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Memories of Fear

Sep 23, 2010

This entry was inspired by the news of the violent demolitions that occurred this morning at the QC North Triangle. (News report can be found here.) I was trying to make a political entry, but I found it hard to put my thoughts together. Why? Read on…

I remember way back in high school how I feared to walk the length of Agham Road between Quezon Avenue and Pisay. I was afraid of the squatters area right across Pisay. This was probably the reason why my mom convinced her friend to start a school service in Pisay.

Summer right after my first year, I heard the news that someone from the upper batch was killed in a holdup. He was stabbed by an ice pick when he refused to give the money. In reaction to that, the school started handing out insurance policies valid for one year. My mom also bought a separate insurance for me when she heard of the news. It was also during that time that they placed a police outpost right across the gate of the school.

Despite these efforts, every now and then we would hear reports of schoolmates who were robbed while walking from school to Quezon Avenue. It’s as if the robbers across the streets know the day when we receive our stipends. It used to be a running joke (most probably true) that they are watching out for the armored van who comes to school to deliver the money. And to be honest, the police outpost across the street is not manned all the time. I remember when I was in fourth year, my dormer friend told us that a robber sneaked in to the girls residence room one weekend. She was bragging how she stood up to the robber, while we were all shaking our heads because of her recklessness.

Through the daily walks along Agham Road, I learned early on the value of prudence. Don’t act like you are a rich kid, so you don’t become a target for those robbers across the street. Be alert, not absent-minded. If my father had his way, I would have a pepper spray tucked inside my bag.

That fear never really faded away even when I grew up. I wished for the day when the illegal settlers across Pisay would be relocated somewhere else to make that area a safer place for everyone.

But as we all know, things are not that simple.

To be continued…

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