Monthly Archives: October 2014

What happened?

It all happened in a blur. Ironically, a shocking experience such as this would be unforgettable, but somehow the details are fuzzy as though my memory doesn’t want to remember. However, I do remember what I felt: the helplessness and the internal panic.

My two friends and I were walking on the street, waiting for a cab to take us home. Looking back it was downright stupid for us to do that in the wee hours of the morning. It was like we were daring the world for something to happen. And unfortunately for us, something terrible did happen.

A man in a motorcycle suddenly stopped right in front of us. An immediate shock came over us and we all wondered what he wanted. And then he pulled out a gun. We were taken aback at first when he told us to give our phones. I guess we were still in shock and the fear started to creep in.

After taking our phones he asked for our wallets. I had the presence of mind to simply give him some money and not my whole wallet. I don’t know, but I sensed that the guy was just as scared as we were. Not in a scared “I might get caught” kind of way but in a “I don’t really do this whole robbery thing” kind of scared. Maybe he just needed the money and circumstances have led him to what he did to us. I really felt that this was just the first few times of robbing somebody.

Anyway, after handing him over our money, he asked what was in our bags. We brushed him off saying that there’s nothing really of value inside. We lied of course, but we weren’t completely going down without resisting. Maybe it was stupid of me to resist and say that I didn’t want to give my bag. He threatened me and said “you don’t want to give your bag?!” I was scared of course, but somehow I knew he wasn’t going to hurt us. Of course, I didn’t take that risk. As amateurish as he was, he was scared and maybe was afraid enough to do something stupid like shoot us or whatever.

For what it’s worth, I could say that we stayed surprisingly calm throughout the ordeal. We talked about it afterwards and we agreed that it was a good thing that we kept our cool and didn’t overly panic. Don’t get me wrong, we were scared but somehow we all found courage.The three of us have experienced before getting our stuff stolen but never in a way such as this. We have never experienced a gun being pointed at us. We were thankful that he wasn’t able to get all our other stuff and more importantly, beyond grateful that we were safe. Things could have ended differently – maybe he could have shot us or hurt us, who knows.

I’m glad I was able to write what happened. At least in this blog it will be just me and my thoughts. I’m not of those who often post on social media what happened to them, even as traumatic as this. I don’t want the attention, in fact, I feel uncomfortable with it. I did share what happened to a couple of friends the morning after. One, to get it out of my chest and the other for their safety – a reminder to be on their guard always. I also shared the story to my high school kids, I can’t imagine how they would react if something like this happened to them.

I actually spent half of the day debriefing myself on what happened. Come to think of it, I don’t know which feeling is worse – the thought of that I could have died or the feeling of being so scared, powerless, and confused. If this happened back when I was in high school or maybe even college, I would have probably experienced some post-traumatic stress. I’m not saying that I’m not affected now that I’m older, I guess that it would have been much scarier if this happened when I was younger.

What happened? Life happened. I’ve accepted that literally anything can happen in your life. I don’t mean it in a sort of self-defeating kind of way. I’m not simply accepting things the way that they are. I know that I should be more careful next time but I’ve also accepted the realization that these things can happen to me or to anybody. Other people have experienced way more intense stuff than what happened to me. We live in dangerous time and people are becoming more desperate than ever. I may be still shaken up or afraid of what happened, but I know I shouldn’t live scared.

Stay safe people!

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What Do You Like Most In Being A Kid?

About a week ago my family and I went out to celebrate my mother’s birthday. It was fun, normal, and basically everything that should happen in a birthday dinner happened.

What was interesting about the night however, was the family beside us. Seated were two parents and their daughter who was maybe around 4 or 5 years old.

She was the most adorable little thing you could ever find. For dinner, she had marshmallows and éclairs on her plate. She was eating them piece by piece as her parents were eating… well, normal grownup food. Of course her mother gave her a few pieces of chicken here and there but her marshmallows was the main dish of the evening.

More than the cuteness of eating marshmallows in a restaurant, what caught my attention was the innocence that was revealed in her eyes. She wasn’t stressed and she didn’t have any hidden agenda. She was eating her marshmallows like they were the most important thing in the world. It was the innocence, the lack of worry, and the pure joy of being alive that made my heart smile.

We were in those restaurants where they were hired singers who go table to table to sing. It’s a thing in Mexican restaurants like you see in the movies and they are also present here in the Philippines. Anyway, when the singers asked their table what song they would play, the dad asks, “can you guys do a song from Frozen?”

A second later, the lady was already belting out Let it Go. At that moment, can you imagine the face of the little girl? At first she didn’t realize the song being played but after a few lines she suddenly realized it was the hit Disney song. Her eyes widened and her eyebrows raised. She looked at her mother as if to scream “MOM THE LADY IS SINGING LET IT GO. GAAAAH!” She didn’t say a word but her open mouth and expression gave that tone. She also wasn’t one of those kids who just sang along or did crazy things when they hear their favorite tune. She still remained that innocent and cute aura she had while she was eating her marshmallows. She stood up and looked at the lady singing and started nodding her head. It was the most beautiful thing!

I don’t know how or why but the whole thing just struck me that night. Again maybe it was the innocence and purity of being a child that all grownups don’t have anymore. I know people always say that you should be childlike or whatever but there’s nothing like experiencing things with an open mind and a cheerful heart, and unfortunately that often happens only in your youth.

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