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True story: real winners don’t give up!

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!!!

{ 167 comments… add one }
  • Praveen March 28, 2013, 6:42 am

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

  • Shreya Agarwal March 6, 2013, 12:59 am

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

  • Antonio March 5, 2013, 4:08 am

    May God Bless Her…

  • Rowfel March 3, 2013, 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. 🙂

  • Sam February 21, 2013, 4:21 pm

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

  • Hassaan February 16, 2013, 8:14 am

    Allah is great.

  • Mr . Rawat February 15, 2013, 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 ..

  • Swathi February 5, 2013, 1:38 am

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

  • Karthikeyan January 29, 2013, 8:48 am

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

  • Sindhuja January 21, 2013, 5:41 am

    Its really amazing………… NICE

  • Pavani January 19, 2013, 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.

  • Gnome January 16, 2013, 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.

  • MD Salman Ansari (Suddu ) January 12, 2013, 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..

  • Annette January 11, 2013, 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!

  • Echeija Anthony January 1, 2013, 6:05 am

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

  • Jayson December 29, 2012, 12:50 pm

    A strong faith and determinaton lead us to success..

    Marcel! — pretty good name 🙂

  • Prakash Lama December 28, 2012, 9:26 am

    Brave! God is good all the time

  • Rita Borg December 19, 2012, 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.

  • Ravikant Dudi December 16, 2012, 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.

  • Sulaimon December 15, 2012, 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!!!

  • Sanuj December 14, 2012, 8:18 am

    Amazing Marcel !!

  • Mec December 1, 2012, 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.

  • Ranender November 30, 2012, 2:37 am


  • Nandini November 28, 2012, 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.

  • Manogna November 22, 2012, 9:12 pm

    It’s a really inspirational story thanks for this.

  • Abi Subhash November 6, 2012, 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

  • Saff November 5, 2012, 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.

  • Nadeem November 2, 2012, 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.

  • Vikrant October 31, 2012, 12:02 pm

    Excellent True Story….

  • Abi October 30, 2012, 9:36 am

    Thank you!!

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

  • Dhundup October 29, 2012, 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.

  • Jacob abbey October 27, 2012, 9:08 am

    This story have really lifted my hopes alive.

  • Suman Majumder October 20, 2012, 8:38 pm

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

  • Rajat October 20, 2012, 4:00 pm

    I salute to u.

  • Edmond October 18, 2012, 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.

  • Mukul October 14, 2012, 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

  • Margaret October 13, 2012, 1:03 pm

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

    Those who trust in God, nothing is impossible.

  • Jham October 7, 2012, 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!!!

  • Gudiya September 29, 2012, 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 …

  • Kae September 20, 2012, 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.

  • Sukhwinder Singh September 14, 2012, 2:46 am

    No words to express feeling…

  • Subodh September 3, 2012, 2:01 am

    Wow, really very touching and full of struggles 🙂

  • Haiziena meru August 26, 2012, 11:28 am

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

  • Shrey Chauhan August 22, 2012, 7:58 am

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

  • Jangminlen Haokip August 6, 2012, 11:03 am

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

  • Grace July 29, 2012, 8:33 am

    Sad but very inspiring story………

  • Justine July 20, 2012, 7:11 am

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

  • Rashmi Rajan July 18, 2012, 7:12 am

    It really, really inspired me again……

  • Rossi July 16, 2012, 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.

  • Priya July 8, 2012, 7:19 am

    A great story to tell

  • Kinley July 6, 2012, 10:03 am

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

  • Shwetha July 4, 2012, 5:50 am

    Great lady..

  • Uncl Segun June 29, 2012, 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.

  • Dolamu idowu agida June 29, 2012, 10:06 am

    Winners never quit, quiters never wins

  • Soham June 28, 2012, 12:06 am

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

  • Rasika June 27, 2012, 6:52 am

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

  • Fitsum June 24, 2012, 4:26 pm

    It touchs my heart, God bless Miracel Apatan.

  • Manasi June 24, 2012, 7:56 am

    Very inspiring!

  • Heena June 24, 2012, 7:00 am

    My love to Marcel.

  • Pooja Juyal June 22, 2012, 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.

  • Suman June 21, 2012, 6:37 am

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

  • Valentine June 21, 2012, 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.

  • Hareem June 21, 2012, 3:11 am

    Deeply inspiring!

  • Atanas June 20, 2012, 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”.

  • Jyoti June 19, 2012, 6:29 am

    Amazing story. No words to say…..

  • Bhawana June 19, 2012, 6:19 am

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

  • Timothy June 16, 2012, 1:16 pm

    Awesome, just awesome…

  • Vandana June 13, 2012, 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..

  • Jeannylie June 12, 2012, 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!

  • Gershon June 12, 2012, 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..

  • Craig June 12, 2012, 8:46 am

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

  • Deepak June 11, 2012, 1:37 pm

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

  • Leah June 11, 2012, 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.

  • Ajay June 8, 2012, 10:40 pm

    I thank you for publishing such wonderful stories.

  • Shrinivas Dasari June 8, 2012, 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

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