Keeping the family safe

A couple of days ago our family went to the nearest mall to cool down. Summer is at it’s peak and it gets so hot in the house even with all of our windows open. Electricity is super expensive and as much as we want to turn on the fan in full blast, it’s just too wasteful in my opinion. So we went to the mall to have Una’s photo taken because she needs ID pictures for her enrollment and then we ate lunch. After lunch, we usually hang out in the used book section in the mall, it’s just a few shelves located in one of the mall’s alley.

While Una and I were reading a book hubby told us that there were armed men surrounding the money changer, just a few meters away from where we are reading. I immediately hauled Una and went through the arcade so we can cross to the other alley and avoid being trapped in the commotion. From that alley, we can still see what is happening in the money changer. There are SWATS surrounding the place, the people are panicking and Una is starting to feel the tension based on the people’s reaction. I don’t know who the heck said it but someone said they heard a gun shot so we immediately went into a store and asked the ladies if we can hide behind their counters. They had no idea of what was going on and when they saw their neighboring shops closing their steel gates, they closed their gates too. While we were hiding under the desk, Una started whimpering, saying that she’s scared and wants to go home and see her Mama (Lola or grandmother). Hubby called the house to let them know what was going on and that we are safe and we will try to get out of if we can. After a while, we saw a lot of people heading to the direction of the exit. Thinking that it’s safe enough, we opened the store’s steel gate and we ran to the nearest exit.

We were safe, finally but we’re still trapped in the mall premises. We saw that there’s a congested traffic in the main route going out of the mall. While we were hiding I told her that it was just a drill, a pretend thing that we do so that we’ll be prepared if something bad happens. I don’t think she understood what was going on. We saw a lot of kids bigger than her that were crying on the floor because they were so scared. I tried to distract Una and let her play in my mobile phone but her hands were still shaking. We had to leave the car in the parking lot and brought Una home. Just to assure that everything is okay and that we’re safe.

When she saw her Mama, she finally cried. Mama assured her that everything as fine and that it was just drill. After a while she calmed down and asked if she can watch the TV.

The whole was exhausting but that didn’t end there. We know someone who are still trapped inside the mall because they were no longer letting people out. I browse the news feed and saw this Twitter update from a radio news station.

After 30 minutes, I saw another update from the reporter:

Are you kidding me?

I’m so grateful that we are safe and that there were never really an armed robbery in the mall. But the trauma that it caused my daughter witnessing that? Unbelievable. The police went to the wrong branch of Western Union. What a careless mistake is that?

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2 Responses to Keeping the family safe

  1. Thanks God that you are safe. Nangyari sa amin yan uon dun sa SM North minutes after we left umatake ang Martilyo Gang, hay nakaka stress talaga….

    • Gene says:

      Thanks sis! Super stressful talaga, lalo na Una experienced it personally. The first couple of weeks na dumadaan kami sa mall ask niya kung may pulis ba ulit at kung may bad people pa rin ba. :( We tried going back there again and assured her na wala na yung pulis with guns, okay na naman. Thank God!

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