ON MY OWN
Several bomb attacks have rocked my city of Davao for the last 33 years but the latest four explosions are believed to be most tragic due to its death toll and location. San Pedro Cathedral was bombed twice: in 1981 with 17 deaths and 1993 with 7 deaths. March 5, 2003, 21 people were killed when a bomb exploded in the old Davao airport and a month after that, April 2003, Sasa wharf was bombed killing 15 people.
I also remember that sometime in 1983 a grenade exploded during Araw ng Agdao coronation night of which a bodyguard of the late Councilor Tomas Monteverde Jr was killed on the spot. Several of my neighbors were wounded because they were watching the coronation night.
Let us not also forget the killings in Agdao that brought the moniker Nicaragdao. Davao City was known to become “killing fields” because more than 3 people were killed or summarily executed everyday. I guess the term “salvaged” became popular courtesy of those senseless killings. This was early 80s; the era of revolution between the city against the NPA (New People’s Army). That was my political environment and I was a budding teenager hopping from home to school and/or from home to church.
Today, I mean, last Friday (September 2, 2016), my city experienced another explosion that caused Fourteen lives with several others who are in critical condition. The only difference this time is the presence of social media and that our President is from Davao City.
The bombing incident last Friday would have just been another (ordinary) bombing incident of which my city has experienced in the past. On the contrary, my city received the biggest blow not because of the number of deaths and injuries but because of the number of hate posts and the number of insensitive posts of which social media is busy buzzing about.
These social media posts and comments are like little bombs that keep on exploding before my very eyes and targeting my whole being that made me stop from doing my daily routines and ponder and reflect and realize that maybe I am not the only one who is hurting with these hate posts. Maybe my city too is crying for understanding and comfort. The blast happened four days ago. My city is still mourning and hurting while the rest of the country or even those who are outside the country are jeering at us. Is it not downright cruel to mock us while we are mourning? Is it not downright stupid to blame us while we are still healing? Just because the Philippine President is from my city that everybody who is not a fan of him can mock us, ridicule us, and blame us.
My city of Davao has seen bad days; has been into bad weathers; and has experienced the worst. But nothing beats us today than the hate posts, ill-comments, and insensitive remarks from anti-Duterte camps.
This is not politics. This is LIFE. Life that we have lost due to bombing. Life that we will repair and heal due to trauma. Life that we will protect and defend because bomb scare is true in my city though (God forbid) it could also happen to anywhere else in the country.
So, please let my city cry for awhile so we can stand up again against these negativity circulating in the social media.