Thursday, August 11, 2005

Twin Bomb Rocks Zamboanga

Two powerful explosions rocked this southern city of Zamboanga in the early hours of last night. When the first bomb went off at a little past seven o' clock, I was completely unaware of it except that when my wife finally arrived home after attending an evening mass at the nearby St. Joseph Church, she was almost out of breath as she recounted how the people downtown was caught in great panic and commotion the minute they heard the blast. I turned on the radio immediately and caught the boisterous on-site reporting from newsmen, narrating vividly the extent of the damage and harm.

Approximately thirty minutes later, the second bomb exploded that even when I was in the solace of our living room, I had clearly heard of the explosions as if they were just nearby. The bomb reverberated through the Zamboanga evening sky and one could easily reckoned how powerful the second bomb was. Even though our house is just barely a kilometer away from the city hall, it is still quite disturbing that we could hear the explosions while we were rested in the harbor of our homes, clearly indicating the harshness of the bombs.

It is quite untoward to say that it's a relief to have learned later on that no one was killed despite the strength of the explosions, yet it's truly fortunate that it is so because in the past, the victims were not only maimed but their lives lost so violently. The injured totaled to nearly 30 persons but nobody died last night.

Still, everytime this sort of incident disturb our city, there is no such thing as a feeling of relief but only of dismay and disgust. It has been happening since the time I could remember, even into my childhood. Every now and then, bombs would throw our place into panic and confusion; infusing fear and terror into our very hearts, seeking more and more division among Muslims and Christians here, as if we haven't had enough. Clearly, this thing had always been happening and it is so very unfortunate. Mayor Celso Lobregat, speaking on national radio, urge the city dwellers not to show fear for it is what the bombing perpetrators aimed to do, striking fear into our minds and hearts, but saying is one thing and fear would always be there, and panic is always something that we have to contend with. When will it ever stop---these violence in the midst of our city---no one ever knows.


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