Monday, August 17, 2015

Miguel Gabriel Ruiz: Miggy Ruiz Died of Stonefish Poisoning in Palawan

A tourist from Taguig city named Miguel Gabriel Ruiz was enjoying his vacation in Coron Palawan with his friend, when he tragically died, stepping on a poisonous coral (in some reports, he stepped on a Stonefish) and was not given proper emergency care. In this case, local medical personnel who responded didn't know what to do. The victim was coherent enough to explained what happened to him, but eventually died because of the neurotoxin from the corals have stopped him from breathing.



Here's the full post from Facebook:

Until this day, I couldn't believe a friend died by just stepping on a coral reef. There MUST be big medical facilities in tourist hot spots like Coron which is hailed as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. No big hospitals?! Wow. How can we promote tourism and compete with Thailand if we can't guarantee the safety of tourists? It's always safety and preparedness that must come first!



Negligence and lack of proper first aid knowledge were major reasons of this demise. Time is gold and too bad time was not enough for him to reach the hospital alive. Boatmen and people of Coron didn't know how to do CPR and to revive patients who are in huge trouble. It was Travis, the boyfriend, who did the CPR procedures amid the vomit and all that. The boatmen didn't inform and warn them of the poisonous corals or whatever deadly piranha or stone fish. The BF said, the boatmen only warned them of poisonous jelly fish that you'll die within minutes after it stings/bites you. The boatmen even held it in their hand to show what hinayupak na dikya it was! Meaning, they had a clear gasp and knowledge of the place, the sea, and whatever were down there. They're not fishermen, boatmen for nothing.

That's just so ridiculous and freaking scary isn't it? Would you travel to places like that?! Accidents like this DO happen. Hence, we MUST always, in all times, foresee and anticipate such things! Because unfortunately it did happen already.


Well, I'm not really surprised. Because even Boracay Island has no well-equipped hospitals. I remember running to an ER of a freaking hospital in Boracay and everything was substandard. Nurses and doctors were inattentive. I told myself, THIS IS NOT WHERE I'LL DIE! ( I'm a major hypochondriac )

What more Coron?! A very secluded and beleaguered island. The Palawan Tourism Board should be held accountable for not informing the tourists well about the poisonous coral reef, stone fish or whatever it is that is found in Coron. Shame on that hospital/clinic they arrived at. According to his boyfriend, doctors and nurses were unprepared and unrehearsed. I am also not shocked with this. Doctors and nurses see patients come and go everyday and they think just because they always see emergency cases everyday, so they're used to it. For them, ayyyy ok lang yan, mabubuhay yan, don't worry. The complacency of doctors and nurses.... Eh Kung kayo kaya yung nasa death bed? Time is everything! That's why when Travis told us so, I wasn't not shocked anymore because it happened to me lots of times as well in the E.R. I could just imagine what was happening that time during and after the incident.

He started vomiting and was in extreme discomfort, delirious.Travis said he didn't get stung eh. Because Miggy's finals words were:

 " I stepped on the corals and I couldn't breathe. "

I think, it is indeed anaphylactic shock.
He died within 10 minutes after......... In his BF, Travis' arms. Possibly, the sweetest way to die.

If his death could and would bring awareness to everyone who frequents and loves the beach, then his death meant for bigger things indeed. You know, sometimes kasi when we are having fun, we tend to take safety and prevention for granted. Don't we?


I'm not shading or starting the blame game. But really, it is safety first. First aid kit man lang? Better facilities? At least complete medicine pangkontra sa poison? Because you'll never know what might hit you. And when it does, it's too late.

May the family of Miggy and Travis find comfort and solace knowing he is in heaven already. That is according to him cuz they got to talk to him last night through a famed experienced psychic. And 5 days before he died, he had an inkling and premonition already. I guess that's why he tweeted:

" Heaven. " hence, there's no doubt that he really will go to heaven. But Miggy, you were gone too soon. 25 years of age was too young to go. I know God has His purpose even if we don't always understand why things have to happen. It had to.

I'm so happy to have seen you again for the very last time. At least, I got to see you in your handsome tuxedo. Naks! I wanna die looking like you. Hindi man lang pumanget at na haggard at all! But whoever your make up artist is, make sure to haunt him/her. Hahahaha. Natawa din ako sa bangs. Naka full side bangs ka talaga ha. Straight na straight to the right. Unat na unat.

See you one day in heaven and no, not at all, not too very soon. Hindi pa. Hehe. Rest in peace Miggy. Love you.

