By Sister Josefina Estremera DC
On April 20, 1999, a fishing boat from Mindoro was wrecked during a storm. On board were the fishermen and some family members. Pepito Mateo and his son Jimmy survived by clinging to a bamboo pole for three days and nights till rescued by a Taiwanese ship. The Singaporean skipper and Filipino crew took care of the two until they docked five days later in Pattaya, Thailand’s popular tourist resort.
Two of the Philippine Embassy staff met Pepito and Jimmy and immediately took them to the Camillian Hospital in Bangkok. They were badly sun burnt. Jimmy had small wounds caused by fish bites all over his legs and Pepito had a large wound on his right foot from being struck by a plank.