Philippine Self-Help Foundation

We offer our deepest condolences to Joe, Bernie's devoted husband of 15 years as well as her parents, Isabel and Serapion.

This photo of the four of them, taken outside their home in Guimaras in September 2010 portrays a small but very close knit family. We are so sad that Bernie is no longer a presence with them nor with us in her PSHF family.

Bernie: Condolences and Tributes

Thank you so much for being a loyal friend to Bernie. I feel fortunate to have known her. She was one of the kindest, most caring people I have ever met.

Although it’s been over 30 years since we first met, it seems like yesterday. I think it was on my second trip that Bernie took me to meet her parents and show me her home.  It was an honor.

Thank you too for sharing her remembrances of “how it all began”. It brought back a lot of happy memories.

I thank God for all the good work she did and for all the lives she touched

Take care my friend,


This is a very sad loss. I will always remember her warm heart, lightness of touch, dedication to help others and loyalty to the cause. Bernie we will miss you.

Peter & Caroline xxx

Izumi and I are deeply saddened by Bernie’s passing. We have fond memories of the time we spent with Bernie on our trips with PSHF.  I remember seeing two sides of Bernie. During the day, on the visits to the projects, Bernie was all business as she led the visitors from location to location and discussed matters with the beneficiaries.  Her management skills were on display for all to see and admire. In the evening, after dinner at the Bacolod Pavilion, Bernie was always casual and relaxed, with an easy smile for the people around her. I recall how Bernie, in her unassuming way, was at the center of the conversation around the table - or, rather, the conversation moved around until it found and settled on her, as she told stories and made all the visitors feel welcome and cared for.

Very truly yours,


I do remember the time when she helped me kindly even though my time with her was short. We will all leave here someday but we have the better place to go where we can be reunited again with those who have already left here. Then, there will be no more separation just like no more separation from the love of Christ.

In Jesus's love


Helen and I are so saddened to learn of Bernie's passing. Truly a good person who touched so many lives in so many positive ways. We would like to make a small gift in honor of Bernie to PSHF. I don't know if you've had time to think about a fund or something in her name.  Or we could just add to our own account, assuming we have one still active. Please let us know your thoughts and our condolences to you, whom we know lost not only a trusted co-worker, but a dear friend.

Guy and Helen

Dear Richard,

I am so sorry to hear about the death of your friend. Her story is remarkable and full of hope. Her loss brings great sadness to you all. Thank you for sharing this with us.


I'm so sorry, Richard.

Joe and Bernie's parents are in my prayers. Such a bright light in this world. Heartache. Thank you for sharing with all of us. My prayers are with you also, dear Richard. She has been such an "essential" partner in PSHF. I'll write more later. Too much to process.


I am so very sorry that your beautiful friend and partner has died. I can see from her picture, and all you have said, what a wonderful, happy person she was.  It must have been very sudden. I know you will miss her constantly.  My sympathy to you and all her family.


We are so deeply saddened to hear the news of Bernie's passing. We know that she was a faithful member of the PSHF staff for so many years. We thank God for the gift of her life, even as we pray for her husband, Joe, her parents, and other members of the PSHF staff.

We also are praying for you, Richard. We know that you have such a kind and compassionate heart, and we realize that this is also a deep personal loss for you of dear friend and colleague. May Christ grant you his peace that surpasses all human understanding, and may the Holy Spirit comfort you now and always.

Barry and Shelly

I was very sorry to get your news about Bernie having left us. I can only imagine how devastated her husband and her parents must be. You and her many friends must be very sad. You go back a long way together and with her dedication and hard work many many lives must have been immeasurably improved and that's a very fine legacy. 

I'm sure that she will leave a big hole in your life and of the PSHF.


Bonjour Richard,


Je suis désolé d’apprendre le décès de ton amie et collaboratrice Bernie. Ton mail rend bien compte de la qualité des liens qui vous attachaient, et des qualités personnelles de Bernie. Je prierai pour elle pour toi et pour vous tous.



It is with great sadness that I read the news of Bernie's death. She was your trusted right arm for so long at PSHF, and really contributed so much to help the people in need. Both Julia and Nicolas remember her fondly.

Please convey my deepest condolences to her family.

Warm regards,


It is a late message because I did not have the words and still don’t have. Sorry. I know it is a big loss for you and for all PSHF, family and friends. All my sincere condolences and I am sure she is now in good hands, with a lot of light, joy and love energy.



We are sorry to hear the sad news of Bernie.

The WFF trustees who visited the Philippines in 2001 met and were guided by her kindly during their tour around PSHF project sites. We all send our sincere condolences to her family.

