Philippines is once again placed in the limelight. This time it was not because of something positive, bringing pride and honor to the country. It was in fact because of a very negative incident that I myself, a Filipino, feel that this is such an embarrassment for our country.
It all started in the early morning of August 23, 2010. A tourist bus boarding 22 Hongkong nationals and three Filipino citizens were held hostage by an ex-police officer. These Hongkong nationals merely wanted to enjoy their vacation here in the Philippines. Their last day of vacation turned-out to be the last day of their life for the 8 passengers who were killed in the hostage crisis.
Luckily, aside from the earlier released hostages, there were 7 other hostages who survived the hands of the hostage-taker. However, I started pondering on this thought. Are these hostage survivors really lucky, or are they the unlucky ones who will carry the nightmare of this experience throughout their lives? I sincerely hope that they will recover from this trauma the soonest possible time.
I understand why the Hongkong government placed Philippines in their blacklist, discouraging their people to visit the country and pushing those who are still here to return back home as early as possible. Hongkong government is just taking extra measures to protect the safety of its people.
Meanwhile, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the Hongkong government and its people. I am just an ordinary citizen but I know the impact of this one person’s selfish action. This hostage crisis is an isolated case and I would like to tell the world that not all people in the Philippines are like him. We may all have our own share of challenges in life but that’s not at all how we handle these challenges. I would like to emphasize how we condemn the actions of this ex-police officer. Our government is now seriously looking into measures to protect the safety of the tourists in the Philippines so that this incident or anything that can hamper their security and safety will be avoided in the future.
I would just like to make a request to our brothers and sisters around the world. I hope your relationship to the Filipino citizens in your country will not be affected because of this hostage crisis that happened.