True story: real winners don’t give up!

by Stephen on June 7, 2012 · 133 comments

in Inspiring Stories, True Stories

This is a true story of a young woman who went through the most gruesome fire. When you read her story, you’ll realize that your trials are absolutely nothing compared to what this young girl went through.

It was September 25, 2000. Maricel Apatan was an 11-year old girl in Zamboanga. On that day, this little girl went with her uncle to draw water.

Along the way, four men met them. They were carrying long knives. They told her uncle to face down on the ground, and they hacked him on the neck and killed him.

Maricel was in total shock, especially that the men were their neighbors. She tried to escape, but the men ran after her.

She cried, “Kuya, ‘wag po, ‘wag n’yo akong tagain! Maawa po kayo sa akin!” (“Don’t kill me! Have mercy on me!”)

But they weren’t listening. With a long knife, a man slashed her on the neck too.

Maricel fell to the ground and lost consciousness.

When she woke up, she saw a lot of blood. She also saw the feet of the men around her, but she pretended to be dead.

When they walked away, Maricel ran back home. But along the way, she saw that both her hands were falling off. Because the men hacked them too. She cried but she kept running.

Sometimes, she would faint and fall to the ground. But she’d regain consciousness and run again.

When she was near her home, Maricel called her mother.

Upon seeing her daughter, her mother screamed in terror. She wrapped her bloodied child in a blanket and carried her to the hospital.

Here was the problem: From her house to the highway, it was a 12-kilometer walk. It took them 4 hours just to reach the highway.

When they arrived in the hospital, the doctors thought Maricel was going to die. But for 5 hours, they operated on her. It took 25 stitches to stitch together the long knife wound in her neck and back.

Maricel barely survived. And she lost both of her hands.

Ironically, the next day was Maricel’s birthday. She was 12 years old.

But tragedy didn’t end there. When they went home, they saw their home was gone. It was ransacked and burned down by the goons.

Being very poor, Maricel’s family also didn’t have P50,000 for their hospital bills.

But God sent many angels along the way to help them.

Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, a distant relative, paid for hospital bills and helped them bring the criminals to court. They were sentenced to prison.

Today, she’s staying with the nuns at Regina Rosarii with Sr. Eppie Brasil, O.P.

But this is the incredible miracle. Instead of staying down, Maricel kept running.

Instead of cursing God why she had no hands, she now uses her wrists in incredible ways that will boggle your mind.

Maricel Apatan

Maricel was cited as the most industrious, best in computer, and most courteous in the School for Crippled Children.

In 2008, she graduated from a course in Hotel and Restaurant Management. She even received a Gold medal for Arts and Crafts.

In 2011, she finished her education to be a chef. Yes, a Chef without hands.

Nothing can stop this young lady from reaching her dreams.

Real Winners Don’t Give Up!

More images about Maricel Apatan:

Maricel Apatan, a true winner!!!

If you find this story useful, please share with a friend!

{ 133 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shrinivas Dasari June 8, 2012 at 5:03 am

This is truly inspirational and indeed you are doing wonderful job by publishing such articles. I appreciate it. This is the first time i visited your site and i’m not able to get away from this site without reading next article.

To all those out there, “Never give up….” .

Shrinivas Dasari

2 Ajay June 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm

I thank you for publishing such wonderful stories.

3 Leah June 11, 2012 at 9:07 am

It’s amazing and wonderful story. I am so touched reading this story. Thanks God for wonderful plan for each of us really believing in your name. Wow God is great.

4 Deepak June 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm

It made me speechless, I don’t have words to describe how great this story is & the heroin…

5 Craig June 12, 2012 at 8:46 am

Truly, inspirational. I don’t know what to say. God bless!!!

6 Gershon June 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Thank you so much for this article.. I’m so down when I read this article…God will always make a way if there seems to be no way..

7 Jeannylie June 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm

So nice story! Amazing! Very inspiring!…Thank you Lord for givng me two hands to do more for Your glory… Bless Maricel Apatan, Lord as she goes on to her journey in life.. Amen!

8 Vandana June 13, 2012 at 2:56 am

It’s truely amazing..!!! We really at times are bugged with our lives and tensions that we don’t realize that the problems we have are really small pieces when compared to what others have…and the problems that Maricel faced in her life have made her so strong to cross the hurdles and be an inspiration to all of us…..God bless her.. and this site is really amazing… I really feel so calm and relaxed when I read this kind of stories..

