By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
A GROUP of Batch 82 alumni met an accident when the boat they were riding on its way to a charity mission on an island capsized due to strong winds and high waves off the coast of Jose Panganiban, CamNorte recently.
Luckily, among the group was a Navy serviceman and men who worked hard to save the rest of the group from drowning.
It was not clear whether the Navy man belonged to the Philippine Navy or the US Navy
When rescue fishermen and the other members of Batch ‘82 who came from a mission at Baranggay Salvacion arrived, the members of the group were already settled on top of their capsized motorized boat.
All of them being accounted for where brought later to their destination on Dahican Island to pursue their mission.
Beth Alvero, who spoke for the group, disputed an earlier report by MWBuzz saying the group “came from a picnic outing on an island” and was on their way when its motorized boat capsized due to strong winds and high waves.
Alvero said in an email to MWBuzz: “Batch 82 was there for its annual “Back to school” assistance program and not for a picnic.”
She said that it was the batch members’ way of giving back their fortunes to those who are financially challenged students.
“Annually, we distribute school bags, complete with notebooks, pads, pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, crayons, rulers, slippers, raincoats (for boys) and umbrellas (for girls),” Alvero said, adding that they also managed to donate old books and encyclopaedia for the recipient schools.
Alvero recalled that the incident happened on the group’s way from Ulipanan Island to their next recipient school in Dahican Island, and not Salvacion or Dayhagan as earlier reported.
She said these islands were “our recipients in 2010”.
In an accout to MWBuzz recalled: It happened because the Bantay-Dagat boat provided by the LGU, thanks to Mayor Dong Padilla, had to bring some alleged employees of the government and their friends to Calalanay Island for their picnic.
“Not having enough space in their other rented boat from town, Batch ‘82 rented another smaller motorboat to transport those who were left in Ulipanan.
“The Bantay Dagat crew never showed up when it happened. Mabuti na lang at ang speed boat (mula rin kay Mayor Padilla) ay laging naka-antabay sa amin noong mga panahong iyon.
“Noong pauwi na po ang grupo na galing sa Calalanay, muli naming makita ang Bantay Dagat. Iyon ay, para isakay ang ilang mga miyembro ng “Batch ‘82” sa Tawig dahil pwede pa daw po ang dalawampung tao na sumakay.
“At kung hindi po pwede ay maari nang maiwan doon ang ilan naming mga kamag-aral.”
Alvero, a former president of the JP National High School Alumni Association, said she made the account to set the report right.