

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Jawny
20 minutes ago, MiaY said:

THANK YOU everyone for your advice and wishes. I have managed to convince the Japanese Consulate to step in and help.  I will wait to share my experience as we are still negotiating and making arrangements.

It’s kind of you to provide an update. 

You may not know this, but there has been an effort for many years to repatriate the remains of WW2 Japanese soldiers to their homeland from where they died in the Philippines.  I know that does not likely apply to you, but I believe the Japanese consulate may have some established involvement in the type of situation you’re in. 

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