Saturday, August 23, 2008


This week there will be no brilliant displays of sarcastic wit. I woke up in the morning of August 18 to the sound of the radio blaring. The usually high-strung radio host of Bombo Radyo was screaming a couple of decibels louder. While I struggled to convince myself that the morning was my friend, I heard him mention a jumble of words that contained Kauswagan, MILF and gunshots. My blood turned cold and ran out of me. Did he mean Kauswagan that was right beside the barangay where I lived in?

After an hour or so of excruciating anxiety, I gathered that he meant another Kauswagan, one that was two hours away in Lanao del Norte, a province next to ours. I could almost touch my sense of relief but it would be short lived. A mere two hours away was a place where people were dying. If the MILF who had surrendered after the incident were telling the truth, they were apparently ordered to kill anyone and everyone in sight including children. I suspect that the kind of anxiety and grief that drove people insane would be with me forever.

When I lived in faraway Baguio and Cebu, there had already been similar reports from various provinces and regions in Mindanao. It was not odd that I felt detached. Miles of land and water separated me from the horrors and reality of a decades old liberation war. Now that I am really a neighbor to the conflict, the feeling has changed. For the first time I understood what it was to really grieve for the men, women and children who had died at gunpoint and to fear for my family’s life. A two year old child was chopped to death in a field by retreating rebels. If that had been my toddler, I would have volunteered to die.

Our city was in red alert for a day or two but people walked the streets like it was a normal sunny day. For Kagayanons, it really was a normal day. They had gotten used to this. It has happened many times before. The people of Cagayan de Oro are also certain that the city, by the power of Vice Mayor Emano or some other worldly protection, will never taste the bitterness of violence. They say I’d be a fool to worry. I hope they’re right.


  1. Hope safe kayo always jan! Ang lapit lang pla sa n'yo nyan. Always be alert po kc you'll never know..

    Ingat po.

  2. at in fairness...ngawa mo pang mag-blog.bilib ako sau.

  3. haha. oo webie. sa totoo lang sumaskay lang ako sa feeling ng mga tao dito na parang wala lang kaya nakapagblog pa ako pero sa totoo lang talagang pangit na ang feeling ko. i hope talagang safe kami

  4. Hi Grace...

    Heard the reports about the slaughter and everything. It isn't exactly a Michael Buble song early in the morning.

    The slaughter sounded like something imported from Somalia or Kenya. Didn;t sound nice to have happened within a short road-trip of our city. As far as I can say, one of the safest things to do is avoid going out when you don;t need to and please try to allocate some funds and invest in a good 12 gauge shotgun or a pistol with lots of the best ammo.

    We're avoiding any chances that shit could blow up.

    If it does and it happens near my area or to my family, u'll see kilograms of lead flying from my direction towards theirs. They may have the experience, but my index finger's alot itchier and our firearms can put out alot more lead than theirs.

    Prepare for the worst. For firearm suggestions, just text me. alryt?

    The shit's about to hit the fan. So pack up on ammo.

    They slashed a 2 year old to death right?

    Sympathy is out of the question.

    The only pity we should have is on the gun shops. They'd better produce enough cartridges for civilian return fire.

    All hell's about to break loose. Might as well be one of the little imps... ;-)

  5. uy, hahaha, OBVIOUSLY ur here again. hehe. would've wanted to take your advice about keeping amo but i've only had practice with air rifles and non-threatening, non-moving targets. i suspect that facing real, live, violent targets would just make me pee in my pants

  6. It just takes the urge, will, and a little hatred to pull something that requires less than 5 lbs. of force. For me, 100 dead guys is not worth 1 person I care for.

    If you guys are planning on purchasing some kind of firearm, just ask me if you need help in basic operation and maintenance...

    We gotta load up these days...

  7. hehe. i'll remember that :)

  8. Magingat kayo dyn mare. Grbe na talaga ang nagyayari sa bansa natin. Lagi kong ipagdadasal ang kaligtasan ng buo mong sambahayan. Magingat kayo dyn.Pagpalain!!!

  9. salamat ka uste. talagang nakakapangilabot ang nangyari. akoy nagluluksa para sa bayan

  10. I can only pray for your safetly tol...

  11. salamat mel. sana di mangyari ang kinatatakutan ko

  12. opo lgi kmi magpray for your safety ate...

    >>babalik p si kuya zkey...

  13. uy sana nga magbalik na si zkey...


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