The Power of People: Heroes Are Among Us

20 10 2009

With the growing number of articles on it, you really can’t say enough about Ondoy. The carnage it produced, the damage it made, the lives it took and affected. But if there is one particular thing about Ondoy that needs to be talked about, it should be the efforts of the very people that were there that day and tried to make a difference by going above and beyond to help their fellow countrymen. Whether it’d be their own family members, their friends, or even complete strangers, countless Filipinos that day unselfishly put themselves in harm’s way to save their fellow countrymen.

With that said, I want to bring up one of Ondoy’s unsung and quite possibly one of it’s greatest heroes: 18 year old Muelmar Magallanes. What makes him special is that he managed to save 30 people from the flood’s dangers, but ended up sacrificing his own life in the process. According to numerous witnesses, he saved several people trapped either inside buildings or on top of rooftops with the help of his older brother. He would then dive in the surrounding flood when he saw a mother and her six year old baby helpless in the water. He would end up saving them both, but shortly after he would be swept away by the water’s current.

Muelmar’s bravery and sacrifice is all but one example that shows how anyone of us can be a hero. I’m not saying to do anything to that extreme, but do what you can! There are several ways to be a hero. It doesn’t just involve saving people directly, but you can find ways to coordinate your own relief effort, or you can donate things that could be useful. If you feel that’s out of your reach, you can try raising awareness (talk to your friends family, twitter, facebook), or simply just pray. Sometimes people forget the power prayer, so if it’s all that you can do, do it! Any form of support and/or love will make all the difference whether you realize it or not. So please, be a hero.

Typhoon_Ondoy_by_aaronturon

-Nes Martin Morales

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