Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Some friends have the gall to create jokes after the mall blast in Makati City. One such joke comes in the form of a text message saying, “Kukuha na nga lang ng bomber, bingi pa. Imbes na Gloria (alluding to the President) ang target, Glorietta ang pinasabog.” So creeping along the grapevine is the suspicion that it was a bomb after all that killed at least 11 people and wounded hundred others. While it may be said that the Ayalas, who own the malls among other businesses, are social entrepreneurs and should be at least spared from anti-capitalist sentiments, terrorists can bomb public places just the same in order to create government destabilization. These terrorists may only be the ones with the sadistic notion of being happy scaring the shit out of people. On the other hand, authorities debunk the theory that it was a bomb; they were not discounting the theory that it may be a gas leak that triggered the explosion. With confusion ensuing this fiasco, it was not hard to believe why people can still concoct morbid jokes. I don’t know if these people can break into maniacal laughter after learning what my friend, who works in Ayala, saw right after the bombing. Until now, he can barely eat after witnessing bloody, mangled bodies being juxtaposed to one another. Another friend informed me that one of the casualties was a townmate in Nueva Ecija. It pains me to think of that lady being blasted to bits, whereas she went to the mall with friends only to celebrate a recent salary raise.
Understandably, security measures will be tighter at all establishments after this happening. Pervert guards will have a field day fondling mallgoers’ private parts. Corollarily, all sorts of discrimination shrieks will fly all over the place just because some people are Arabic-looking or their bags are bulky or whatever. Goodness, what made the guards think that geeks with a whole library stuffed in their backpacks are terrorists? What spawned the idea that just because one’s religion is Islam or one wears a sari or one grows hair all over one’s face and body, one is a terrorist? The glam lady in her signature bag may likely be carrying a contact lens solution containing some liquid explosives. The corporate-looking yuppie in his business suit may have a mobile phone ready to explode at his bidding. Scream illogical, but we are in the Philippines where people still throng in stampede-worthy multitudes into the malls hours after bomb explosions, let alone bomb scares.
Yes, facial discriminations persist whereas security personnel may well be doing their job effectively if they put their mind to it. Don’t just frisk our privates, Manong Guard! Inspect whether the contents of our bags match the types of explosives you were informed of by the police. Don’t make us produce identification cards for security purposes because we don’t see how pieces of cardboards can defend us from malevolent elements! It appeals to me as funny to think that soon, establishments would issue IDs to let people in. Imagine, flashing one’s SM advantage card just so one can shop bikinis or kitchenware or chandelier at the department store? If one needs to postpone one’s ulcer attacks by running toward the nearest KFC, one has to show passes to the guard. To be able to enjoy a movie premiere of Judy Ann Santos, I need to prove I carry a Robinsons-issued ID and not some psycho out to do a Bona (the film, okay, not the gay lingo) to the young superstar. Not that I look like Nora Aunor’s character in that film nor that I harbor a secret hate toward my Fitrum-endorsing idol. If the reader’s face contorts upon invoking the images of the Philippine superstars, there goes the facial discrimination yet again.
The other night, my Pangga texted to remind me that our anniversary is fast approaching. He even sent the lyrics of an old song that goes, “Bakit ba ganyan/Nais ko’y lagi kang pagmasdan/Umula’t umaraw man’y hindi pagsasawaan/ang iyong…*some text missing*[sic]” then, perhaps in a wish to provide a redeeming value, added, “kagan…kagan…katalinuhan na nga lang.” This is one facial discrimination that borders upon trying to be cute or something. Any graver and my Pangga will get a terrific lashing that my favorite mall guards will get if they inspect my suspicious-looking sling bag and not that of a schoolgirl’s sleek yet probably bomb-containing kikay kit. I will never think twice even if the guards look like Sam Milby and Marc Nelson.