Inquirer: by Danny Petilla —
A succession of personal tragedies in 2013 could have broken the will of a lesser man to go on living. But not Casimiro Villas, who lost the May 13 elections, lost his retirement savings to an investment scam in August, and lost his entire family to Supertyphoon “Yolanda” on Nov. 8.
“Na-onse, Na-Ponzi, Na- Yolanda!”
In these three words, people in Palo, Leyte, describe the scale of the misfortunes that befell Villas last year, ending tragically when all members of his family—his wife, Nila, 49, daughter Nerissa Perote, 29, sister Evelyn, 37, son-in-law Elmar Perote, 32, and grandson Ezekiel Noah Perote, 11 months—drowned in the storm surges generated by the strongest typhoon to hit this country.
Appearing stoic and strong-willed, the 58-year-old retired police chief said he refused to let his misfortunes dampen his outlook in life and his view of the future.
“There is a reason why God spared me. And I will spend the rest of my life trying to find out what,” the gray-haired Villas said.