Banaue, Quezon City -- one of the busy places in the Philippines, the most populous area in the city. Hospitals, universities, government offices, restaurants, hotels.. it's all in there.
Last Tuesday, 14 September 2010, my daughter, accompanied by my mother, had a check-up in one of the hospitals (orthopedic) in Banaue. As they walk along the said busy street, my 16-year old daughter was holding a cup of ice cream. They were bound to the nearest bus stop to wait for their ride home. It was past 5 in the afternoon, start of the 'rush hours' of the day. Like them, there were other passengers waiting for the bus. Out of nowhere, a 'rugby boy' (a streetchild, addicted to solvents) hit my daughter's nape with a 1.5 liter plastic bottle. As she was shocked and in pain, a 3 year old boy grabbed her ice cream, then the two children run away. The incident happened so fast. My mother cried when she saw my daughter in pain holding her nape. She was crying because she was so worried, the beating might worsen my daughter's scoliosis.
No one cared to help them. A woman beside them just said "You're lucky those children didn't stab you. It's a usual scene here. Their parents are here, just around the corner and probably watched what their children have done to you. Go home."
I just learned this two days after the incident. I am so mad that I want to scream.. I want to cry. I can't imagine my daughter and my 60-year old mother, hurt and helpless in the middle of a busy crowd. There were no police in sight.
Nobody cares about others anymore?
Crimes such as this are normal these days?
Are the authorities really doing their job?
The citizens don't trust the police anymore that they don't care to file a police report for incidents like this?
Is it poverty that I should blame?
Or the location of the bus stop?
Or the out-of-post police?
Or my daughter?
Or my mother?
How about you? What can you say?