For the safety of the public- children and tourists visiting Philippine beaches:

Certain venomous species are hard to spot since they are perfectly camouflaged, what looks like a rock above water may actually be a stone fish. A stone fish is one of the most venomous fishes in the world. And yes, we have them in the Philippines (along with other notorious venomous species of box jellyfishes and sea urchins).

What is a Stonefish?

The stonefish, or Synanceia, is a venomous fish that secretes neurotoxins at the base of its needle-like spine which sticks up when disturbed or threatened. It rarely attacks humans when unprovoked, poisonings occur when people unknowingly step on the fish.



Many describe the stonefish sting as the worst pain they've ever experienced. It's so severe that some victims have demanded that their stung limbs be amputated. Aside from excruciating pain, a sting can cause a great dealing of swelling on and around the affected area. Other symptoms include muscle weakness, temporary paralysis, and shock, which ultimately lead to death if left untreated due to damage to the heart, respiratory system, and nervous system.

Philippine Beaches should have Medical Vinegar First-Aid Stations
Emergency Treatment for Stonefish Injury
Extreme cases of stonefish injuries requires the application of a stonefish antivenom (common and available in Australia). But if there's no anti-venom, treat a stonefish sting by applying heat to the injured area with the use of hot water. This destroys the stonefish venom while causing minimal discomfort to the victim. Vinegar can also be used to lessen the pain until medical help arrives.

56 comments:

  1. hi, where or what particular tourist spot / island this incident happened?? thanks...

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  2. There is no such thing as coral reef poisoning. Please change your headline. He probably stepped on a stone fish, and CPR would not have helped.

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  3. CPR won't help, it is nobody's fault that he died due to stonefish poisoning, my condolences for that. ignorance of the boatman, hospital or tourism board doesn't excuse anyone stepping on corals. it is not their fault either.

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    1. Seriously? You should've finished your piece at 'it is nobody's fault..'
      Don't you really think that those people working (and earning) to attract tourists be held responsible for what happened?
      My stand is, they should also have a fair share of accountability on this. For you to better understand sir, let's say you enroll your kid in a school, I bet you would expect the school admin to ensure the safety of its patrons -- the Kids. Would you not?

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    2. Seriously? You should've finished your piece at 'it is nobody's fault..'
      Don't you really think that those people working (and earning) to attract tourists be held responsible for what happened?
      My stand is, they should also have a fair share of accountability on this. For you to better understand sir, let's say you enroll your kid in a school, I bet you would expect the school admin to ensure the safety of its patrons -- the Kids. Would you not?

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    3. Mr. Vergara, you didn't get what exactly the point is, if you we're fitting a shoe you have to make sure that both left and right fits.

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    4. Mr. Vergara, you didn't get what exactly the point is, if you we're fitting a shoe you have to make sure that both left and right fits.

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    5. I get jon calma's point. The family is being emotional and looking for someone to blame(it seems like they are blaming all they could point their fingers at- from the boatmen, to medical staff-, then to tourism officials, then malamang bagsak nyan kay Pnoy :p) . According sa latest update ni travis, the cause is a sea urchin. Unfortunately, u cant blame the main cause right (the sea urchin)? Do we really need sign board for every poisonous fish that maybe under that sea? It is a sea ffs! Those sea creatures could be anywhere as long as they are in body water. Sadly, it is a case of a very unfortunate event, he stepped on whatever it is at the wrong place at the wrong time. There are many "ifs" pero that is what God let happen right?

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    6. I completely agree with the Anonymous above. As such, we can't protect everyone from the dangers of the unknown, natural, or fortuitous. The island is known for its unique and very well preserved natural resources. However, such elegance come with dangers that are beyond control of man.

      The boatmen cannot be liable for ignorance of medical procedure. Mind you, CPR cannot and should not be performed by any first responder. In emergency cases, only an EMT are allowed to perform such procedure even if prior that there was a responding rescue.

      Holding the Tourism Board accountable is not tenable as well. Although it may seem that the buck stops at their doorstep, it is primordially principal that natural resources comes with its own dangers. At trip to Amazon or Australia doesn't need a sign board that tells you that its forests containing the animals and insects could kill you, its already basic knowledge inherent to the perception that its a preserved natural resource.

      Sadly, this really is an accident of great sorrow. Condolences to the family and friends. Truly this is sad.

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  4. shit. kamakailan lang kasabay namin mag gym to..

