Girl survives 24 hours in mud; pa missing, ma OFW



NEW BATAAN, Compostela Valley—Bundled up in a heavy blanket and layers of plastic, 7-year-old Imee Sayson was trembling as she was brought down

‘I’M HUNGRY’ A Red Cross volunteer comforts Imee Sayson after she was rescued from muddy waters where she had been submerged for almost 24 hours in New Bataan, Compostela Valley. Her father and brother are still missing. DENNIS JAY SANTOS/INQUIRER MINDANAO

from a military truck that arrived at the public gymnasium here Wednesday morning.

Imee made it.

But her father and brother are still missing. She is left without a relative. Her mother is  abroad working, according to a neighbor.

“I’m hungry,” she mumbled several times as people tried to ask her how she survived a nearly  daylong ordeal, half-submerged in water and mud after Typhoon “Pablo” hit her farming village in a remote area of the province.

Suffering from hypothermia, Imee was among several survivors saved by rescuers in the village.

“She has been complaining of severe pain in the chest and stomach,” said Vic Paulo Bandong, a Red Cross volunteer who was among those who administered first aid to the girl.

Outside the gymnasium, bodies were laid on the ground, waiting to be identified and claimed by residents searching for their loved ones. The truck’s arrival—with survivors on board—also brought great emotional relief to the crowd.

As of Wednesday, 79 bodies had been recovered around the town, accounting  for the bulk of lives so far claimed by the typhoon.

A man and his three relatives wailed when they found the body of a girl in the gym, her face covered with mud. It was that of his 8-year-old daughter, Rena Mae Adlawan.

Adlawan’s mother, Bebeng, and her sister, Jade, were still missing. They were all inside their house when rampaging muddy water swept through their community in Andap village.

The man poured water on the girl’s face, gently touching and cleaning it. He later left, crying.

According to his niece, Sadrak Adlawan, her uncle and other relatives were trying to return home to be with the family after working in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, when Pablo struck.

“We were supposed to go home and be with them during the typhoon, but it was too late when we arrived,” Sadrak said.

Walterio Dapadap Jr., 44, who lives in the town center, located his father’s body outside the gym.

Not usual flooding

“We did not have time to save our 78-year-old father,” Dapadap said.

He said the family had thought that it was just the usual flooding, with water rising slowly and subsiding after the rain. “We were surprised that the water rose so fast,” he said.

Other villagers were beyond grief and disbelief upon seeing family members and friends, and their homes gone. It was as if they were still trying to piece together the events that led to the massive devastation—and deaths.

Bodies, some already decomposing after being submerged in water and mud for several hours, kept on coming.

Outside the fenced gym, people waited for the next returning vehicle, carrying either survivors or bodies.

According to Bandong, the rescuers did not have vehicles to move survivors to the evacuation centers so they could have food, water and medical attention, and to retrieve the bodies so residents could help identify them.

Ambulance needed

For Imee, it was an ambulance she was waiting for to bring her to the hospital.

But Dapadap, who was himself injured, was optimistic. “After we have buried our father, we will rebuild our homes, our lives,” he said. With a report from Karlos Manlupig, Inquirer Mindanao

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    It is saddening that llegal logging abounds in Compostela Valley as well as in Davao Oriental and Agusan and Surigao provinces. The boundaries of these four provinces are known to be the hotbed of illegal logging activity, with some local gov’t officials involved.

    Sinabi ng magaling nating Environment Secretary na si Ramon Paje na may mga opisyales ng sinibak sa pwesto sa regional offices ng DENR sa Davao at Caraga, as part of continuing efforts in the pursuit of good governance in the department.


    Tinaggal lang sa pwesto nila ang DENR officials na sangkot sa illegal logging. Tapos kinasuhan, inimbestigahan. Tapos wala na. We never heard na may nangyari sa mga kaso nila. Remember, utos ni PNoy ang nationwide log ban na nagsimula halos dalawang taon na ang nakalipas.

    Bakit dyan sa New Bataan mismo, lantaran ang mga truck na puno ng troso? Magtataka ka lang na sa dami ng checkpoints ng DENR sa lugar, nakakalusot pa din ang mga truck na ‘to na may kargang troso. Yet Paje claims that the regional offices of the DENR in Eastern and Southern Mindanao continue to confiscate logs because of the moratorium.


    Is it safe to say na may bribery na nangyayari between the DENR officials and illegal loggers sa New Bataan? Is it also safe to say that BY NOW, firing the regional DENR officials has led us nowhere? Na dapat palitan na ang namumuno sa mga incompetent at corrupt na opisyales na ‘to na si Ramon Paje?

    • $29483279

       Tama lang Palitan si Paje dahil puro papoging kasinungalingan lang ang ginagawa.

