Man’s best friend saves 2 boys in mine

TUBA, Benguet – Saved by man’s best friend.


Yes, that’s what happened to Wilbur Santos, 14, and his small brother, the 12-year-old Kurt, when fire broke out in their house at the mine camp of this town’s Sitio Padcal, where Philex Mining Corp. has its gold-and-copper operations, while they were sleeping on Saturday night, May 13.


When Wilbur rose from the bed as he heard Miztah, the family’s pet dog, making considerable noise by barking and scratching the door of their room, he saw their house filled with a heavy smoke. It was around 11 p.m. when he woke up his younger brother, then they ran outside through the backdoor, and found out that their house was on fire. They immediately roused their neighbors from sleep to help them put out the fire, which was triggered by faulty electric wires.

Philex Mining officials said that safety personnel have since been conducting an investigation into the incident.

Left alone in the eight-bedroom bungalow while the rest of the occupants were either at work or on vacation, the two boys fended for themselves with the help of their neighbors, who used pails and buckets of water, as they waited for a fire truck, which managed to completely extinguish the fire by 1:10 a.m., Sunday.

“I was so nervous when I was called from my work station underground,” said the boys’ father, Lander, 36, a first-class production miner at Padcal’s Mine Crushing and Ore Handling Department (MCHOD). In an interview, he added, “I was told there was a fire at our place, and I thought of my two boys who were sleeping when I left our house. My heart beat very fast as I was worrying about them.”

He thanked the heavens when he saw that his two children were safe, never mind all their appliances and personal belongings that went up in smoke with the gutted building.

“If our dog Miztah did not bark and wake us up, I just don’t know what had happened to me and my younger brother,” Wilbur said.

Also sharing his gratefulness, Kurt said, “I am very thankful to God as He used Miztah to save us from the fire. Now we can continue with our life despite what has happened to our home.”

Home to Kurt is an eight-bedroom building in Sitio Padcal’s Purok Upper Camp, a three-bedroom unit of which he shares with his family, including Wilbur, their parents, and two other siblings. Their mother, Annabelle, was with their two siblings in Tabuk, Kalinga Province, having a vacation.

The family that stays in the other three-bedroom unit and the two project employees occupying the two other single rooms were also on vacation.

“Nothing was saved from our house, including the belongings of our housemates,” Lander said. “But the lives of my children are the most important. Thanks to God and to our hero dog, Miztah.”



Benguet Destinations

Strawberry Farm

La Trinidad is know to be the “Strawberry Capital of the Philippines” because of the strawberry fields. Visitors can experience strawberry picking and also taste different products made from strawberry like the strawberry ice cream and strawberry “taho”.

Asin Hot Springs

Located at the outskirts of the city of Baguio, this attraction gives it’s visitors the chance to indulge in serious relaxation. Asin Hot Springs has been knwon to do wonders for the mind, body and soul because of the spring’s natural minerals like sulfates, calcium and chloride.

BenCab Museum

The BenCab museum, located at KM 6. Asin Road, houses the permanent collection of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab) in several galleries, as well as venues for art shows and exhibitions. The Philippine Contemporary Art Galleries highlight the artist’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. The smaller exhibition rooms contain other collections accumulated by BenCab through the years.

Bell Church

The home to beautiful landscaped gardens and intricately designed arches and buildings adorned with flags, bells and dragons. Bell church holds some artifacts about Buddhism and literatures about the history of China.

Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest in the Philippines which is 2,922 meters above sea level. The view from the top of Mt. Pulag never fails to amaze its climbers.

Kabayan Mummies

Also know as the Fire Mummies of the Philippines, the Kabayan Mummies are from the Ibaloi tribe of Benguet. This have been included in the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World by a non-profit organization that focuses on the preservation of important historical monuments and sites.

Ambuclao Dam

The Ambuclao dam is popularly known as the biggest rock filled dam in the Far East and is considered as one of the major projects in Luzon that feeds electricity to the grid lines of Luzon.

Rose Gardens

Rose lovers will surely be pleased with Rose Gardens. A famous tourist attraction located in La Trinidad. Here, you will find a large variety of roses, chrysanthemums and other ornamental plants.

Mt. Ugo

This is considered to be one of the major destinations in the Cordilleras. It is the highest mountain located in Tinongdan, Itogon via the Benguet-Vizcayay boundary that boasts of stunning views of neighboring mountains and the great Luzon valley.

Kalugong View Point

A trek to Mount Kalugong is something that adventure seekers and nature lovers woudn't miss. The Kalugong View Point will give you a breathtaking experience and a panoramic view of the La Trinidad Valley and ther villages.