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Off-Duty Coast Guard Hailed a Hero for Saving Fellow Passengers in Sinking Ship

An off-duty coast guard is now being hailed a hero for saving the lives of his fellow passengers after their boat capsized due to strong waves just off the coast of Sibonga town in Cebu.

Seaman First PO3 Ralph Barajan took the boat from Loon, Bohol bound for Cebu City on Thursday, November 7, 2019. Little did he know that he would become a hero after the boat capsized due to strong waves. His bravery ensured that not one of the passengers perished in the maritime accident.

Photo credit: The Freeman / Facebook

MV Siargao Princess left Loon at 9AM but encountered big, strong waves as it set sail near Cebu island. The exact count of the passengers and crew vary in the reports, but there were over 60 passengers and crew riding on that boat when it capsized at around 11AM.

The passengers panicked when the boat began to sink at about 10:30AM, but Barajan shouted for them to keep calm. He led the passengers and crew with level-headed instructions that would save all of their lives.

Photo credit: The Freeman / Facebook

First, Barajan made sure that all the passengers and crew wore life vests. Then, he instructed everyone to tie themselves together to ensure they will stay in big groups. This would make it easier for rescuers to find them and would ensure that no one will drift away.

I wanted everyone to be saved that’s why I tried to bring us all closer. We tied ourselves together so we will not drift apart,” Barajan later explained.

Photo credit: The Freeman / Facebook

He was also the last one to jump off the sinking ship as he made sure that no one was left behind. What a hero.

Still, the off-duty coast guard admitted that he was scared the entire time but banked on his training to keep himself together to save his life and that of the boat’s passengers and crew. Thanks to Barajan, everyone was alive!

While they drifted together for 2 hours before finally getting rescued, everyone was safe. There were three passengers who got separated from the group because they jumped the moment the boat began to sink, but the three managed to swim the 9-kilometer distance to the coast of Carcar City.

Photo credit: Cebu Daily News

Proper Technique in Maritime Accidents

According to Barajan, the proper technique during maritime accidents is for everyone to stay as close together as possible. The life jackets made sure they will float while sticking together meant they have a higher chance of getting seen by the rescuers.

While swimming to shore might seem like a good idea, don’t try to do it unless you know you are a strong swimmer and have training for that sort of long-distance swim in rough waters.

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Badjao Girl Who Used to Dive for Coins at Pier, Now a Teacher and Master’s Degree Holder

A half-Badjao girl who used to dive for coins at the pier is celebrating her success now that she has become a teacher and a master’s degree holder. Who would have thought that she used to do that in her younger days, huh?

Badjao Girl Earns Master’s Degree

Life was difficult for half-Badjao Arlene Eje Alex while she was growing up. Despite being poor, her father refused to let her dive for coins at the pier or beg for money in the streets like other Badjao children.

But her father got sick while she was still young; so, she did those things so they can have some food. They lost their dad when she was just 12 years old.

Photo credit: Arlene Eje Alex

Eight years old po nag-start na akong manisid sa pier para lang po maka-survive sa araw-araw at may panustos sa pag-aaral,” she explained.

“Hindi ko naman po pinagsisihan kasi natuto po ako sa buhay na hindi ganoon kadali ang kumayod sa araw-araw sa murang kaisipan. Kailangan mong mabuhay, pero kailangan mong paghirapan.

Life was difficult but she also knew that if she doesn’t go to school, she’d be stuck in the streets or the pier for the rest of her life. So, she found ways to send herself to school.

Hindi pupuwede na hanggang dito na lang ako. Babalik na naman ako sa lansangan. Parang ang hirap mabuhay na nakadepende ako sa tao. Kaya kailangan kong mag-aral kahit hindi na ako makauwi, basta makatapos ako,” she said with determination.

Photo credit: Arlene Eje Alex

Through hard work and determination, she was finally able to complete her degree in Education. But she didn’t stop there. She continued to work harder and study more – and has now become a Master’s degree holder.

Ang dating maninisid ng barya sa pier noon, Master’s degree graduate na ngayon,” she proudly wrote in her graduation photos.

Why Badjaos Dive for Money in Pier

Badjaos live in the waters, originally in the Sulu Sea. But various problems forced many of them to travel to other places in the Philippines, diving the pier waters for coins that people toss.

It’s unknown how exactly this practice started but it’s common in many piers across the Philippines.

Badjaos are known to have the ability to hold their breath for minutes, making these dives particularly interesting.