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  5. This entire thing could have been prevented if the employees, doctors and nurses were prepared. You would think that they know of the stone fish that inhabit in body of water so wouldn't you also expect that they were trained in dealing with this situation? The lack of (swift) response and training is pure negligence and the blood of this man is on their hands. It is like when you go to a beach or a pool - you have lifeguards there to protect you, who you know/hope have take the property training courses to learn the necessary actions they must take should something (God forbid) happen. Hypothetical situation: If this were at a pool and someone one drowning - the lifeguard jumps in and gets the person out of the pool but doesn't know how to administer CPR; The person dies...who's fault is that: The one who drowned or the certified professional who is "trained" to save this person's life? In all reality, the blame would fall on the lifeguard and legally they would be held accountable for the death. If the people involved took all the necessary steps they possibly could and he still passed away, then obviously the loss is out of their hands. However, that is not the case in this situation. They had no clue how to handle this situation and unfortunately time was of the essence. Again, this could have been prevented
    .

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  6. isn't it prohibited to touch corals?

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  7. isn't it prohibited to touch corals?

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    1. very true. but not enough people, especially tourists, even local tourists know.

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  8. HI, this is the editor of ISH Magz International Magazine of Essex, London, UK. We would like to feature this story. Please email me at ishmagzeditor@hotmail.com so we can colsaborate on this.We are sending someone to the philippines to interview the family of Mr. Ruiz.

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  9. RIP and Condolence to the family. I just want to say that we can't blame the locals for not being prepared, they don't have enough money to train and learn for those kinds of things and scenario. They are just doing their job. Having first aid kits or medical kits especially the anti venom will cause them really big money. Which will make the tour much much more expensive. And for sure, most of the people will prefer a budget friendly trip instead of a trip that will cause them a lot of money. And besides, we all know that Palawan is not fully developed, kaya nga a lot of people are awed by its beauty because it's still a "virgin" paradise. So by knowing that, we should ALWAYS be careful and be aware of the risk that we might encounter.
    Let this be a lesson for all the travelers like me. Let us be more careful! Be aware & prepared for the different things that may happen.

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    1. You have point that it is indeed an expensive investment for the tour guides to provide anti venoms, thats why it is actually in fact the responsibility of the board of tourism to provide such equipments and knowledge to their staff (tour guides), a simple seminar on how to provide cpr or how to provide first aid treatments to venom poisoning wouldve made a difference, however none of these were done, none of these knowledge were provided to the tour guides. If they only did their homework they wouldve found out that hot water or vinigar can destroy the venom or lessan the pain experienced by the victim..... These knwoledge are priceless, weightless, resuable, applicable to any types of situation, if only the tour guides did what they were supposed to do, whether he lives or dies... Atleast they couldve done something about it, not just standing in horror not knowing what to do. #ripmiggy

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  10. Nobody could have been prepared for what happened to him. Even if you have the best doctor with you, if without the antivenom , he will eventually succumbed to death. Sorry for your loss. No first aid could have helped him. No one even if I was there , I could not even help him. CPR or any measures to prevent shock are futile without antivenom. So to please stop blaming others for his death. But I pray for his family. Condolence po

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    1. Yes I agree. They are on an island. It will take them 30mins-1hr to go to the nearest hospital. So yes, please do not blame others.

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    2. don't blame the doctors and nurses.. his mother is also a nurse..

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    3. Yes they couldve been prepared, we cant blame the stonefish or whatever creature that killed our friend, the tourism board invited tourists to visit palawan, in that sense they should at all cost protect the well being of their guests! A first aid kit wouldve made the difference, a knowledge of to treat these types of poison could save lives! The tourism board has these resposibility to educate the tourguides so that they can prevent these types of things from happening, pero again theyre not prepared. Its like this, you invited your cousin to your place, eh maraming mamamtay tao sa place ninyo, it is your sole responsibility to look out for your cousin, di mo pinag darasal na may mangyaring masama but you should be prepared sa posibilities! Our frind is not just a number, hindi langgam ang buhay ng kaibigan namin, he was a fun loving person who just happened to be in an accident which couldve been prevented from turning into a disaster kung prepared lang ang coron fromthese accidents. Rest well miggy your sacrifice will not be in vain #justiceformiggy

