TWO THOMASIANS died in separate accidents in the last two months—one from an attempt at extreme sports and another from a heroic act.

Medicine sophomore Louie Raymond Pestaño died after his parachute malfunctioned in a skydiving lesson in Ormoc, Leyte last Oct. 20, while Commerce and Business Administration freshman Jonald Mangalindan died after saving two people from fire at his friend’s house in Parañaque last Sept. 28.

Pestaño’s body was found in the middle of a rice field a few minutes after he jumped from a Cessna plane with his skydiving instructor.

He went to Leyte to learn skydiving and was supposed to perform a 3,500-foot beginner’s jump at around 2:20 p.m., but his parachute did not open when he pulled it.

Pestaño finished Medical Technology in UST and passed the licensure exam in 2008. His friend, Glessica You, said he took up Medicine because it was his dream to build a hospital for the poor.

The 24-year-old Pestaño is a son of Supt. Orlando Pestaño, former director of the Philippine National Police Finance Service and former provincial director of the Capiz Police Provincial Office. He is second among three children.

His remains were cremated last Oct. 29.

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Mangalindan died of respiratory failure after rescuing one-year-old Andreision Alfonso and 27-year-old Glyza Rivera, the nephew and maid of his best friend Patrick Villarin, respectively, when fire hit Villarin’s house around 6 p.m. in Multinational Village.

Mangalindan was at Villarin’s place for a sleepover.

“He (Mangalindan) was first to see the fire at the garage. The fire spread quickly because there was a sofa and a car there,” Villarin said in Filipino. “We got water to stop the fire but it really spread quickly, so I told him: ‘Umalis na tayo. Wala na tayong magagawa.’ ”

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Villarin said they thought everyone was out of the burning house, until they realized that his nephew and the maid were still sleeping inside.

“I thought he (Mangalindan) was still with us [that time], but he just disappeared behind me. He went inside to look for [my nephew],” Villarin told the Varsitarian. “Hindi na ako pumasok dahil natakot na akong i-risk ang buhay ko.”

Villarin said he did not even notice that his arm and back were burned because of the “quick turn of events.”

Sgt. Arthuro Castro of the Parañaque Station of the Bureau of Fire Protection said the fire was caused by electrical failure.

“Nakapag-kuwento pa si Jonald sa tita ko tungkol sa nangyari,” Villarin said. “Niyakap niya ang bata, nilagay ‘yung mukha ni Andrei sa dibdib niya para hindi makalanghap ng usok.”

Mangalindan was rushed to Olivarez Hospital Parañaque and was later transferred to the University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta Medical Center in Las Piñas.

He was declared dead the following day at 8:15 p.m. due to acute respiratory failure.

“In the morning [of Oct. 1], the doctor said that his vitals were still good. He was okay, but we did not expect that he was already out of breath when the night came,” Villarin said.

Mangalindan’s remains were brought to his hometown at Macabebe, Pampanga, where he was buried last Oct. 6. Villarin stayed at San Juan de Dios Hospital for a month and was discharged last Oct. 31.


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