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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 }
  • Bonnie March 21, 2016, 4:19 pm

    This website is amazing. I love all the inspirational stories. They have inspired me so much.

  • Abang Ghazali March 4, 2016, 9:39 am

    I used to quit my culinary more than 10 yrs ago because I was sad my family restaurant have to closed down by the authorities.. Last 2 year at the age of 34 I continue my culinary art from the start again.

    I was really sad, because I’ve heard comment from one of my favorite Chef on the web that, it is the bad idea to pursuit work as a chef at the age nearly 40’s and I do having a lot of problem studying with young students, this is because they don’t take the matters seriously.

    I do respect Oliver, Bourdain, Micheal and others greatest Chef, but for me, you’re the Greatest Chef Mariced, they should do a movie about your story. I’m sure it’ll be one of the best Chef’s movie ever made

    Every culinary student in the world should know your story, I do hope you’ll travel around the world, to give talk to all young boys and girls who want to be a Chef.

    I salute you,

  • Paul February 4, 2016, 3:34 pm

    I am really intrigue and mesmerized by the story. God is very wonderful.

  • Marren nafula January 30, 2016, 3:17 am

    Wow so inspirational

  • Iyabo Oyawale January 12, 2016, 6:28 am

    Thanks for sharing this inspirational story. I learned a lot of lessons from it.

  • Zion October 16, 2015, 5:45 am

    I just thank almighty God…

  • Md. Sohel September 23, 2015, 12:34 am

    This is really a heart touching story. I salute her. She never gives up that’s great.

    Best regards


  • Vijay Purve September 16, 2015, 2:33 am

    Salute to Maricel Apatan

  • Inba tamil August 31, 2015, 12:29 pm

    Awesome! !!! She is the guy who proves their life

  • Fidelis July 29, 2015, 6:25 am

    Bravo, marvelous story.

  • Kaji July 10, 2015, 11:03 am

    A brave lady with great potencial

  • STUTI SONI RATHI July 2, 2015, 4:47 am


  • Leelapavan Vullanki May 20, 2015, 6:08 am

    It was really an inspirational story, wishing all the best to her.

  • RUPERT FERNANDES March 30, 2015, 7:35 am

    Really such an inspiring story which is true. So positive, so humble and so pure.

    When we see and hear such stories, I thank God for all his Goodness bestowed onus which we take for Granted. Whatever religion we may be, the best religion is to be human, and Praise God the way we are created, and develop on our talents which is for sure he has created all of us so uniquely!!!!!

  • Chiclet March 24, 2015, 9:58 am

    I was moved with your courage and endurance to survive…thank you for sharing your story Ms. Maricel. to God be the glory ☝☝☝

  • Raja March 14, 2015, 6:23 am

    It’s a really touching story. I appreciate this girl, without hands she can achieve her dream. Dream come true.

  • Supreet February 18, 2015, 6:21 am

    Mine is nothing… 🙂
    God Bless you Maricel !!!! True inspiration… Got goose bumps ya!!!
    I wish I could be millimeter strong like you but I WILL TRY 🙂
    A BIG Thanks for the Light and the enlightenment through the article. Kindly continue this great work….
    Reading this makes life happy 🙂

  • DANIEL January 31, 2015, 9:31 pm


  • Rabia December 12, 2014, 2:54 am

    I am very inspire for this story. God bless u and i wish you achieve all goals in your life.

  • Nrmanukonda November 23, 2014, 1:49 am

    Really it’s a heart touching story……..
    It’s awesome………

  • Shreya jaiswal November 9, 2014, 4:57 am

    This is really an inspirational story!!! I salute that girl..& I hope that everyone should become like her. Really a hart touching story

  • Hiten jain October 16, 2014, 11:14 am

    It is a really inspiring story for me.

  • Choki wangchuk October 15, 2014, 8:31 am

    It is really a touching story and an inspiring one for all of us. In fact this is the first time i have browsed this site. Thanks for publishing the amazing story…..

  • Emy October 14, 2014, 12:30 am

    Very inspiring story. God is good and He is always here for us. He knows what we go through each day and only if we really trust and have faith in Him, then will be blessed.

  • Leo September 17, 2014, 3:45 pm

    Never ever give up in your life

  • Ruth jen eucogco July 26, 2014, 6:39 am

    Filipinos are highly spirited, strong when it comes to adversaries, and faithful to our Jesus Christ.

  • Ratedrsuperstar July 8, 2014, 11:49 pm

    I wanted a story for my school to tell to the class (part of practicals) and guess I got 1 🙂

  • Hensha Henry May 23, 2014, 8:33 am

    I <3 it. You are a real inspiration for the society.

