Accompanied by Japanese press and embassy officials, the family of a slain Japanese woman arrived in Cebu from Narita, Japan at past 6:50 p.m yesterday.
The mother, father and brother of Kotoka Kajii Denila arrived on board PAL Flight No. 433 from Narita, Japan and were received by Cebu consul to Japan Yoshiaki Hata and Manila-based Japanese media at the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
They were whisked from the airport to Cebu Rolling Hills Funeral Homes in barangay Banilad, Mandaue City.
The family went inside the chapel where Kotoka’s remains lie in state and chose to change her outfit to her native kimono.
Kotoka’s neighbors and friends were also in the wake. Kotoka is scheduled for cremation tomorrow.
While the family mostly kept to themselves, Kotoka’s brother was spotted wiping his eyes. Senko candles were placed in front of the coffin.
In a speech translated by Hata before those attending the wake, Kotoka’s father expressed the family’s grief over her death and thanked her friends for standing by her.
“We don’t know what would the future of her nine-month-old daughter will be,” the father said.
The family will head to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) office tomorrow to discuss custody of Kotoka’s child.
The father said Kotoka told them how she loved living in Cebu and how she was happy having friends in their home in her neighborhood in barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City.
Kinoku Konno of the Philippine-based The Daily Manila Shimbun said the traditional black and white polka dot kimono is worn by departed Japanese women in keeping with Japanese tradition.
The family left the Rolling Hills Funeral Homes at past 9 p.m. The cremation will be held after Japanese funeral rites are performed.
Kotoka’s Davao native husband Dexter Louie Denila was detained at the Lapu-Lapu City Jail yesterday afternoon.
Denila denied stabbing his wife to death after she scolded him for his late night drinking binge near their home.
Denila’s parents will also attend the DSWD case conference which will decide who will take custody of their baby.
Earlier Denila’s brother, a jail officer, said their parents also based in Davao del Norte, were too old to care for the baby.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said the incident won’t affect Lapu-Lapu City’s tourism arrivals.
“It was a domestic dispute that tragically went wrong and it had nothing to do with the city’s peace and order climate,” Radaza told reporters yesterday. /Jessa Chrisna Marie J. Agua and Norman V. Mendoza, Correspondents