WHAT shouldn't happen just happened, and I just felt my cheeks - concaved by age and missing and bad teeth - suddenly turning red the moment I saw it.

My son Johann wrote recently of his trek downhill to Babattan, a remote community in Tublay. Benguet where Typhoon Pepeng took its toll: two small houses demolished in a landslide that killed one man. The hike last December was his way of making up for canceling with his wife Lovelyn their planned ascent to Mt. Pulag when they learned a horde of 300 had registered for the climb.

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"What fascinated me most were the people in this part of Tublay," he ended the piece. "A stranger walks by and the folks make him feel like their long-lost relative who found his way back home."

Coming home after his early morning descent to Babattan, he talked with me on the need to piece out something out of the experience. We shared the hope Samaritans among readers would respond to the need of the gentle souls he met and wrote about to get back to their feet and rebuild lives shattered by the calamity. Johann posted it on his blog musashiboogie, from where I downloaded and then e-mailed to this paper, together with the photos he took, his by-line and his tagline.

Some readers make my day each time they read a piece by Johann, a hotel porter in Venice. They tell me the son writes better than the father. "Your son sees and feels more than you do," Camilo Candelario, a boyhood buddy now chasing golf balls in Nevada, e-mailed last year.

"Of Mount Pulag, Babattan and Mt. Pulit" made it to page 9 yesterday. It was, however, introduced as a "Story by Krissy Jesy Pison".

The consolation over that by-line oversight is that Johann - not Krissy - is my son. It would have been more difficult to explain if the story were written by a non-relative. Likewise, I felt it would be gentler to use this column to tell him of the error, rather than by e-mail. And for readers to know Johann is the husband of Lovelyn (nee Pontino of Tublay) and the father of my grandsons Lukie and Dylan. Not Krissy Jesy Pison, who I've yet to meet, and whose name gives you the impression she's not a he.

Newspapers, especially local ones, are not immune to misplaced by-lines. One weekly had my column carry the photo of the late elder journalist Willy Cacdac and mine in his. A national daily had to apologize to the late Baguio journalist Peppot Ilagan (whose birthday it is today as I write this), for mislabeling a dramatic photo he took - of a typhoon victim being extricated from a landslide at Quirino Hill - as taken by another photographer.

The most atrocious error in attribution was that of a story I wrote on the programs of then mayor Roger Elvena of Tayum, Abra. I called on him while serving as a resource speaker in a school journalism seminar in the capital town of Bangued. He told me a guy came with a copy of a paper where the story was used. The culprit with a twisted sense of enterprise had erased my tagline at the end of the story. He then typed over his name on the white opaque and showed it to the mayor.

Copy reading mistakes are not unusual, especially in local papers. You find headlines or captions different from the story or the photo they try to sum up. Last year, I was splitting on the sides reading a headline: "Vice mayor (Daniel Farinas) issues pubic appeal". It was meant to be "public".

On rare occasions, we're treated to the next to impossible. We read a story with quotes from a news source and find at the end the name of the writer, who is also the news source. Or the impossible, as when you find somebody in a photo and still read his name at the end of the caption as the one who took the shot. Got the picture?

More sensitive reporters beating the deadline re-write a story covered and written by another, making use of the facts gathered by the latter. This is all right for us as government information officers, even if some superiors blame us for inactivity when it's by-lined by another reporter.

As I write this, I was told that Krissy is a journalism intern for this paper I write this column for. She texted reporter Rimaliza Opina when she read the mistake that, without her knowledge and consent, made her a male with a wife and two young sons.

That clears the thing up.

What perhaps matters now is for readers to respond to the fly-on-the-wall message of Johann's piece - about two families in Babattan trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces. It's something it would take the victims years to do - unless Samaritans out there reach out to them and others similarly situated.

Before Johann learned of their plight, a youth group in Michigan did some fund-raising. They were in church for all the Sunday masses and stood in front of the chapel after each service, with a tag calling for donations going to the typhoon victims.

Part of the fund raised will be for the two families Johann visited, perhaps for several pieces of form lumber or a few sheets of galvanized iron roofing. As that would not complete a house, he wrote the story for others to know and also help. (e-mail: mondaxbench @yhaoo.com for comments - or support).