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MANILA, Philippines - After drifting at sea for a month, 5 Badjaos were finally found and rescued last Friday, January 11, off the Sulawesi Sea in Indonesia.
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it is now arranging for their return to the Philippines.
Survivor Jimjiani Julki told reporters they may have been victims of typhoon Pablo, which hit southern Philippines during the Christmas holidays.
The 4 others with him are identified as Masuring Dusing and his wife Mudaya Julki; and Badaya Dusing and her 2-year-old son Bersabe Andigel. They are all residents of Siasi, Sulu.
Julki said they left Siasi in early December but they later encountered big waves and strong currents that got them off their course. Out of fuel, they floated at sea for a month until they reached the Indonesian province of North Sulawesi.
Local officials and residents of the capital city of Manado and nearby Bitung offered them assistance. DFA said even Manado's Vice Mayor Harley Mangindaan visited them to check on their situation.
They also caught the attention of the local press, making them instant celebrities in Indonesia, according to reports.
Philippine Consul General Jose Burgos and his team have visited the survivors, according to a DFA statement. They also brought them food, clothes, toiletries, and toys.
The Consulate has sought the assistance of the DFA's office in Zamboanga to inform their relatives in Siasi that they are safe. - Rappler.com