11 December 2009

Muelmar Magallanes: TIME's Top 10 Heroes

Muelmar's Casket
When this blog featured the heroism of Muelmar Magallanes, it was not expected that the international community will give him the most needed recognition as well.

TIME Magazine’s Top 10 heroes this year included Muelmar in the list. It is a fitting tribute to an 18-year old who sacrificed his life during the onslaught of tropical storm Ondoy (Ketsana) in September 2009. He braved the raging currents, helping bring neighbors and relatives to safer ground when record rainfall submerged three-fourths of the Philippine capital.

After hearing that a nearby river had jumped its banks, Muelmar immediately helped move his family to higher ground as water engulfed his village. Then he went back to do the same for some of his 30 other neighbors. After helping a mother and her infant off a makeshift raft, an exhausted Magallanes was lost in the water, his body recovered the next day.

"I am going to be forever grateful to Muelmar," said Menchie Penalosa, the child's mother. "He gave his life for my baby. I will never forget his sacrifice."

By the time the storm had unleashed its full fury, bringing the worst rains the region had seen in more than 40 years, Magallanes had changed the lives of dozens of family members and neighbors – and lost his own," TIME said on its Web site.