Saturday, October 20, 2007

BOMBING IN MAKATI, and what really hurts

From my desk, I have a great view of the Makati Skyline, including Makati Medical Center. And at about 2:15 pm I saw rows of ambulances heading to the ER receiving area, with a sizeable crowd milling about. Heard the faint sound of sirens and I knew something must have happened.

Then we got a text message. Bombing at Glorietta. Oh God. Not again.

I've always thought bombing is a cheater's way to waging war. Childhood memories of water bombs being thrown at me when I least expected it didn't seem to be a fair way to conquer the playground. And now, it's a lot more treacherous when the intent is to instill fear on unsuspecting people.

The wreckage is big but not something so big it can't be repaired in a month. The casualties involved 9 dead -- That's still small compared to the bomb that exploded in Pakistan which involved over 100 deaths. I was monitoring the news and the Philippines didn't even make the headlines on CNN and BBC. Not that I'd like us to compete for most bombed city, but you get what I mean. This country is not that bad.

I guess what really hurts is that the Philippines has great people, has progressive thinkers, and we are on the verge of fast-tracking development and globalization. The Philippine peso has strengthened against the dollar at P44. Things are starting to look up. And then shit happens. The rest of the world (which may be ignorant to the woes of this country) will just dismiss us as a volatile nation. Investors will pull out. And we may go back to square one.

And at dinner last night with the Coke team and the Aussie film guys, the joke was they can't wait to get back to Sydney because they don't want to be here when the country implodes. Gee, thanks.

There's a lot of speculation happening now on who did it. The finger-pointing is surreal. Did the terrorists do it? Did Gloria order it? Nobody is making a claim. Goddammit, I thought bombing a place is all about making a political statement. At least the Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for 9-11. But what happened yesterday was all about making people scared of no one in particular. The news feed from Inquirer (where I got this photo from) and Star were so depressing, I had to stop watching or reading the news.

But I simply can't shut it out of my mind. This is my neighborhood. Doing groceries will now be a task filled with paranoia. Everytime I'd remember Kids at work (the daycare that collapsed in Gloretta) I'll always have that chilling thought of injured kids. The next time I'd sit at my cubicle at work, I'd remember the rushing ambulances with victims who never made it to the emergency room.

And while everything on Monday will be business as usual, peace of mind will not be what it used to be.

ADDENDUM 10/29/2007: Police says it's a diesel leak accident, blaming the explosion on Ayala. Ayala says the diesel tank is intact (if it was the source, then it should've discombooberated) and that something or someone may have triggered the explosion. Lots of finger pointing happening now. Meanwhile, is it safe to do some shopping?

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