Elly Jan Nituda, a 2019 Southeast Asian Games sepak takraw bronze medalist, proved to also be a champion outside of sports. The national athlete braved flood waters “three persons deep” during Typhoon Ulysses. Amidst the onslaught, he pulled people out of submerging second floor windows to help them get to rooftops.
A devastating storm hit the Philippines last November 11, 2020. Typhoon Ulysses flooded countless low-lying areas in Metro Manila, Rizal, and Bicol. Residents were left with no choice but to seek shelter on rooftops. There, they awaited rescue. Some say the flooding was reminiscent or even worse than 2009’s Ondoy.
In Marikina, Mayor Marcelino Teodoro called for help from the national government and private sector. He admitted that the city wasn’t prepared for the Marikina River to rise up to 22 meters come morning of November 12.
A Hero Among Us
Despite this heartbreaking calamity, another Filipino bayani was born. Elly Jan Nituda—Philippines bronze medalist for sepak takraw at the 2019 SEA games—was actively monitoring the water level in Marikina’s Provident Village.
Suddenly, he gets news of Pilipinas Sepak Takraw Federation secretary-general Irene Tanchanco being trapped in her home. Without hesitation, he selflessly left his own belongings behind to rescue her. At the flooded village, Nituda ended up helping not only Tanchanco but her neighbors as well.
Nituda details in a YouTube video he posted last November 21, that he was up on Tanchanco’s rooftop to check on his belongings that he left in his rented apartment. But while doing so, something else caught his attention. He mistook multiple loud blasts as gas tanks exploding in the neighboring homes. Upon inspecting, he was shocked to see residents trying to break a fiberglass window in their desperate attempt to escape.
Once again, his hero mentality kicked in. With nothing but an orange life ring, he jumped from roof to roof to get to the right house. With all his might, he tried breaking the glass, but the two trapped residents couldn’t fit through. His positivity didn’t wane. Instead, he used this opening to calm the victims down, promising he will safely get them out. Nituda thanked God that he was able to break down a door to rescue Walter Lugay Uy and another neighbor.
For Elly Jan Nituda, being able to help people in need during this hard time is more important than his own material belongings. What a hero!
Visit Ellyboy’s YouTube Channel here.