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Dad Who Returned Phone He Found in Jeep: “I Want to Be a Role Model for My Kids”

One dad who’s struggling financially and has a special-needs child didn’t feel tempted to keep or sell a phone he found in a jeep. He said that he immediately thought of his kids when he found the phone and wanted to do the right thing as a role model for his children!

Guy Goes Viral for Returning Phone He Found in Jeep

Some netizens argue that good deeds like returning money or a cellphone you found somewhere should not be something that should be in the news. After all, returning something you don’t own is one thing that people should do!

But with so many people taking advantage of others, and a lot of people losing valuable stuff and never getting them back, it’s really still impressive to hear stories of the honest ones who return items that aren’t theirs – especially valuables.

Photo credit: Patricia Tawat / Christian Baluyot – Inquirer

Christian Baluyot, 22, is a dad to two kids, one of whom is a special-needs 3-year-old child. Working as a merchandiser, Christian doesn’t earn much, but when he found a cellphone in a jeep, he wasn’t tempted to keep it.

Immediately after finding the phone (an iPhone), he made attempts to find the owner by posting about it on his Facebook account.

Photo credit: Patricia Tawat / Christian Baluyot – Inquirer

The owner, Patricia Tawat, didn’t see his post but was surprised when Christian answered the phone when she called it.

‘Wag ka mag-alala, ate. Ibabalik ko po cellphone mo. Hindi ko po kayang gumawa ng masama,” the young man told her after picking up on the second ring.

Impressed, Patricia posted about the experience, praising Christian for being honest.

After the post went viral, Christian explained that he didn’t think it was a big deal and that he was only doing something that he thought was right. When he found the phone, his only thoughts were his children – and how he wants to be their role model.

Photo credit: Patricia Tawat / Christian Baluyot – Inquirer

Ang turo po ng magulang ko sa’kin, kahit na po maghirap, basta ‘wag lang gumawa ng masama,” he explained. “Inisip ko po agad na may anak ako. Ayoko po kasi magaya anak ko sa masasamang tao.

Inspired by this honest young man, Patricia wrote:

Sa panahon ngayon, meron pa ring mga taong kahit hirap at gipit sa buhay, hindi pa rin sasagi sa isip nila gumawa ng masama mas pipiliin paring maging mabuti.

Saludo ako sa’yo kuya. Sobrang swerte ng mga anak mo sa’yo.

Characteristics of a Role Model

The following are some characteristics of a role model:

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Humility
  • Self-awareness and self-focus
  • Professionalism
  • Empathy and kindness
  • Positive-thinker
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Teen Who Risked Life to Saved Drowning Dog from River Receives Scholarship, Other Rewards

He risked his life to save a dog from the river – and it wasn’t even theirs! For that, a teen received praise from netizens and got rewarded with a senior high school scholarship, smartphone, and groceries. Wow.

Teen Handsomely Rewarded After Saving a Drowning Dog

Margole Miko Ilagan recently shared a video of the heart-stopping rescue mission that a teen did at the river to save a drowning dog. Netizens were impressed that the teen, identified as Angelo Diolata Flores, risked his life to save the poor creature.

Photo credit: GMA News

In the clip, Angelo could be seen rushing to the dog’s aid by swiftly moving towards the creature from the side of the sloping dike. It was a difficult feat because there was nothing much for him to hold on to, yet this young man did not mind.

It was also clear from the shouts of encouragement and warning from the people taking the video that the dog wasn’t even theirs. They warned him to be extra careful because the frightened dog might bite him.

Photo credit: GMA News

But the dog must have sensed that this human wasn’t there to harm it but to save its life. It appears to be whimpering as Angelo tried to gain its trust.

Then, the young man had to face another challenge as he tried to bring the dog out of the river and up the dike. Thankfully, there was a wire he could hold on to in that part of the river. He used that to keep his balance as he pushed the dog up. The mission was a success!

Photo credit: GMA News

For his heroic deed, Angelo was hailed as Animal Kingdom Foundation’s Young Hero. He also received scholarship for senior high school, smartphone, and grocery items from the Animal Kingdom Foundation.

Watch the video here:

What’s the Animal Kingdom Foundation?

Also known simply as the AFK, the Animal Kingdom Foundation is a non-profit animal welfare organization in the Philippines. The non-profit organization (NGO) is based in Tarlac and aims to improve the living and welfare conditions of animals.

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