"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Muelmar Magallanes, A Tribute to a True Selfless Hero

Amidst the destruction and uncertainties brought about by typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) hitting the most populous region in the Philippines, striking mercilessly at the heart of metro Manila we hear of stories that serves to sadden yet inspire us and give us courage instead of gloom of moving on with a blinding glow of hope seen on the horizon. A calamity of epic proportion not seen in four decades wrecking havoc on the lives of the citizens rich and poor alike caught by nature’s wrath. While fear and panic raises through our minds of saving our own skin the heroic acts of unsung heroes has a away of allaying our fears especially when you see total strangers who truly cares in their courageous selfless act of saving others.
Muelmar MagallanesThe harrowing sight of people swept by rampaging current of swelling rivers hanging on to dear life hanging on to floating debris as people frantically throw them rope to extricate them to safety is a sight that forever lingers on to our consciousness. No words can describe such disturbing scene of how these people felt knowing their life is at the mercy of Mother Nature’s wrath.

In the ensuing havoc and destruction in our midst a beacon of light shines through when we hear of stories of countless and nameless unsung heroes in their deeds of courageous acts serving as a testament on the goodness of man. Total strangers lending a helping hand, caring for others despite the risk and dangers they faced rushing to save others is truly inspiring.

One such hero a labor construction worker is Muelmar Magallaness in his teens with a heart of gold braving rampaging waters bringing along boulders, rubbles and debris on its path of destruction saved more than 30 lives most of whom are total strangers.

Their house is just 800 meters (1200 ft) away from the river and realizing that the river banks had burst his father Samuel decided to evacuate their family. With the help of his elder brother Muelmar Magallanes tied a string around his waist and attached his three younger siblings in tow waded out of the flooded area towards higher grounds. He then came back for his parents and once they were all on higher grounds being a good swimmer his caring for others prompted him to rescue his neighbors who are now perched on their rooftops due to the fast rising .flood waters. Braving the rampaging waters going back and forth he saved more than 30 people in the process.

While in the safety of his family exhausted, wet, and shivering he heard frantic cries of distress from Menchie Penalosa being swept away by the current with her six month old baby girl in a polystyrene box. Penalosa was sinking in and out due the strong current thinking she is about to die was grabbed out of nowhere by Muelmar Magallanes to safety. Unfortunately due to severe exhaustion Magallanes was swept away by the strong current of the swelling river whose body was found the next day by his neighbors.

This is quite an inspiring display of selflessness and courage and his ultimate sacrifice hopefully should serve as an inspiration for us to emulate. Indeed, it is when one notice and truly care for others that one gets noticed and hopefully we all learn from the ultimate sacrifice of Magallanes, a virtue that hopefully will inspire us even more to help typhoon Ondoy victims. It will be good to see a foundation under his name to honor his selfless sacrifice and the focus should be on him to inspire others of the goodness of man. An honorable teen barely a man at 18 years old yet man enough to stand tall side by side with the greatest men of virtues of our Filipino ancestors in my book of heroes…….. Farewell Muelmar Magallanes, you will be missed but not forgotten. To Samuel and Maria Luz Magallanes our debt of gratitude for bearing a son that instill hope and inspiration amidst the destruction and desperation brought about by Mother Nature’s wrath.

Update: 12/12/09

Muelmar Magallanes heroic deeds made it to Time Magazine's Top Ten heroes for 2009.

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