MANILA - Beauty queen and actress Bianca Manalo on Monday returned to the fishing village where she and her companions, including her politician-boyfriend Jonathan Tan, were brought to safety by fishermen after being stranded at sea last Thursday.
Manalo, the 2009 Miss Universe-Philippines winner, and Tan, mayor of Pandan, Antique, went to Brgy. Aras-Arasan in Sebaste to personally thank the fishermen who rescued them after their speedboat capsized due to strong waves.
They were on their way to Mararison Island from Pandan when the accident happened.
Tan's bodyguard, Bennie Dable, died in the incident, while Manalo, Tan, and seven other companions were left stranded for hours. They were able to reach the fishermen of Brgy. Aras-Arasan when the mayor and one companion, Torrebeo Barrientos, decided to swim towards the shore in the hopes of finding help.
That swim lasted two hours, spanning four kilometers, Tan recalled, until they were finally noticed by the group of fishermen. They immediately sped back to Manalo's group, which also included actress Ehra Madrigal, who had been waiting for rescue.
In videos sent Monday to ABS-CBN News by Jesus Dioso, Tan's administration officer, the mayor and a tearful Manalo are seen posing for photos with the fishermen who rescued them.
Another clip briefly showed Manalo addressing the fishermen in a speech, saying, "Kung hindi po kayo mabilis rumesponde, malamang po, wala na po kaming lahat."