Nico's Story | An inspiring story of a Yolanda survivor

It has been almost four months after super typhoon Yolanda hit several parts of the country particularly the Visayas Region and yet the stories of resilience and heroism remain clear in our hearts. Read Nico's story - the boy who survived, the boy whose heart remained strong amidst adversity.

Nico's Story | An inspiring story of a Yolanda survivor

“Our family was awakened by a strong gusty wind that seemed to lift our house off the ground. I thought the lashing of wind against our Nipa hut would eventually stop, so I just prayed and asked for God’s mercy. But the beatings did not stop. It seemed endless. Everyone became afraid we might be blown away, so we each crouched at different locations in the house. My mother was crying, saying that we should have evacuated. The situation became worse and I could no longer recall how long it lasted, until suddenly, an enormous volume of water engulfed our tiny house and eventually submerged it. It was as if all the sea water was dumped right above us.”

“All of us could swim, so we hurriedly swam to a nearby coconut tree for something to hold on to. I was with my two brothers in one coconut tree, while my parents were on another not far from us. In my mind, it was enough that we have some kind of support we could remain holding on to until the water subsides.

But all hopes disappeared when another wave, a bigger one this time, came rushing. It was so huge that it could probably cover the tallest edifice in our municipality. It came so strong and so fast that when it struck the coconut trees my family was clinging onto, we were like fruits being slowly peeled from the tree.

"Another wave came crashing. I glanced at my two brothers to make sure they were still there, but they were gone.

"That was the last I saw of them.

"The next thing I remember was that I was being dragged deeper into the sea by the strong current. I thought I was going to die because I couldn't breathe. And then came darkness.

"When I regained consciousness, I was afloat near a worn-out wooden boat. I got hold of the boat--the only thing separating me from life and death--as I was being carried by the waves across three barangays. Along the way, I got struck on the face by a floating galvanized iron.

I never cared whether the wound was deep because I was far keener on saving my life. I landed on a shallow ground near the town municipal hall. It was more than 500 meters away from where our house originally stood. My face was profusely bleeding when some people took me in for first aid treatment.

“Two days after the typhoon, I started looking for my family. My mother’s remains were found in the rubble within our barangay. The bodies of my father and brothers were never recovered.”

The survivor, Nico Milo, is a 12 year old, Grade 5 pupil at the San Roque Central School in Tanauan, Leyte, one of the municipalities hardest hit by the typhoon. Nico is the eldest son of Belinda and Reynaldo Sr., who both perished along with their two sons, Reynaldo Jr. and Carlo. He and his family were residents of Brgy. San Roque situated along the shoreline of Tanauan, Leyte.

Nico is currently staying with an uncle. He was among the first pupils who eagerly reported for class last Dec. 2, 2013. When asked how he has been coping after what happened, he replied that he is very sad after losing his family. When asked how he feels about going back to school, he readily answered, “I am excited because I will be with my classmates again, and we have a new classroom!”

Note: This is a repost from the Interview by Mercedes D. Sarmiento | DepEd Philippines

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