9 Timothy June 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Awesome, just awesome…

10 Bhawana June 19, 2012 at 6:19 am

A very Inspirational and awesome true story. God bless her and May complete her all dreams.

11 Jyoti June 19, 2012 at 6:29 am

Amazing story. No words to say…..

12 Atanas June 20, 2012 at 3:27 am

Thank you for the wonderful stories. This one made me sad, but most of the others are a really “Stand up” or “Keep on going”.

13 Hareem June 21, 2012 at 3:11 am

Deeply inspiring!

14 Valentine June 21, 2012 at 5:45 am

A really touching story, wanna say that Maricel is one amongst a million who has got the favour of the Lord. We praise His name forever and ever! An amazingly great work from God.

15 Suman June 21, 2012 at 6:37 am

Thanks for this wonderful story. It gives me strength. Nothing can stop a person who wants to do something in life.

16 Pooja Juyal June 22, 2012 at 7:21 am

This is my heartly thanks to the publishers. After gone with this true, heart and soul touching story I decided never to give up like the heroine done in her life.

17 Heena June 24, 2012 at 7:00 am

My love to Marcel.

18 Manasi June 24, 2012 at 7:56 am

Very inspiring!

19 Fitsum June 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm

It touchs my heart, God bless Miracel Apatan.

20 Rasika June 27, 2012 at 6:52 am

Your story has touched my heart………..hats off to you…….

21 Soham June 28, 2012 at 12:06 am

A salute to the lady..and thank u Stephen for the post….

22 Dolamu idowu agida June 29, 2012 at 10:06 am

Winners never quit, quiters never wins

23 Uncl Segun June 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm

It is not just interesting, but an eye opener to all of us that we can go beyond our so called limits no matter what.

24 Shwetha July 4, 2012 at 5:50 am

Great lady..

25 Kinley July 6, 2012 at 10:03 am

Oh… I am inspired….you are really a great human being… :)

26 Priya July 8, 2012 at 7:19 am

A great story to tell

27 Rossi July 16, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I had no option but to share this in my group. This is truly that thing about determination, the story is highly inspiring and we can do more with this story.

28 Rashmi Rajan July 18, 2012 at 7:12 am

It really, really inspired me again……

29 Justine July 20, 2012 at 7:11 am

It’s amazing how God does things! God Bless you Lady!

30 Grace July 29, 2012 at 8:33 am

Sad but very inspiring story………

31 Jangminlen Haokip August 6, 2012 at 11:03 am

Thats so touching. It reminds me of the events thats prevailing in our place.

32 Shrey Chauhan August 22, 2012 at 7:58 am

Really inspiring story… touched my heart!!!!!

33 Haiziena meru August 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

This is the first time I visited this site, awesome stories! God bless Maricel as she continues on her brave journey!

34 Subodh September 3, 2012 at 2:01 am

Wow, really very touching and full of struggles :-)

35 Sukhwinder Singh September 14, 2012 at 2:46 am

No words to express feeling…

36 Kae September 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm

This is a very touching and inspirational story, my heart goes out to this woman and her family. It just shows how cruel this world can get and also shows the determination and power of will; when you put your mind to it.

I’m thinking of using this story as an inspiration to reach our young generation that they should be grateful for what they have in their life.

God Bless.

37 Gudiya September 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Truly inspirational …would be sharing this today with a small group of childern whom I was assigned to as a Mentor…

And I am so glad that I clicked upon this site today…lots of good stories …

38 Jham October 7, 2012 at 4:22 am

Most of Filipinos (Philippines) have a big heart for our God, they trust and believe Him. They believe that whatever is happening in their lives, it is God’s way, in hard times it is a test from God. And they believe that everything happens for a reason and God will never leave them. They never looses faith, hope and trust to God.

That is why Maricel survived this test and she is a Filipino.

Proud to be FILIPINO!
Proud to be PINOY!!!

39 Margaret October 13, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I know Filipino. Their strong faith in God is tremendous.

Those who trust in God, nothing is impossible.

40 Mukul October 14, 2012 at 3:01 am

Awesome story, such persons give strength to those who are still and not moving ahead in life and just obsessed with the crueality of Life

41 Edmond October 18, 2012 at 10:25 am

Powerful Apatan, nothing can stop her from achieving her dreams. I have all the strength but I cried for not getting job because of the economy but I think if I work harder I will make it.

42 Rajat October 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I salute to u.

43 Suman Majumder October 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Realy! She is a winer. I was inspired from the story very much.

44 Jacob abbey October 27, 2012 at 9:08 am

This story have really lifted my hopes alive.

