Friday, 11 December 2009

Tribute to Muelmar Magallanes

Filipino who saved lives during storm among TIME's Top 10 heroes

A Filipino who sacrificed his life during the onslaught of tropical storm Ondoy (Ketsana) in September was named among TIME Magazine’s Top 10 heroes this year.

The international publication recognized the selflessness of 18-year-old Muelmar Magallanes, who braved raging currents, helping bring neighbors and relatives to safer ground when record rainfall submerged three-fourths of the Philippine capital.

“By the time the storm had unleashed its full fury, bringing the worst rains the region had seen in more than 40 years, Magallanes had changed the lives of dozens of family members and neighbors – and lost his own," TIME said on its Web site.

Barangay Bagong Silangan in Quezon City was among the worst-hit communities in the metropolis when Ondoy ravaged vast swaths in Luzon on September 26.

Magallanes, said to be a strong swimmer, rescued about 30 people but was unable to save himself.

While trying to save other neighbors, a wall collapsed on him and a television set fell on his head, killing him instantly.

Ondoy may have killed hundreds, displaced thousands of families, and destroyed thousands of homes.

But Magallanes and several other faceless heroes show that tragedy cannot dampen Filipinos’ resilience and bravery.

Just last month, CNN hailed Filipino Efren Peñaflorida for pioneering the mobile pushcart classrooms to bring education to impoverished children in Cavite, providing an alternative to gang wars prevalent in the communities. - RJAB, Jr./GMANews.TV

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