       Ang masamang nangyayari, dahil naniniwala ang taong bayan sa kasinungalang press releases ng DENR nagigiging compleasant sila. Kaya pagdating ng biglaang kalamidad tulad ng Bagyong Pablo hindi sila handa. This situation is far worse than corruption.

    • max m

       perhaps the NPA should find a new way to tax these people.

  • jerome

    If only things happened differently that the affected ones are not those who are living on a daily basis rather that those who are reaping the fruits of illegal activities. Sana ang pamilya nalang ng mga illegal loggers ang natabunan hindi ang mga mahihirap na walang kinalaman

  • WeAry_Bat


  • Albin

    NDRRMC, DND, Malacanang, DENR, OCD – nag reready na sila ng alibi. Isisisi na naman kay GMA.

    • Yxon

      if you were reading the news, the coming of this typhoon had been very well aired and warned.  Preparation by the LGU’s as well as the condition of the forest (considering the flashflood) could be the contributing factors for this excessive death. So, maybe DENR should be working now.  but mind you the excessive cutting of trees in these areas  which could be described as wanton, dastardly) still happened during GMA sanctioned reign.

      • Bella700

        10 years in the making.. GMAs time indeed

  • JaAb65

    oh ano DENR at illegal loggers pti na mga kakuntsabang buwayang pulitiko, anong msasabi nyo sa ngyari dto sa compostela valley? di na ntapos ang mga gnitong pngyayari, tgilan nyo na pgpputol ng troso sa kgubatan! mkonsensiya nman kyo mga hayop!

  • Cruxofthematter

    Could this have been prevented? If yes, then who could have been responsible?

    • ever green

      typhoon no. Flashflood yes. who’s responsible???? illegal loggers…..

  • Jezzrel

    Sige pa, kalbuhin pa mga bundok natin…

    Iyon namang mga Illegal Loggers, darating din ang karma nila….

  • MJ

    kudos to red cross volunteers who are actively conducting rescue and relief operations

  • Aryong

    As a father, this kind of a story will really trouble you.  I pray that this little girl will survive and find her missing family members.


  • Yxon

    the agencies charged for preparing the population in times like this (NDCR?, Pagasa) has done its part in the preparation and warnig of the populace.  LGU’s should also do their share by their leadership and organizing in their own areas.

  • Jimmy

    Sinabi nang malakas ang bagyo ay bakit hindi pa kayo lumikas sa ligtas na lugar..!!!???? Ang kalikasan ay nagagalit dahil sa illegal mining, illegal logging, at illegal fishing…!!! Habang ang tao ay hindi marunong mag-alaga sa kalikasan ay patuloy na magiging mabagsik ang mga kalamidad..!!!! Itigil ninyo ang mga illegal na gawain at pagpapalain kayo ng kalikasan…!!!!

  • Kamoteng_Dilaw

    If christmas can only be cancelled. Very sad indeed. My deepest sympathy for the girl…..DEATH FOR ILLEGAL LOGGERS….

  • surigao_miners

    ACTION MR. PRESIDENT! utak mo para lang si JOSHUA!!!!!! KAKAGIGIL KA PANOT!

  • surigao_miners

    Inutel ang atong DENR at MGB secretary! dapat sila ang natabunan nan PUTIK!

  • George Lapulapu

    ..please pray for our rescue workers.. mabuhay kayo!!!!!

  • msm25

    red cross mbuhay po kayo…

  • msm25

    to illegal loggers…MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR PO…sumaya po sana kayo ngayong pasko at mgbalik-tanaw po kayong lahat sa ginawa niyo sa kapwa niyo sa taong lumipas…god bless you!!

  • Edgardo Mendoza


  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Dapat i-scan ang buong katawan at ulo para masiguro na walang internal na pagdurugo!

  • bobby ramirez

    It  made me so sad  to read  about the  tragedy that struck  in those places. My heart  and prayer are those  for the living and the departed. When will some of  the   mankind  learn to  know
    that some   activities   are  attributed to  the global warming. For us  who believe in God,  all we can  do is to bow to HIS Will and not our will. It is written in the Bible about calamities that will struck  us.  I  will pray to those who lost their love ones. I  can  just imagine how  they can cope up with  sadness and grief. May the good Lord  give them strength   in the coming days and years . My heart is with them.


    RIP to all victims and God bless all their families.

  • captainramius

    Paging Defense Secretary V. Gasmin… do we have in the defense budget plans to procure all weather Coast Guard ships and say helicopters like what the US Coast Guard have ?  Perhaps we need to procure this to cut down the response time of our govt to storm ravaged areas .

    I noticed we only send old aged Huey helicopters when the storm has passed away and sometime minutes count on the lives of the survivors .

  • captainramius

    Our weather bureau if upgrading their performance and equipments to world class level… our Coast Guard and rescue teams should also do the same .  We need to procure all weather helicopters and ships and send the rescue team minutes after the storm has struck a place

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