  • Mabini Abellano May 15, 2014, 11:24 pm

    Best story. God bless Maricel. Keep up.

  • Raju patil May 6, 2014, 8:28 am

    You are simply amazing. Hats off to your grit. You inspire thousands of people who are dpressed

  • Annalyn S. Laurowa April 30, 2014, 8:43 pm

    I am really touched, no matter how hopeless life sometimes…. you need not to give up … just don’t lose hope… GOD is with you, always… thanks for this Story…

  • Gash April 3, 2014, 10:38 pm

    Amazing story, wow! Such an inspirational one to us out there who feel like life is not worth living while we have been blessed with a lot that we take for granted.

  • Verone Lim March 31, 2014, 11:12 pm

    Glory to God, Glory in the highest!
    Thank you for sharing your true story, Maricel Apatan, keep it up!
    God blessed you abundant!

  • Michael Toppo March 12, 2014, 11:49 am

    Amazing. It is truly a very inspirational story for all.


  • Chengalroy March 5, 2014, 4:38 pm

    This story gives inspiration to everyone, “Never Give Up.”

  • Dr Aqib Ishaq December 23, 2013, 11:19 am

    Thanks for sharing this inspirational story to me … it really enliven me because I’m very much disappointed these days and… while reading this story I was ready to pass every obstacle in my life…

  • Shahanth December 20, 2013, 10:45 am

    One of the ultimate sites I visited in my entire life.

    Never give up. Really helpful for me.

  • Zaynab December 12, 2013, 7:07 pm

    You Never give up wow you are so cool I had given up two time and now I will not give up god bless you. I am Arab/American.

  • Arun Jha November 29, 2013, 2:32 am

    God bless those hands who share these stories…. both thumbs up


  • Satish November 13, 2013, 7:45 am

    Really inspiring

  • Sumangla November 8, 2013, 2:15 am

    Thanks for sharing this story..

  • Sumangla November 8, 2013, 2:14 am

    I am really glad to see this girl . I am very inspired I wanna hatts-off her.. 🙂

  • Sakthi Devi October 10, 2013, 10:57 pm

    Awesome story…Maricel is a real winner.

  • Brahmareddy Sunkara September 26, 2013, 5:01 am

    This story is really good. I knew the morals in the life, so it is great thing to life…

  • Apurva September 12, 2013, 5:06 am

    OMG!! It is really very inspiring story.. I will now use my hands…

  • Rose September 11, 2013, 8:31 am

    Surely the most enemy of success in life is loosing hope. iIt does not matter how many times you may fall down but what matters how many times you can still stand up on your feet. It’s upon individual to make his/her successful or unsuccessful.

    Never remain down where you had fallen.

  • Dinesh September 11, 2013, 7:09 am

    I had learnt a story that we should never give up.

  • Fahim September 8, 2013, 2:56 pm


  • Henry September 5, 2013, 11:30 pm

    Honestly, I love this blog… as I said, I am late. From yesterday till now I continued reading all the posts. You really did great job.



  • Junias Erastus A September 5, 2013, 4:17 am

    To God be the glory.

  • Revathi Menon.R September 1, 2013, 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.

  • Jet August 20, 2013, 6:44 am

    Woah! What an inspiring story! Two thumbs up!

  • Kuntal August 19, 2013, 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.

  • G Bwadeyar August 7, 2013, 12:44 pm

    Really very motivational!!!

  • Gwen July 28, 2013, 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!”

  • Prabal July 25, 2013, 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.

  • Sailaja July 23, 2013, 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.

  • Bern July 22, 2013, 1:45 am

    Don’t give up God always has reason.

  • UD July 19, 2013, 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 🙂

  • Santosh July 16, 2013, 5:54 am

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

  • Syalinda, Malaysia July 5, 2013, 8:26 am

    Thank you for the story.

  • Akal kevin June 29, 2013, 4:36 pm

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

  • Jenith, India June 28, 2013, 11:22 am

    Maricel sounds like a Miracle for Me… Truly inspirational.

  • Kenneth Erigha, Lagos Nigeria June 26, 2013, 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.

  • Rox June 20, 2013, 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!

  • Rohini June 14, 2013, 3:29 pm

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

  • Galima May 29, 2013, 5:59 pm

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

  • Alyssa May 25, 2013, 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.

  • Shaikh May 22, 2013, 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………

  • Madsrasta May 21, 2013, 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…

  • Ben Roko May 11, 2013, 10:30 pm

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

  • Jessiel April 29, 2013, 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…

  • Navya Patil April 26, 2013, 1:56 pm

    Nice one…… we have to salute this girl….. 🙂

  • Himanshu Bansal April 26, 2013, 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……

  • Flo April 8, 2013, 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.

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