MANILA - Two men who rescued their neighbors when floods submerged their village in Alcala, Cagayan were found dead two days later on Sunday.
Childhood friends Neri Abalos and Randy Valdes are residents of Barangay Pared in Alcala town. When their village was hit by the deluge last Friday in the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses (international name: Vamco), the two heeded the call of neighbors who called for rescue.
Using Abalos' boat, which he bought for emergency use, the two rescued their neighbors who were trapped inside their house.
However, there was a sudden jolt of electricity while the group was on the way back to safer ground.
The community was able to save the mother and son rescued by Abalos and Valdes, but the latter were swept away by the flood after they were electrocuted.
"Naka-survive 'yung mag-ina. 'Yung nag-rescue, sila, binawian ng buhay," said Angelica Abalos Carig, Neri's daughter.
(The mother and son survived. But the rescuers, they were the ones who died.)
According to Carig, her father has always put others before him.
"Wala ako magawa kasi 'yung Papa ko, 'di makapigil. Ilang baha na kinagisnan ko, ni minsan, 'di siya nagsarili na 'yung gamit lang namin isasalba niya," she told ABS-CBN News.
(I cannot do anything to stop my father. We've experienced several floods before, but he's not the type who would save only our things.)
"Hanggang sa huli, mas pinili niya 'yung hindi kami kasama para lang maka-save," she added.
(Until the end, he chose to save others even if it meant being away from us.)
Glendy Rose, the daughter of Valdes, also said the same thing about her father.
"Basta po may makita na puwede niya tulungan," she said.
(He will help anyone who needs it.)
Abalos and Valdes are now considered heroes in their village, but their families are mourning their death.
"Sinabi nila, hero Papa ko. Pero wala na kami Papa," said Carig.
(They said my Papa is a hero. But he's not here anymore.)
The younger Valdes shared the same sentiment.
"Di ko po alam kung matutuwa ako o hindi, kasi 'yung mga 'di tumulong, buhay na buhay. 'Yung tatay ko, wala po sa amin," she said.
(I don't know if I should be happy or not, because those who did not help are still alive, while our father is not with us anymore.)
Courtesy of Mary Jane Rubino
Rainfall from nearby provinces and water release from Magat Dam caused "unprecedented" floods and killed at least 9 in Cagayan province, Governor Manuel Mamba earlier said.
Ulysses, the 21st tropical cyclone to enter the country this year, pummeled Luzon Wednesday night until Thursday last week, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake just as the island reeled from earlier storms, including Super Typhoon Rolly.
- report from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News