Saturday, September 03, 2016

Stay Strong, Davao!

When a young boy from Syria got pulled out from the rubble of his home, you sympathized and prayed for him and his family. When the blacks and the LGBT communities in America were attacked by sexists and racists, you sympathized and prayed for their welfare. But when your own fellowmen down south got attacked by terrorists, you mocked and insulted us just because we claimed we are one of the safest cities in the country or simply put, you loathed our current President. No city or country is safe from terrorism. Not even New York, Paris, or Istanbul.

It really broke my heart after seeing photos and videos minutes after the attack. Those innocent people did nothing but to obey the law and did their best to provide something for their families. Everyone was just having a great time with their loved ones. It only took a powerful blast to change everything. Things will never be the same. Irreversible.

We Davaoeños have been through a lot for the past decades. We survived the rebel insurgencies during the 80s. Those were the days when civilians are mercilessly killed by the rebels and bloodshed is as mundane as feeding your pets at home or fetching your child from school.The city had survived and peace reigned for a while. In 1993, a bomb exploded at San Pedro Cathedral, killing dozens of churchgoers. Again, innocent lives were lost in an instant and the lives of their loved ones veered off course. Forever traumatized and scarred for a lifetime. In 2003, dozens were again killed when a powerful C4 bomb went off near the arrival hall of the old terminal of Davao International Airport. But we Davaoeños stood up in those trying times and fought hard to condemn these atrocities.

When your city got engulfed by a large wall of water, or when the swelling river slowly devoured your community, we didn't think twice to lend a helping hand and did the best we could because we are one - we are Filipinos. I got deeply hurt after reading all your hate messages. Worse, all of these came from my fellow countrymen. Honestly, you are all on the same fence with the terrorist group who claimed these attacks. I don't know about you but you don't have a heart. None at all. Both of you have a common denominator - heartless and ruthless.

Let us set aside our political differences and apathy, and unite as one. Together, let us condemn this inhumanity and try to live a peaceful, progressive and better life. We all need to stay vigilant in this crucial time. If Davao City, one of the safest cities in the Philippines, wasn't spared from terrorism, then are we anywhere safer here?

Stay strong, Davao. I know you will get through this crisis. WE WILL get through this. #StayStrongDavao #StayStrongPH

Addendum: Kudos to the Davao 911 Team, Task Force Davao, and all other personnel who were VERY efficient in these trying times.

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