After my 9:30am tour of Intramuros, I immediately rushed to the Brothers Burger restaurant in front of Makati Medical Center for a 12:00pm meeting with Dr. Ernesto Santos of MMC and other members of the Makati Tourism Council to talk about plans of creating a heritage "walk" zone in Old Poblacion near Rockwell.
After all was said and done (meeting went well - were looking at creating a map of old houses in Makati. Told them to get in touch with HCS), we all said our goodbyes at about 1:15pm. Dr. Santos headed out to Makati Medical Center and I walked off to meet my wife at the MAC store in Greenbelt. On my way there, right about 1:45pm when I was crossing the Ayala Museum, I saw a woman screaming. She was completely incomprehensible, sticking close to the wall, wailing close to the ground. I thought she was in a panic because her bag was stolen or something. Soon enough, a group of people gathered around to ask what was wrong but nothing she said seemed to make sense. It was only when she reached for her cellphone to call a family member that we all overheard the news: a bomb had gone off in Glorietta 2 and she ran all the way to Ayala Museum.
I don't think I could ever forget the look in her eyes. There are no words to adequately describe the degree of fear and panic I saw gashed across her face as I am sure there are no words to describe what she saw as well. This poor girl, a mid-twentysomething college graduate, perhaps on her way back from lunch, did not expect a tragedy of this magnitude to happen right before her eyes today. And her scarred expression and the damage to her nervous system really made me wonder about universal justice. I mean, this was some innocent Filipina, at the threshold of her professional life, innocently going about her day. She didn't deserve this. This country doesn't deserve this. Nobody deserves this.
By 3:00 I was back in Malate. By 3:30 Dr. Santos is on TV reporting that eight are dead, more than fifty injured.
By 4:00, I notice that the bombing has become the latest opportunity to once again bash President Gloria. What is with some people in this country? Not that I like Glo that much but really, I don't see why the very opportunistic political opposition (Trillanes is just pure evil. May he die from hemorrhaged anal fissures in jail for his grandstanding and insensitivity) and the hopelessy transparent reporters on ABS CBN (don't play poker ever guys - your smarmy faces will give you away), should needlessly provide innuendo and political posturing during a time that should call for more reason and sympathy. And hey Maria Ressa? Even You? C'mon. Your comment that "there are only two umbrella groups with this capacity: Jemaah Islamiyah and law enforcement agencies." was practically dripping with implications that our own military blew up a bomb that would kill and maim fellow Filipinos. Watch it, guys. This is the wrong move for now. People don't want politics at this moment. Take my word for it. Report this latest tragedy with a little more sensitivity please or report something that at least has PROOF, ok?
But I'm not going to let this get me down. We're a cool country. Were on our way up. Something like that isn't going to get us down now. Tomorrow the malls will be open.
Life in this crazy city will go on as usual again.
6:00pm. My private VIP tour for Australian travel journalists with the Manila Peninsula has been cancelled because of the bombing. They decided not to visit the country.
Then again. Maybe life might not.
Thank you paulf08 for the interesting shot of smoke at the Glorietta.