After the merriment that was the Parada Iloca-locana Halloween Parade on Oct. 31, some participants went to Uncle’s Bar in Brgy. 23, Laoag City. It had been a long and tiring week which they decided to cap with some cold drinks in the warm company of friends.
But the night ended in tragedy for Wayner Tulali and Lucky Gappi, both from Batac. In a rumble that ensued a few meters from the bar, they were stabbed multiple times, each of them, as their group was about to go home at past 4:00 a.m. Another man from the opposing group was reportedly hurt.
A criminal case has been filed against one suspect (who was also hurt in the incident), and the victims’ friends say for now they are trusting in the process, though fears of a whitewash can’t be avoided as one of those who they allege was part of the mayhem is a son of an influential politician.
What adds to the anguish of the victims’ friends is the seeming lack of empathy on the part of the Uncle’s Bar management. One Facebook post by a friend of Wayner and Lucky goes:
“There is just one thing I would like to point out openly- what did the management of Uncle’s Bar do during and after the incident? If your customers have just left, about to board their car parked right in front of your establishment, wala na bang pakialam? Aren’t establishments like Uncles supposed to have security personnel? Both were rushed to the hospital na sobrang lapit sa Uncle’s, did they check on these two young men after the incident? Simpleng malasakit lang sana sa customer, kahit ‘yun lang!”
Indeed, dear karikna, that’s too much a lack of empathy, not to mention responsibility, for a business establishment, especially for one whose name refers to a close relative.
One wishes that their concern for clients in distress is as warm as an uncle’s hug, and not as cold as their beer.
Asked about his thoughts on Eddie Gregorio’s murder carried out recently by motorcycle-riding men in Laoag City’s business district, Mayor Michael V. Fariñas said what any common politician is expected to say. He called the shooting of the 28-year old lawyer an “isolated case.”
Firmly believing that “the situation in the city is still peaceful,” the father of the city may have had the best intentions in mind. He wanted to keep an atmosphere of calm and sobriety among a people still distraught over someone so young, so brilliant, and so promising to be so dead.
What perplexes me though is his succeeding statement, “A crime can happen anywhere, anytime.” In broken Iluko, he continued, “no agplano iti maysa a tao, hanna a pilien whether in the morning, lunch time, malem wennu rabii.”
An average student of logic would not miss the inconsistency in the mayor’s pronouncements. First he says the incident is an isolated case and then concedes that such crime can be planned and executed anytime, anywhere.
The mayor gave two contradictory statements which cannot be both correct. If one is true, the other must be false, and vice versa.
“AS STUDENTS and professionals, where are your eyes focused? Are they just focused on things ephemeral, temporary joy or happiness? If this is true to your life, I tell you are missing a lot. You are missing the greatest undertaking under the sun. You are missing the path to your prepared great destiny.
“When I was a kid, I had a vision… to be a lawyer and at the same time a doctor. I wrote it on the wall of our house using charcoal (uring), I was even scolded by my mother because that writing destroyed the beauty of the wall in my room. It seemed impossible for me to attain that vision because we live in a far-flung area. My father finished only grade 3 and my mother finished only 2nd year high school. They are both farmers. However, that vision pushed me, moved me and energized me.
“Immensely blessed, I graduated as magna cum laude with a degree in Political Science and then law, leading batch 2002 and law class 2006 graduates of Northwestern University. I managed to do well in academics even as I served as president of the Supreme Student Council. I reaped the bounty of my toils which made my family so blissful of my academic achievements.
“I am in the graduate program to soon earn a doctoral degree. I have my own business and a job. I am telling you this not to say that I am intelligent, but to tell you that there is indeed an equal opportunity for everyone. No matter who you are, your family, status, or the educational attainment of your parents, you can succeed.
“When the opportunity knocked on me, I grabbed it. I tell you, opportunities had been knocking on to you and are still knocking on to you even this time, grab it now and for sure you will all become prosperous and successful.”