45 Dhundup October 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm

I don’t think it is God but herself helped her and it really touched me a lot… Now I know the real problem and thanks to the publisher who posted this story.

46 Abi October 30, 2012 at 9:36 am

Thank you!!

I was upset and try to give up, BUT now I am NOT! Because of her.

47 Vikrant October 31, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Excellent True Story….

48 Nadeem November 2, 2012 at 1:21 am

Really very heart touching and inspiring story. Hats off for the young lady and her commitment to the life. Allah gives his sign to all human beings to felt his presence and apprecite his plans. But we are so week in our faith towards Almighty. Such incidents reinforce our faith. Great post. Thanks.

49 Saff November 5, 2012 at 6:52 am

Bravo Maricel…sheer grit and determination.

I visit this site whenever I feel low…….trust me…..feel so pepped up and positive after reading your articles. It makes me realise that the problems I am face are nothing compared to what people are facing..Thank you so much for all the positiivity you bring about thru this site.

50 Abi Subhash November 6, 2012 at 9:32 am

Praise the lord, it’s really a touching story. God bless her. Her braveness gives strength to me. Always God will do ONLY good things to us.

No words to say. If I feel down, definitely her story boosts me. God is great. These miracles are really increasing our faith in GOD. Amen

51 Manogna November 22, 2012 at 9:12 pm

It’s a really inspirational story thanks for this.

52 Nandini November 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Maricel Apatan you are Truly a Winner!!!

You are my God sent inspiration. In Life, whenever I will face any major problem, you and your courage will surely put me back on my track and stop me from giving up. You have proved “Where there is a will there is a way”.

Much Love and Blessings Dear Maricel!! GOD bless us.

53 Ranender November 30, 2012 at 2:37 am


54 Mec December 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm

It has been quite a while, I have wanted to read some true and inspirational stories after I met failed one after another. Thank you for giving me hope today..Continue your good work.

55 Sanuj December 14, 2012 at 8:18 am

Amazing Marcel !!

56 Sulaimon December 15, 2012 at 6:19 am

That is so amazing, immediately i finish reading the story, what comes to my mind is that, when we have small problem, we quickly blame it on God as if we know our future, and we also give up as if we know what ‘s going to happen in the next minute. Marcel is born to be great in life. WOW SO WONDERFUL!!!

57 Ravikant Dudi December 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I want to say just an amazing story, it gives positive thinking that how we should live our life in a better way. Thanks for such a motivatinal story.

58 Rita Borg December 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Dear Lord. I wished I never had to read such a tragic story to realize how our problems are small compare to others some like this saint had to go through. Marcel you are alredy a saint in Gods eyes and may you have more strenght to achieve all of your dreams. What an amazing human being, I just said a prayer for you and your family GOD BLESS.

59 Prakash Lama December 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

Brave! God is good all the time

60 Jayson December 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm

A strong faith and determinaton lead us to success..

Marcel! — pretty good name :)

61 Echeija Anthony January 1, 2013 at 6:05 am

Thanks God for God. If it is not your time, it is not.

62 Annette January 11, 2013 at 11:04 pm

God will make a Way….Maricel inspires me more to work even harder despite of our consequences. Thank you for sharing your story … Praise God for the inspirational story!

63 MD Salman Ansari (Suddu ) January 12, 2013 at 6:49 am

Thank you so much for this article.. I’m so down when I read this article… God will always make a way if there seems to be no way..

64 Gnome January 16, 2013 at 3:00 am

WOW! I was really amazed by this story.
I can’t imagined she managed to survive from that tragedy. GOD is always good, AMEN!
She deserved the best after all.

65 Pavani January 19, 2013 at 3:46 am

It was really touching. The girl like Maricel will be inspirational to many people. I prayed to God that He is always with you in every step of your life.

66 Sindhuja January 21, 2013 at 5:41 am

Its really amazing………… NICE

67 Karthikeyan January 29, 2013 at 8:48 am

Well !! We need to learn a lot from this message. Thank you people for posting such real life messages.

68 Swathi February 5, 2013 at 1:38 am

Really it touched the HEART, she has proved that every thing is POSSIBLE if there is WILL, really inspirable, THANK U.

69 Mr . Rawat February 15, 2013 at 5:09 am

Hey .. !! Maricel Apatan you are such a truly Winner for ur Bravery nd confidence !!! .. I Slute you .. nd Hats off ..

Wht i say for this .. Nothing in my mind ..

Speechless … Amazing …. my words nothing for this heart touch story ..

