Blasting Reality (Iligan Bombed Again)December 18, 2008
I did not hear anything about a bomb threat. I, however, was almost a victim of an actual bomb.
Had my companions and I decided to go to the College a little later, we would have been victims of the recent bombing in Iligan City. All excitement for the upcoming events in the College melted away as we heard the story. Two were already confirmed dead. An unconfirmed number were wounded.
We heard the bodies were placed in the hospital just at the back of the College, and we decided to have a look at them. A crowd had already gathered around the place when we came. The scene would have just looked like an ordinary gathering except for a scream that effectively revealed to us the reality of the event.
The scream was shrill and full of emotion. Its quality was definitely not as striking as the remastered screams commonly found in movies, but unlike the canned screams of cinema this scream did not sound like an empty release of emotion, this scream sounded and felt real. I almost stopped in my tracks when I heard it.
The scream belonged to a woman, whom we later learned was the wife of one of the victims. Murmurs from the crowd revealed that she recently had a C-section from a recent pregnancy. I could see her hips were somewhat large. She still looked a little pregnant. She was also crying, refusing to be comforted, and occasionally screaming out denials that her husband was dead.
As I peeped through the open door, one body stared at me blankly. His eyes were fully opened, and his mouth was gaping wide in a snarl, revealing his teeth. His expression was clearly one of surprise, frozen in death.
One side of his scalp was charred black. One of his legs was missing, revealing a pink stump where his knee used to be. His chest was covered, but rumors say that a large part of it was blasted away.
Then I heard his wife scream.
Dili lagi na siya. Dili lagi na siya. Ang iyang sapatos kay blue man dili man black.
That’s not him. That’s not him. His shoes are blue, not black.
Her mother, or mother-in-law, with tears running freely down her face held her, trying to comfort her. Inconsiderate bystanders then said to her hearing.
Blue man na. Dili man black.
Those are blue shoes, not black.
We then left the scene with heavy hearts knowing that the tenacious peace that held for the past few months had just broken. The ghost of the Memorandum of Agreement for the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity has resurfaced. The cowardly rebels have struck again, and for the second time in this year, nobody is feeling safe once again…
PS Just heard from the news that the “wife” I mentioned in the post is not legally married to the victim. She is also still pregnant. It’s another lesson about the veracity of bystander rumors.