It is the time of the year again where Filipinos travel from the metro to their respective provinces to commemorate their deceased loved ones on All Saints’ Day or All Souls Day. It is up to you whether to travel by land, air, or sea. Just prepare yourself for the overwhelming number of passengers during this peak season.
However, one man caught the attention of a group of fishermen when he decided to travel by sea not on a boat or a ship, but by swim. As he could not afford to buy himself a boat ticket, the 48-year-old garbage scavenger identified as Ceferino Angco tried to swim from Cebu all the way to Bohol so he could go home to his family for the holiday.
A native of Carmen in Bohol, Ceferino started swimming from the port area of Malacañang sa Sugbo at around 11 pm.
Weak and shivering from the cold, he was spotted by fishermen the next morning and offered him a ride to which he turned down and continued swimming by himself. Alarmed, the said fishermen asked for assistance from the Talisay City Bantay Dagat.
After nine hours in the waters of the Pungaton Marine Sanctuary near the Tangke Reef in Talisay City, about 1.4 kilometers away from the shoreline, Ceferino was rescued by the Talisay City Bantay Dagat members.
Ceferino was rescued while holding on to a piece of floating styrofoam and sporting only a T-shirt and a pair of shorts. As much as he wanted to go on swimming, Angco grew exhausted and terrified that he might encounter a shark and eat him.
Angco further explained that he wanted to go home to pay his respects to the tomb of his late parents. Unfortunately, he neither has the money to pay for the fare nor friends to lend him some amount.
According to Antonio Bacaltos Jr., Talisay City Sanggunian Panlungsod member, Ceferino first arrived in Cebu with a cousin who offered him a job in 2011, but after getting into a conflict with him, the poor man was forced to live in the streets of the city and went scavenging in 2013.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development and City Councilor Bacaltos gave Ceferino some financial assistance and a fast craft ticket for Bohol. Moreover, outpouring support from social media has flooded in, offering him cash and aid after learning about his story.