Oct 19, 2007

[Philippines] Bombing at Glorietta 2

This is a Tri-Blog entry that will appear on all three of my blogs - The Geeky Guide to Nearly Everything, Beyond Dinobot Island and Moonbase 8.

Glorietta 2 Bombing (Source: AP)At around 01:40pm local time, an explosion rocked the shopping complex of Glorietta 2 in Makati City, normally touted as the city's core financial area. I was at home at the time, totally unaware of the entire situation, just busying myself with my uploads and downloads. I went to bed at around 02:00pm.

Brian |kitchengod| woke me up closer to 03:00pm - he hadn't slept right away - in order to tell me the news about the explosion. I was having trouble with my asthma and I found that I couldn't get back to sleep despite the obvious lack of it. It's always the way with me. Eventually I went downstairs to join Jayson |kukuripupu| in watching the news.

It's a chilling sight - a place we'd normally pass through on our way to other stores and such. From the images shown on the news, clearly the center of the explosion was somewhere near that particular atrium, a normal high-traffic point for people to go through, people like us. Initially they didn't want to jump to the conclusion that it was a bomb, but of course it was obvious. No LPG explosion could do that kind of damage unless gas was leaking out into the mall for the entire morning.

It's pay day for us at the office and I'm certain there would have been agents who decided to head to the mall to enjoy their salaries. I can't help but wonder if we've lost anyone at the office given how many employees we have. Heck, that applies to any call center - who else would be at the mall at 01:40pm when most people are stuck at work?

Reports are mixed - it shows that there are around 80 wounded with somewhere between4-8 of those confirmed dead. The numbers keep shifting around since they've been transporting more critical cases from the Ospital ng Makati over to the Makati Medical Center and so on, thus some cases are getting counted twice. It's all madness. Eventually the police have ruled out the possibility of an LPG explosion - they've confirmed that this was caused by a bomb

This is not the first time we've had bombings in the Metro - it seems to happen time and time again. Naturally we'll get all security conscious and the alarms will sound and political statements condemning the attacks will be made. It's all been done before. I feel bad that it has happened and that it's probably going to happen again. It seems like we never learn from the mistake of the past. When you raise the level of security, you don't relax after a months of peaceful bliss. You don't scrimp on security checks and you don't stop having bomb-sniffing dogs roam public areas. That's the nature of these things - you can't relax once it's happened since it will make them confident in the knowledge that they've had some level of success and that they can try again and again and again.

Now what? We wait for the results of the investigation and perhaps for a terrorist group to step forward and claim responsibility. We will mourn for the dead and we will celebrate the tales of chivalry and heroism. We'll find comfort in the knowledge that our loved ones have survived and we will regret the passing of those who haven't. In the end, life has to go on or they win. Who's they, you ask? Sometimes I don't even know anymore. All I know is that someone felt that human lives aren't valuable, that there was something greater that justified these deaths in their heads. Why do people like that exist in this world?

We're supposed to have a General Assembly for our Department tomorrow, a sort of team-building activity at a bar also in Makati, since our office is in the area. I have no idea how that's going to go. I dread going to work later tonight not because of my lack of sleep but more because of potentially hearing grim news or having to deal with clients panicking about all this. It seems so wrong to go to work on a day like this since they may be other attacks but then if we allow fear to rule our lives, then in the end the infamous they still win. We must persevere.

Then there's the New Worlds 5 convention next weekend slated to be held at the Glorietta Activity Center. I wonder if even that will be able to push through. I really hope it does - we need something more to smile and celebrate about.

And things were going so well.

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