Today in History: MV Doña Paz, Asia’s Titanic

On December 20, 1987, the MV Doña Paz sank after colliding with oil tanker MT Vector in the Tablas Strait, between the islands of Mindoro and Marinduque, killing more than 4,300 people. A total of 26 passengers and crew survived. It was traveling from Tacloban City in Leyte island to Manila.

The Doña Paz was built in 1963 by Onomichi Zosen of Onomichi, Hiroshima, Japan, and was originally named Himeyuri Maru. During the time it plied Japanese waters, it had a passenger capacity of 608 people. In 1975, it was sold to Sulpicio Lines, a Filipino operator of a fleet of passenger ferries. It was renamed by Sulpicio Lines as the Don Sulpicio, and later, the Doña Paz.

One month before the accident, the vessel had undergone dry docking.

At the time of its sinking, the Doña Paz was plying the route of Manila – Tacloban – Catbalogan – Manila – Catbalogan – Tacloban – Manila, making trips twice a week.

The National Geographic premiered a documentary of this tragedy calling it Asia’s Titanic.

Courtesy of Cebu City Cultural and Historical Affairs
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