AKLAN, Philippines – A Filipino seafarer on a vessel anchored off the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv took a cellphone video of a missile landing on Ukraine on Saturday, February 26.
Christian Daryll Magno of Barangay New Buswang, Kalibo told Rappler on Monday, February 28, that he personally saw and documented at least two missiles fired by Russia at the southern Ukrainian city on Saturday, February 26.
He also shared the challenge of reaching worried kin back home.
“One of our concerns here is data connectivity, since we rely only on roaming services for us to be able to contact my family in Aklan,” he said.
Magno said that he was onboard a cargo vessel docked at Mykolaiv, Ukraine when he took the video.
His cousin, Lawrence Magno, based in Kalibo, said watching Christian’s video shocked him.
“We are not aware that Christian is now in Ukraine. We pray for his safety and hope he could come home soon,” Lawrence said.
That doesn’t count transient workers, like seafarers or those in logistics and travel industries.
The DFA has evacuated over 50 Filipinos. While the Philippines can provide emergency services for Filipinos who want to flee Ukraine, it cannot offer the same to Ukrainian spouses.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared martial law in the country on Thursday, February 24, forbidding Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country in case they are needed for its defense.
Some Ukraine-based Filipinos have also turned down the repatriation offer because of the need to provide for families back home.