Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) A memorial will be held Thursday for the late Filipina migrant worker Deserie Castro Tagubasi, who died last month as a result of a chemical spill at a factory in western Taiwan.
The "Remembrance for Des" memorial will take the form of a community gathering, aimed not just at remembering Tagubasi but also at forging links between Taiwanese and migrant workers in Zhunan Township, Miaoli County where she lived, the organizers said.
"Despite the language and culture barriers, everyone can get together and work toward understanding each other because at the end of the day, we all live in the same area," said one of the organizers Sha Yen-hsi (沙彥羲), manager of Iasangart art workshop in the township.
Tagubasi, 29, who worked at an electronics plant in Jhunan Science Park in Miaoli, died Aug. 28 as a result of burns after she accidentally dropped a container of hydrofluoric acid earlier in the day while on duty at the factory.
At the memorial for her on Thursday, people will be given free cards on which to write messages of condolences or in memory of Tagubasi and also words of kindness and encouragement to migrant workers in general, Sha told CNA.
The cards, white roses and other tributes will be laid outside Zhunan railway station in memory of Tagubasi, Sha said.
"After the event, the cards in memory of Tagubasi will be given to her family, while those with messages for other migrant workers will be pinned on the walls of shops in the area," Sha said, adding that many of those shops are frequented by migrant workers.
Hopefully, he said, the memorial will serve to let the immigrant community know that Taiwanese were also concerned about the tragic accident.
When a migrant worker dies in Taiwan, most Taiwanese in the community are usually not aware that it was someone from the same area, because there is not much communication or contact between the two groups of people, Sha said.
"But on my visits to Southeast Asian shops and grocery stores in Zhunan Township to organize this memorial, I'm getting the feeling that we're beginning to open the doors to friendship," he added.
Huang Hai-wei (黃海惟), the other organizer of the memorial and manager of Miruminori coffee stand in Zhunan, said she hopes people will not forget about Tagubasi and will come out to show how much they care about migrant workers.
The memorial will be held 6-9 p.m. Thursday on the west side of Zhunan Station in Miaoli.
As of the end of July, there were 709,643 migrant workers in Taiwan, according to Ministry of Labor statistics.