On this side of the globe, in the sunny nation of the Philippines, I heard several current events being discussed at school today.
In America, since 2001, we have paid particular attention to those who surround us. Of course neighborhood watches were using their binoculars on their neighbors long before that year, but with the terrorist attacks that used a trusted mode of transportation to kill thousands there was a reminder of observing others around you, just in case. Now, our country has an entire generation of kids who know nothing but post-9/11 thinking; never leave your baggage unattended, report if somebody acts suspicious, and HOLY COW, use hand sanitizer... cause you don't know where his or hers hands have been!
In the Philippines, despite terrorist attacks in the southern island of Mindanao, you don't feel a constant fear radiating off people in public areas. I have my guard up against pickpocketers and kids trying to stick their hands into my pockets while I'm in the city, I'm not wondering if there's a bomb in somebody's box that I sit next to on the bus and I've learned just washing your hands with soap, the good ol' fashioned way, can keep you just as healthy as 99.9% Purell. I have boarded airplanes without having my id checked, and yeah, the naked woman at the bus terminal was acting shady but I never thought she'd harm anybody. Aside from some high tensions during election times, I feel like most people are just doing their own thing; getting from point A to point B and living their lives.
Unfortunately, yesterday didn't turn out that way. I didn't now about it till I turned the tv to CNN at 8pm, but since earlier in the morning in Manila, a tourist bus had been hijacked and 25 hostages were still, more than 10 hours after being taken over, waiting to be saved by police. Ironically, the hostage taker was an ex-police officer who had been dismissed due to extortion and wanted to be reconsidered. Sadly, 8 innocent lives were lost and 7 were wounded. Such a tragedy. It makes me wonder how the public here will act in another 20 years. Will the innocence be converted to the guarded once-over look?
To end the post on a lighter note, the second current event? One more common to the Philippines... beauty pageants! Yes, I've observed that there are few things higher on the list of favorites for many Filipinos than a glittzy beauty pageant. News of the latest Miss Universe was already making the rounds hours after it aired live. Congratulations Miss Mexico!