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  11. This is a terrible occurrence definitely. And I’m deeply sorry for the loss of his partner, family and friends. But to the person who wrote that caption, first off, I know it's horrible that Coron doesn't have a fully functional or even properly equipped hospital, that's a no brainer to most locals and you’re right, should also be mentioned to the tourists or potential tourists, however, it’s also your responsibility as the tourist to learn about the location you are going to ahead of time, especially if your biggest concerns are medically related. If you checked, you would have found that Culion town, another island in Busuanga has a better hospital, facility and doctors in comparison to Coron town. (But in situations like the deceased, time is the issue, so the distance from the hospitals would not have helped). Secondly, yes, those boatmen are definitely not trained for situations like that, only minor injuries. And it’s the companies and local government that should be responsible for the emergency kits placed on the boats as well as hiring and training staff with proper first aid and knowledge of the destruction of marine life caused by carelessness. You can’t put the blame solely on the boatmen (which are the locals) for not knowing what to do in that situation. I hope you understand that Coron is only in the “involvement” stage of the tourism life cycle (check butler’s model), it is still relatively new as a tourism destination, therefore, the supplies, professional facilities, and etc. are still limited. Thirdly, I know you are old enough to know that when it comes to the ocean and it’s creatures, none should be touched, poked, or stepped on. WHY WOULD YOU WALK ON CORALS!? That is a big no no! Corals take a second to break and many years to grow back. Isn’t that what everyone is coming to see in places like Coron? Why would you step on them and break them? Plus, there are no know corals in Coron that have caused any deaths, it’s some of the creatures that live in them you have to worry about. You are correct in mentioning that they should have mentioned all the potential hazards you may face in the water, however, a lot of it also common sense. From the symptoms you have mentioned, it looks like he was bitten by a bandit sea snake and perhaps its also worth mentioning that there is no known cure for it’s venom, sadly. Not to mention there have only been 3 fatalities caused by stonefish recorded. My dad has stepped on one (walking by the beach, not NOT ON CORALS) and suffered great pain, but obviously it did not kill him. Also, “piranhas” are FRESH WATER FISH, they come in swarms and they eat your flesh off. Finally, whichever destination you are visiting, always travel with caution. No matter how safe you think a place is, it’s always good to be prepared because things can easily go wrong. I love Busuanga and it’s beautiful islands and waters. It’s a beautiful place full of nature’s wonders and should be taken care of and respected. Don’t go around poking and stepping on things you shouldn’t be. Take care of the environment and it will take care of you.

    Oh, and also, your last comments.. SERIOUSLY?? “I'm so happy to have seen you again for the very last time. At least, I got to see you in your handsome tuxedo. Naks!I wanna die looking like you. Hindi man lang pumanget at na haggard at all! But whoever your make up artist is, make sure to haunt him/her. Hahahaha. Natawa din ako sa bangs. Naka full side bangs ka talaga ha. Straight na straight to the right. Unat na unat.”
    What ridiculous things to say.

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    1. Migs already had a heart problem at that time, whatever bite or sting he incurred while he was in Coron just aggrevated the situation which lead to his demise.

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    2. only a fag would say that. typical fag playing victim and pointing the blame. it is what it is a freak accident and not the governments fault.

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    3. "Fag" is a bit harsh isn't it? haha
      In any case, he claims not to point fingers, but clearly he is. People should be mindful of the things they say, especially on social media, a lot of things can be misinterpreted. Plus, it is important to learn to back up your claims with facts and not just post ignorant rants online. It misleads a lot of people.

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    4. Sad truth, but that mother nature takes whenever it can and for this instance there was wrong doing on the human part and the consequences are suffered.

      Also, for the record, they are free to be with whoever they want to be no matter their sexual orientation. Irritating how people still manage to bring that up with other matters at hand. Sigh. It's a different world, a new movement, learn to accept it.

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    5. Dude the point is, whether they walked on corals or not the tourism board shouldve been equipped with first aids or knowledge on treating venoms. The tourism board has the sole responisibility to look after their tourists, they invited them through ads "it's more fun in the philippines" having said that, they comitted and accepted the responsibility of looking after their guests. The tourists has the right to decide wether they prepare for thier trips, to each his own ika nga... But IT IS THE TOURISM BOARD's responsibility to protect and safe guard these people. Again what were fighting for here is not about who stepped on who you died game, were fighting agaisnt the ignorance of the tour guides and unpreparedness that was supposed to be instilled to them by the tourism board. Our friend is not just a number... Our friend is not a coral that just died and will regrow in a couple of years, our friend died and we have lost him forever, this wouldve never happened if a basic knowledge or cpr or the knowledge of treating venoms was instilled to these tour guides. #ripmiggy #JUSTICEFORMIGGY

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. two people stepping on a stonefish in the area of siete pecados is unlikely/besides if they were snorkeling they likely were afloat and the most dangerous animal that could have caused death in minutes is a sea wasp/box jelly fish called abet in the dialect. The tentacles hitting vital spots inject a nerve poison that effects a stinging pain and can be lethal,which is why it is recommended that when swimming in areas during the prevalence/seasons of box jellyfish wear long sleeves shirts

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  14. every wrong doing has its consequences. their relationship is wrong in the first place. I am sorry for the lost soul. if humans could only just obey God.

