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Dutch chef saves Briton

FORMER British jockey Gary Peter Austin, who has been stranded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for the last 25 days because he did not have money to go home, finally left the country for London on Friday afternoon, thanks to a Manila-based Dutchman who gave him the fare. Chef-entrepreneur Jeroen Van Straten, owner of the Pepper Lunch chain and air deodorizing companies, runed up at NAIA’s Terminal 1 and looked for the Englishman after reading a Manila Standard Today article about Austin last Wednesday. “I thank Jeroen for his generosity and kind-hardheartedness that even during these hard times, people of his breed come forward to help people in need like me,” said Austin, who left for London onboard an Emirates flight via Dubai. Austin also thanked NAIA Terminal 1 manager Dante Basanta and his staff who supplied him his needs thru donation from employees. He particularly thanked airport employee Maria Hannah Bulabon who told journalists about Austin’s plight and security watchwoman Mary Ann Montilla, who brought him to her Cavite home to Christmas Eve with her family. Austin said that he will never forget his experience at NAIA and will be forever grateful for the wonderful time at the terminal which he called home for 25 days. As soon as he gets home and earns some money from horse racing, Austin said he will try to send some financial assistance to the people who showed him the Philippine brand of hospitality, particularly Bulabon who, he said, captivated him with her smile and somehow lessened his grief.
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