Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cruel Joke

I should be working on an article for PC Magazine right now, but I'm not. I should be pleasantly smilingly right now because I'm home, but I'm not.

Instead, I have a splitting headache, most likely brought about by hypertension. Blogging seems to be the only way to unburden myself, never mind that I've ruined my custom template (thanks to Madame Chiang for the quick heads-up on the glitch.)

This is what happened: at around 10AM, I received a frantic call from my Mom. "They bombed Robinson's!" she cried. "I received a text from your aunt. 'Binomba ang Robinson's ngayong umaga. Madaming patay at sugatan na mga...' I don't know about the rest. It's been cut off!"

No mention of which Robinson's, but I immediately assumed the worst: Robinson's Galleria. When you have a sister who's living in the area, not to mention several friends, your mind races through the possibilities. Are they alright? Were they hurt? And then you hope that at that early hour none of them were in the vicinity.

I called out for my Dad. Not finding him around added to the tension. My Mom said she would make further inquiries, so she hung up. Finally regaining some presence of mind, I turned on the TV to search for news of the bombing.

ANC. None. GMA. None. ABC. None. Nothing at all. Just...nothing.

My Mom finally called back. "It was just a joke from your aunt," she said apologetically. "I'm sorry, I didn't read through the entire message. It actually said 'madaming patay na mga lamok.'"

Perhaps I might not have been so upset or concerned if my fears were not compounded by rumors last week of the Abu Sayyaf planning to bomb Megamall on Saturday. Though I didn't receive that email, a friend told me about it. Not that I want to give much credence to stories like these, but I like to think that it's better to be on the safe side. Nothing happened, of course.

Then, after the long setup, you receive the punchline to the joke. A very cruel joke. Only, I'm not laughing.

I'm a little upset at my mother for being too quick on the gun, for not reading through the whole message, and for calling me instead of the aunt who sent the message. But knowing how her feelings at the message mirror mine, I don't blame her.

I know the aunt who sent the message. If and when I do confront her about it, she's going to giggle and pat my shoulder and say, "Joke lang 'yun, uy!" And then I'm supposed to just forgive her.

Well, I have three words for her...though I won't say them because here they'll be too rude.


  1. Now... then, perhaps a 'joke' like that deserves response in kind...

    Oddly, for news on major domestic events I usually turn to... BBC.

  2. Oh, yeah! I so badly want payback. But that would be juvenile.

  3. yikes! a joke like that is cruel... especially during these times when even in familair surroundings we don't feel safe at all. funny how we take bag inspections now as an everyday fact of life, forgetting (along with those security guards who simply poke a stick in your bag) that it's a sign that we're now constantly under threat. yes, even while just shopping.

  4. I wouldn't mind bag inspections if the inspectors were a wee bit competent. I don't think your generic security guards are even halfway that.

  5. that's the pitfall of cheap labor. it's generally equivalent to poor service.