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    1. I may want to agree they stop blaming others for the accident, but still there is a lesson here, that there should be measures taken to take the risks to the minimum, and as low as reasonably possible. And most off all, PEOPLE SHOULD STOP BLAMING THEIR SEXUAL PREFERENCES!!!! THEY ARE HUMANS WHO LOVE EACH OTHER, LEAVE THE HOMOPHOBIA WHERE IT SHOULD STAY!!!1

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    2. Seriously, their sexual preferences & relationship is none of your business! I feel sorry for your lost soul too. May you find peace & quiet after stating your opinion, mr/ms perfect.

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    3. Such a stupid comment! Their relationship is NOT wrong

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  15. Ok, so you cordon off the coral reef to ensure that no stonefish, jellyfish, sea snake or, poisonous sea urchins can can swim and inhabit that area???? ....that area of the sea is for humans only....no sea creatures allowed. Oh, forgot to mention, he said the sea corals are the culprit..... Poisonous sea corals??? Why not sweep off and dredge the reef to remove all the corals to ensure no human will accidentally step on them...oh and another thing, piranhas are fresh water and not sea water fishes.

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    1. area of the sea is for humans only? bitch are you serious? no sea creatures allowed? dumbass

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    2. "No sea creatures allowed"!? are you fucking kidding me? "remove all the corals!?" what a fucking seriously ignorant comment. The corals are what MAKES Coron waters beautiful. POEPLE LIKE YOU SHOULD BE REMOVED. tsk.

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    3. some people are not familiar with sarcasm.. *facepalm*

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    4. Oh you mean tasteless sarcasm? no. sorry.

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    5. Apparently not. Hahaha. *doublefacepalm*

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    6. hahahaha, how about *facefloor* i think that'll work for you better. Saves us all the trouble.

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    7. Dude you just dont get it do you? Its not the creatures fault and pinopoint lang namin dito is that his death couldve been prevented if the tour guides and medics were prepared or atleast has the knowledge on how to treat these vemons, what hurts me most is that a simple freakin hot water or vinigar couldve saved his life

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    8. This comment is just too dumb! *facepalm* hahaha
      Why must the sea creatures go? While we "the humans" are the ones trespassing / enjoying / threatening / destroying their habitat? This is just so dumb it's annoying!

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  16. Can anyone confirm if this really happened in Siete Pecados as one of the comments stated??? So we can take extra caution when we go there again... Prayers and Condolences to the family and friends... and Hoping that this will not have a major negative impact in coron's tourism...

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    1. Doesn't matter where you go, especially if involves the ocean, you have to be careful either way. We are only guests of the sea, always practice caution and avoid carelessness.

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  17. It's so silly and morbid to entertain such ridiculous notion like that.. *facepalm

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  18. ano sabi ng autopsy?

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  19. '' I'm so happy to have seen you again for the very last time. At least, I got to see you in your handsome tuxedo. Naks! I wanna die looking like you. Hindi man lang pumanget at na haggard at all! But whoever your make up artist is, make sure to haunt him/her. Hahahaha. Natawa din ako sa bangs. Naka full side bangs ka talaga ha. Straight na straight to the right. Unat na unat.'' THIS IS THE MOST Ridiculous THING I'VE EVER READ! #GROSS #GAY #

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  20. I empathize with your sadness for the victim and understand your anger at the injustice of his passing. This might sound like a trivial thing in comparison, but next time when you copy-paste information from a source, give credit where credit is due. Plagiarism is also a type of injustice...

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  21. Regardless if they are straight or not, whether you are in favor of their relationship or not, the fact still remains, someone died and nobody even lifted a finger to help him and his partner. Stop digging up dirt to show off how ill-mannered and close-minded you guys are!

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  22. First of all, I would like to extend my sincere condolences and sympathy to the family and friends of Mr. Miguel Ruiz. Second, I would like to state my comments regarding this article. To the one who wrote this misleading article, I expect you to write unbiased articles and get the statements of BOTH SIDES. I have read several articles regarding this issue but none of them got the statements of those "boatmen" who were with Millard and Ruiz that time. Some articles stated that the boatmen offered them life jackets. If this is true, then why did the police report it as drowning? This article lacked important information.

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  23. I've been to Coron. I can say that Siete Pecados is a very nice place. And before the tourist guide allows the tourist to go into the water, there is a proper orientation. The tourist guide prohibits the tourists to step on the corals.

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