Saturday, December 12, 2009
Mga Napapanahong Bayani
To launch our new search for the Bayaning Pilipino Awards 2010, we conducted a mini search for local heroes the typhoon Ondoy has produced. This was mainly inspired by the story of Muelmar Magallanes, the 18 year old construction worker who risked his life to save many. Upon careful research by our staff, we managed to name 14 personalities each exhibiting unique stories of selflessness and heroism. This once again proves that our country is indeed never in dearth of noble people. Below are our Top Ten personalities with their stories. They were given apt recognition last Dec. 8 at the Dolphy Theater of the ABSCBN Complex.
CARLITO PABON, 27
from Montalban, Rizal is a tricycle driver who with the aid of an empty mineral water bottle and rope managed to save almost 5o people including little kids who were already trapped on top of their roofs. Their house was already submerged in water and the streets all flooded. His neighbors eventually helped him out and they were able to help more.
ERIC BOQUIRON, 33
I am pretty sure that you have seen this much publicized video:
Eric and his family including his wife and 2 kids aged 3 and 6 were in that make shift raft. He unfortunately lost them when their raft collided with some debris. He also struggled to save and old woman with them but he lost her just the same. Eric is still on the process of accepting his loss and dealing with the trauma the family has encountered.
CATALINO MERCADO, JR., 44
Mr. Mercado saved a family trapped inside their hut by using a raft made of banana trunks which he propelled crossing to and from a flooded area about 50 meters away. He also had with him some empty mineral water bottles and rope to tie little children and brought them to safety.
He is already 44 years old and makes a living mainly by accepting lotto bets. This humble life didn't deter him from not thinking about his own safety and proceeding to help out others instead.
In two different areas, Joel and Joseph Salvaria who are both electrical repairmen in their neighborhood proceeded to cut off electric lines in their areas after having sensed the danger of the fast rising waters.
They then went on to save their neighbors trapped on their rooftops using rowboats and life jackets. This they did until dawn and till most of their neighbors helped out too.
VICENTE ORDOYO, 43
works as an equipment manager at an ongoing construction of church building at the Holy Family Parish in Provident Village, Marikina City.
On September 26, 2009 at around 10:00 that morning, he was to go home to their residence in San Joaquin, Pasig. However something was stopping him
until he saw the water rose up. Meanwhile around 50 or so senior citizens were having religious activities when the waters rose trapping them inside the church.
Vincent climbed rooftop, made a hole on it and took as
many old folks as he could. Using a rope as life line, one by one they swam from one fence to the other until reaching a higher building for safety. His story was featured in ABS-CBN’s The Profile, Oct. 03,2009 segment.
ROSALYN ALBERTA, 46
trapped along with hordes of others in Robinson's Junction in Cainta due to highly impassable roads, Rosalyn waited it out and had to pass along her mobile phone to those who had to call or text their loved ones. Unmindful of who she passes her mobile phone to, she was able to help them out communicate with their families.
She didn't also hesitate to charge her phone inside her car if only to accommodate more callers. The following day, she went around their neighborhood to ask them what they need. She gave them extra clothes and food and even mineral water from her own filling station.
ROGER CABALIW, 38 (+RIP)
Mr. Cabaliw was a vegetable farmer who after relocating his wife and children went ahead to save more people by transporting them to safer areas. Their house was heavily ravaged by the floods but this did not stop him from going out and helping other people. A few weeks after, he succumbed to leptospirosis which he contracted after having waded in flood waters in spite of a wound he got while saving more people.
His family did not know about his heroism till they all went to his wake to pay their last respects and show their gratitude for having him saved their lives.
MATTHEW GALANG, 31
Matthew Galang first saved his family to higher grounds and went back to save more people in spite of the dangers the high waters posed.
Being a resident of a rather secluded area, rescuers had a hard time reaching their place but using an empty mineral water bottle and some rope, Mr. Galang went back to their place and was able to save at least 50 more from their neighborhood.
ALBERT ROMMEL MENDOZA, 41
Using some rope and life jacket, Rommel swam from house to house to save stranded residents in their area in San Mateo. Some people even offered to pay him but he refused such offers. The following day, he also went to Provident Village to help out more people in need even if their own house was also submerged in flood waters and he had to relocate his family.
MUELMAR MAGALLANES, 18 (+RIP)
known to people close to him as Toto, he is but an 18 year old kid who was full of dreams and aspirations for his family. On that fateful day when Ondoy raged, Toto helped out and saved almost 30 people mostly women and children from drowning. A fast swimmer, his lithe an agile body wasn't enough to save himself though when a part of a wall collapsed and buried him alive after saving one last person. His body was found a day after floating in flood waters. His heroic act made it into the front pages and became an inspiration to many. He was also given several posthumous recognitions the latest of which is from Time magazine.