POMONA, California - It's been nearly 3 weeks since a heroic deed cost 18-year-old Filipino-American Paul Alimoren his life.
Alimoren was with some friends on a missionary trip in Ocean Shores, Washington.
The group was swimming when a rip current came crashing in.
Alimoren was able to bring two of his friends to safety before he was swept to sea. He was presumed drowned.
While his body has not been found, his friends and family celebrated his life.
"Paul's life is in the ministry and that was a testament. He was on a mission trip a couple weeks ago. He was so excited. He texted me, our sister texted me, it was one of the last texts we we're talking but he was so excited he asked me to pray for a little girl named Carla," Paul's brother Philip Alimoren said.
Despite the tragedy, Paul's scholastic talents and fondness for sports, music and his Christian faith were proudly put on display during his memorial at the first Pomona Baptist Church.
Hundreds of friends family and church members chose to celebrate his life rather than dwell on the tragedy.
"Paul was also a lover of music and he loved to arrange songs, and all the songs you hear today are all his favorites. Not all his favorites but the ones I've seen him cry over and the ones he'd say touched his life the most," Philip said.
Those who knew Paul took turns on the podium sharing their experiences with the Fullerton student.