Edgar Kenneth Khyme Hikilan, a 27-year old teacher, had planned to get married in May next year. He had told his father about this, and promised that after his wedding, the two of them will visit Hong Kong for a father-son bonding.
Khyme never got to fulfill his plans. Last Sunday, he died while trying to rescue six of his students who were swimming in distress at Masagana Falls in Barangay Irawan, Puerto Princesa City.
His father, Edgar, recalled that the night before the incident happened, he and his wife Olive were watching television when a butterfly flew inside their living room.
“Kung good news ka, stay. Pero kung bad news ka, go away,” Edgar recalled saying. He couldn’t have known that the next day, he was going to lose Khyme.
“Sabi niya sa akin gusto niya sana makapag-Hongkong kami. Sabi ko naman wag na. Ayaw pumayag, gusto niya raw kaming dalawa lang,” Edgar said.
Khyme was expressive of his love to his parents, always wanting to see them smile, but also “a total risk taker”, his Aunt Lena Seracarpio told Palawan News.
“Naubos na yata ang mga luha namin. Sa brighter side na lang kami tumitingin. Ito na ‘yung legacy na iniwan niya sa amin,” Lena said. “Until his last breath, ang gusto pa rin ng Panginoon ang sinunod niya. Kasi kahit minsan, hindi siya tumanggi.”
Lena said that Khyme was with his students conducting a youth retreat camping in Masagana Falls when the incident happened Sunday morning. They were celebrating the success of their retreat before heading back home.
Khyme reportedly had dived into the water to help six students who were being swept by the strong river current while holding on to a piece of log but was himself carried away until he disappeared from the surface of the swelling river.
It took hours for the rescue team found his body.
He mother, Olive, also a teacher at Sicsican National High School, managed a smile when asked how would she described Khyme as a son.
“Wala akong ibang sasabihin kung hindi puro maganda. Ina kasi niya ako, hayaan ko na lang na ibang tao ang mag describe sa kanya,” Olive said.