We hope and pray they will recover from her loss as soon as possible.


Best wishes,


I will pray for Bernie’s husband and her family and friends. You must be very devastated, too, to lose a long-time colleague and friend. I am sure those beneficiaries of Bernie mourn for the loss of their angel on earth. 

My deepest condolences and sympathy. May God comfort you and protect you. 


She was very much a name that Mother referred to much when she was talking about you and the Philippines but of course I never met her. It’s always hard to bear the death of someone close but when they are such a vital part of a close-knit group, and younger than oneself, it’s very tough. I hope Joe can find the strength to battle on.


I’m so sorry Richard. May her soul rest in peace. Condolences to all related to her and those that knew her. I hope she did not suffer. Thinking of you at what must be a very difficult time. 

Sending lots of love 

Mandy xx

It is with such extreme sadness to learn about your colleague and our dear friend, Bernies passing away. I mourn with you, with her family and everyone she has touched with her love, through her dedicated work and passion helping our people. I thank her, with all my heart, for her ministry work with you and  PSHF. Bernie is now with our Creator resting in peace, but her presence will be missed.  Well be remembering in our prayers.

Please stay strong, Richard. Youre in my prayers, too. Thank you for sharing the news.


Richard, I am so saddened to know about Bernie. My deepest sympathy to the family she left behind. Rest in peace Bernie. Praying for the eternal repose of your soul. I will surely miss you. 



I was touched by your moving tribute to Bernie. She was a person who made a positive difference and gave much more than she took.

This is a hard time for you and PSHF and an even harder time for Joe and Bernie's parents. I pray that all of you get through it.

- Tom D.

Bernie's loss will be felt throughout PSHF. Her loving heart represents the soul of what is at the center of your life and the lives of the PSHF team.

In due time, there will be a way of memorializing her life and provide a symbol for others to feel her heart continue to beat within PSHF.  Please let me know when that time has arrived.

Care for yourself during this time of loss.  You and PSHF continue to be in our prayers.

Pat and Mari

I was shocked to hear that Bernie had died so suddenly. I'm so sorry Richard. You've lost a friend and someone also so vital to PSHF. I can only imagine the loss you must feel now and yet I'm sure you'll be thinking how best to help Bernie's family both immediately and in the longer term. 

Love from


I just want to write a short note to let you know that I am thinking of you and am praying for you.  I can imagine that it was quite a shock to have Bernie pass away and that this will cause a lot of changes to have to come quickly in the ministry.  May the Lord give you all the grace and comfort that you need.

Love in Christ,

I am so sorry to hear this news. It is always difficult to lose a colleague, but one who is also a friend is worse.
Her husband, Joe and all who knew her are in my prayers.

May Bernie rest in peace and rise in glory.

Peace, Tom

I am so sorry to hear that you have lost such a dear friend and devoted member of the team. She sounded like a truly remarkable lady. My prayers are with you, Joe and her parents.

I imagine that Bernie was a great inspiration to you all and that inspiration is the gift that she left you. I know you will keep your memories of her safe in your heart until you meet again in heaven.


I was so sorry to read your email on the passing of your colleague and dear friend, Bernie.  I send my thoughts and prayers to you, her family, and all the peoples' lives she has touched as she has worked with you and the wonderful work that you are doing with the Philippines Self Help.  In time may you all find comfort and peace.  God Bless!

I know that with all the COVID that stills exists in the world, trying to deal with losses like this are even harder.  Everything is so much harder to handle and deal with.

Again, my sincere condolences to you!



I'm so sorry Richard. You've lost a friend and someone also so vital to PSHF. I can only imagine the loss you must feel now and yet I'm sure you'll be thinking how best to help Bernie's family both immediately and in the longer term. 


Bernie was warm, generous in giving people praise, fun, sincere, honest, unpretentious, kind, with a very soft spot fro animals. She able to relate to people from a wide variety of backgroundss. Her English was amazing. It is very sad that there won't be another opportunity for a chat over a meal with her, or a visit to a project. God is surely proud of her!


Bernie leaves us with grieving hearts but we shall always treasure the memories of working with her. She was instrumental in helping thousands of individuals obtain help through grants and loans with the PSHF and wrote up their stories in the project proposals with a genuine interest in their welfare. 

Bernie was a kind person - she never turned a blind eye to animals and people need. She was also very intelligent and well read; her mother, a school teacher in her time, had instilled a love literature in Bernie. She also love music; in fact she began her working life as a radio DJ prior to jining the PSHF when she was 28 years old.

We remember you with great affection and gratitude, Bernie.


                                 Bernie in the field enjoying the company of children.  (June 2004).