Dear people of Hongkong, I'm sorry  

Posted by Laya in

Even these words are inadequate for the loss you and yours suffered last Monday, August 23. I can only say this, on my behalf and that of my family and the people close to my heart: We are sorry that such a thing has happened in our land, to ones who were and should have been our honored guests.

In the light of the recent tragedy, it is ironic that one of the things we Filipinos have always prided ourselves on is hospitality. Most of us have been taught from early childhood that guests should be well taken care of, that no harm or trouble should touch them while they are with us. That one of our own, even if he were deranged, should commit such an atrocity is horrifying.

Along with the world, we were watching last Monday as the events at Quirino Grandstand unfolded. Along with the world, many of us were shocked, horrified, and greatly angered by what we saw. We did not expect, we did not want things to escalate the way they did. Many things went wrong, and the errors proved to be fatal.

As I watched the events unfold on live television, I was wondering whether it had occurred to the media that the hostage-taker was also watching the coverage or knowing of it in some way. I was asking why it did not seem to matter to them or to the police if the gunman knew what was being planned to be done against him. If the police had remembered that the hostage-taker had been one of them and presumably knew what they would do, what they should have been trained to do, in order to neutralize him and save his hostages. At the end, when the police were trying to get into the bus, I was all but screaming at the TV, asking why they did not seem to know what they were doing. Many of us were mortified at the level of incompetence that was exhibited that day, resulting in the loss of many lives. So much could have been done in a different manner.

Today, I saw those photographs circulating on the Internet about people who had their pictures taken in front of the bus as if it were a tourist spot. It is not my place to speak on the behalf of the people who were in those photographs; if I could censure them for their apparent disrespect, I would. There are no excuses that I can make; it was a thoughtless, disgraceful act. Again, I am sorry.

We have lost face before the whole world. And we have to live with it.

I understand your anger and grieve with your loss. I wish that there was something I could do to make amends for the great wrong that we have done to you, aside from pushing for changes in my country so that such a horrifying thing will not happen again.

This entry was posted at Wednesday, August 25, 2010 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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