70 Hassaan February 16, 2013 at 8:14 am

Allah is great.

71 Sam February 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Really amazing story. I’m inspired by this story. May God bless her. Thanks

72 Rowfel March 3, 2013 at 1:32 am

I’m using this story for a featured article of mine for my test in Filipino. This topic is what first came to my mind when my teacher told us that we need interesting and inspirational topic. :)

73 Antonio March 5, 2013 at 4:08 am

May God Bless Her…

74 Shreya Agarwal March 6, 2013 at 12:59 am

A very heart touching story and these people prove that God is within us.

75 Praveen March 28, 2013 at 6:42 am

You can do well . …. expecting from u thank u.

76 Flo April 8, 2013 at 11:10 pm

This is truly inspiring. I add your blog in my favourite as I want to read more. Thank you for the beautiful stories.

77 Himanshu Bansal April 26, 2013 at 8:15 am

This is a very inspirational story … I am proud of the girl who can win the life from die. God bless u… thanks for giving me such a very heartkinded story..

Thanks.. very much……

78 Navya Patil April 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Nice one…… we have to salute this girl….. :)

79 Jessiel April 29, 2013 at 8:12 am

So inspiring…Makes me teary-eyed as I read this…this is the first time on your site..and cant leave a day without reading atleast one or two of your stories…like ^.^

God bless Maricel and you…God bless us…

80 Ben Roko May 11, 2013 at 10:30 pm

I have a daughter by the same name, Bod bless you Maricel.

81 Madsrasta May 21, 2013 at 7:20 am

We have our own problem to solve or lose it!!! You’ve got to believe to yourself!!! It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our self…

82 Shaikh May 22, 2013 at 6:53 am

Such stories keep the spirit of life and hope alive could be inspiring for many more with similar situations. I was in tears when I read this story.
We have to learn and believe that all the problems would come to an end till then never give up………

83 Alyssa May 25, 2013 at 8:47 pm

So, Maricel Apatan is Of Course, From Philippines because She Lives in Zamboanga and from her name it is obvious that she is a Philipino. This story really hit me, This is the most inspirational story I have ever read.

84 Galima May 29, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Amazing & touching story it is real inspiring & gives us courage to move on.

85 Rohini June 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Thank you so much for publishing this story, I am actually so inspired for this story. God bless you..

86 Rox June 20, 2013 at 8:30 am

Wow! Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. It reminds me more how God works in wonderful ways that we may sometimes find unfair or miserable. God bless us all! Please share the love!

87 Kenneth Erigha, Lagos Nigeria June 26, 2013 at 9:34 pm

A person with a great destiny will always have many adversaries, but that great destiny will only manifest in the physical when he/she stands his ground on God’s word.

88 Jenith, India June 28, 2013 at 11:22 am

Maricel sounds like a Miracle for Me… Truly inspirational.

89 Akal kevin June 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm

I am from Kenya…. I read and love these stories…they keep me strong…

90 Syalinda, Malaysia July 5, 2013 at 8:26 am

Thank you for the story.

91 Santosh July 16, 2013 at 5:54 am

A salute to the lady..and thank you Stephen for the post. Fantastic.. Very much inspired.

92 UD July 19, 2013 at 1:25 am

Wow….such a good story …thank for publishing this one. Many times I saw that women are so stronger than men mentally….this story tells us that they’re stronger as well as physically :)

93 Bern July 22, 2013 at 1:45 am

Don’t give up God always has reason.

94 Sailaja July 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm

The true story raises positive attitude. A feeling of upliftment comes. This makes me cry, makes me think, makes me happy. Thank you writer.

95 Prabal July 25, 2013 at 11:28 am

I am really thankful to you….for being inspiring to us…..and had soft to you ..mericel ….just out of the world.

96 Gwen July 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Woah! I can’t believe something as horrible as this could happen in the Philippines, my home country. There are really some black-hearted people out there!

Also, a more accurate translation of the sentence in Filipino would be, “No, no, please don’t hack me! Have mercy on me!”

97 G Bwadeyar August 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Really very motivational!!!

98 Kuntal August 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Maricel Apatan is the synonym of courage and inspiration. Entire human race is blessed to have you among us. May God helps us to be such a brave heart.

99 Jet August 20, 2013 at 6:44 am

Woah! What an inspiring story! Two thumbs up!

100 Revathi Menon.R September 1, 2013 at 3:00 am

Very nice and useful stories are posted here… I come to this page to gain some courage and self confidence… I do share these inspirational stories with my friends. Thanks to the whole team.

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