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Filipino actor saves real-life damsel in distress

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[September 28, 2009]  MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- A popular Philippine actress cried out for help from a rooftop as a tropical storm roared and floodwaters rose menacingly. Then an actor emerged from nowhere on a speedboat and swept her to safety.

RestaurantA romantic scene from a movie?

No, it was the real-life travails of young actress Christine Reyes. Her rescue by movie and TV heartthrob Richard Gutierrez as Tropical Storm Ketsana raged across the northern Philippines was one of the happier moments of last weekend's disaster that left at least 100 dead and tens of thousands homeless.

As the storm blew and set off the worst flooding in the capital in more than four decades, Reyes climbed to the roof of her two-story house in upscale Provident village in hard-hit Marikina city on Saturday with her mother and two young children.

Marooned for hours, she made a frantic call for help to ABS-CBN TV network with her mobile phone.

"If the rains do not stop, the water will reach the roof. We do not know what to do. My mother doesn't know how to swim," she said, weeping.

Gutierrez, a close friend and Reyes' co-star in an upcoming movie, heard of her plight, borrowed a speedboat and went to the rescue.

"We couldn't go fast because of the strong currents and floating cars," Gutierrez told GMA TV Network on Monday.

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Reaching Reyes' house, he struggled to tie the boat to a tree amid the churning waters, climbed into her house and eventually whisked her to safety.

The houses of more than 450,000 people were inundated in the storm, which dumped more than a month's worth of rain in just 12 hours. Some 115,000 displaced people brought to about 200 schools, churches and other evacuation shelters.

[Associated Press; By JIM GOMEZ]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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