A UST JUNIOR High School student was declared missing after a ferry headed to Polillo Island in Quezon Province capsized on Thursday.
Jake Noel Mendiola, 14, was one of the passengers of the fast craft MV Mercraft III that overturned off Real Port in Quezon Province, a report from radio station dzRH said.
Mendiola’s cousin, Cheysser Zabala, said the student boarded the ferry with his mother Dulcenia for a holiday in their hometown.
Zabala said Mendiola showed courage before he lost grip of his mother.
“Noong nasa tubig na silang mag-ina, ayon [kay] tita (Dulcenia), eh nakabibitaw na siya (Dulcenia) pero iniaangat s’ya ni Jake. Sabi niya raw ‘Mama, ‘wag ka bibitaw, lakasan mo loob mo.’ Bilang isang bata na hindi marunong lumangoy [at] walang salbabida that time ay isa iyong katapangan,” Zabala told the Varsitarian in an interview.
Zabala said rescue operations were suspended due to bad weather.
“Hopefully, ‘pag maganda panahon bukas, mag-rescue ulit. Our only hope is [kung] may nakakita na fisherman kay Jake,” Zabala said.
Katherine Sibug, the Grade 9 student’s class adviser, urged the Thomasian community to pray that Mendiola and the rest of the missing passengers would be found.
JHS Student Council President Rocelle de Mesa also asked for prayers for Mendiola’s safety.
“We are asking for prayers to our Almighty God for his (Mendiola) safety and that he may be found,” de Masa said.
The ferry, which had a capacity of 286 passengers, was said to have carried 251 passengers.
Three other passengers were still missing: Odelon Azul, 59; Sunday Tapar, 22 and Alex Bulilan, 60.