Living as if you are in two completely different worlds—it is more fun in the Philippines. I would have talked about the death of a good politician or the newest member of the Supreme Court. But what I actually chose to linger on is, for me, the most fascinating issue I have ever encountered in my entire social involvement years.
Earlier this month, the national capital region and major parts of Luzon was once again devastated by flood brought about by the habagat. People’s home was taken away from them. Some survived days and nights above their own roofs while others had to endure the difficult situation in evacuation centers. Candidates for next year’s senatorial and local election took this opportunity “para magpakitang gilas na naman.” While major companies and other establishments did not lose this chance to practice their public relations and company social responsibilities. The national pride, bayanihan, was once again in the lime light. This calamity was considered by many Filipinos as the Ondoy fever which occurred last 2009, or even worse.
However, it has to be taken into consideration that I never encountered this kind situation before. In Mindanao, most of the time, we always have good and fine weather. Heavy rains and flood were not a massive problem. We had time to eat ice cream and stroll along Paseo del Mar simply because it hardly rained even during the most wet season of the year.
But what keeps us away from spending most of our leisure time ambling the side streets of the boulevard, feeling our taste of that Magnum ice cream bar is the notion that anytime, anywhere, a bomb may be present and may explode. If we are in the wrong place, in the wrong time, God knows what might happen.
While Metro Manila is problematic in terms of sucking away floodwater and maintaining enough supply of relief goods, us in Zamboanga is once again bewildered by the series of bombing escapades that occurred at Zamboanga Bus Terminal and in front of one of the mosques in Suterville.
Zamboangeños and police officers alike speculate that these bomb exhibitions have something to do with the upcoming elections. But the point is we’ll never really know if the Maguindanao massacre would ever happen again. When and where and how.
In spite of this, national news and current affairs would broadcast and give more emphasis on the flood situation and the budding John Lloyd- Angelica romance than at least giving adequate attention to the development on the bombing investigation. Local news would definitely cover them but I believe it still deserves national notification.
This actually left me standing quiescently somewhere in the middle of all these things. Ever since I moved into the big city, I was vaguely aware that my social consciousness has slowly altered its course. I am greatly amazed at how extreme national situations can be. I experienced their distinct extremity simple because I may be here in the metropolitan but my mind is more concerned in the investigation and development of the bombing incidents back in my hometown. Weather and security are both national issues that every Filipino must put sufficient attention to. But I only realize now that indeed, one’s priority concerns his/her proximity and where his/her loved ones could be.