Just 4 days ago the Philippines was devastated by typhoon Rolly, and this incident brings me back to 2013 of November 8, this same week, when the super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) killed almost 6,000 people and destroyed all regions of the Visayas, Philippines. Thinking of it still makes me aghast, horrific news and stories of people creeped slowly out of my memory and leaves me disheartened. But, rainbows do still emerge after every rain and these are the stories of faith, courage, and resilience from some ordinary people that experienced a literally despicable storm.
Just like the life of Matt, a Filipino police and leader, who have been preparing his group in a police dispatch at Tacloban City early that day. His team was ready to respond to rescue missions for the expected super typhoon Haiyan, they have been informed days before, preparations have been made and that Friday morning all men were gathered by Matt.
He narrated that early morning the rain and wind were both so strong and going out in the open is no longer safe for anyone, so the team decided to remain sheltered in the building. Just few minutes past the water unexpectedly started to get inside, and rises so fast that they decided to destroy the ceiling and went up. But something was terribly wrong, they were supposed to be getting out for safety but the clattering hail destroyed the building and all of them were swallowed on the surging water.
Matt was able to hold onto a piece of wood from the destroyed building before he was forcibly taken by a strong current. And without realizing it, he was alone, no land in sight and no signs of his fellow soldier.
He was farther in the sea, slapped by big waves, and terrified. At that moment, he only knows one thing and that's to hold on.
Time dragged by, and the water led him to a boy hugging tightly on one arm to a truss of wood and his other small arm holding a little child. He took both children with him to a bigger wood drifting near them, with the little one lying at the top of it. He asked the boy if their parents survived, the boy answered that his mom was dead and his dad was missing.
The water swirling around them was almost paralyzingly cold, Matt was so weary but he realized that somehow God must have given him the burden to keep these children with him so he can continue to fight. For without them, he thought, he could have given up.
It’s getting dark, they’re getting tired and hungry; they took the trunk of a banana tree floating and have to chew and ate it to survive. Another morning came, the boy was trembling already because of hypothermia, and even told Matt that he wanted to sleep maybe because of physical exhaustion too. But, Matt became alert all a sudden, a spark of hope came in sight, “Look!” he shouted to the child, “we can do this,” he continued, pointing out to a cargo boat from a distance.
They were rescued after 20 hours in the sea.
They courageously survived.
And for Matt, he might have almost lost his life from this unfortunate incident but despite it still displayed great courage as a brother’s keeper. His bravery shows us that whatever the situation is, we can always choose to care for others. And these people that we care for might be the same people that will inspire us to live, to survive and/ or even to lead a better life.
More inspiring articles you might like from the author:
Hakuna Matata: No Worries - Why Worry?
The Mirror's Reflection of You
What's the Best Advice You Ever Had?
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I can't imagine the scary feeling that the bof felt when he lost his parents. Good thing Matt saw him and get rescued. And Matt dien't give up, he wait patiently for the rescue. I tear up a little when I read this story. I think if it's me, I will be scared to hell just to do anything, Im sure ill be dead now, if ever.