Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Y-Speak: Scars from the battleground

A POST from a friend caught my attention while I was browsing online. It states depression and expresses great anger towards the world. Her last line meant suicide. And that was the saddest word I read that day because of the realization that while other people are fighting for their life some want to end it.

While other people, mostly my fellow millennials, claimed to be so depressed and that life has put on so much weight on their shoulders and that the only solution seemed to be suicide, I wanted to talk to them one by one to tell them how other people fight to live.

Life is a war and no one wants to die at the moment. You have to fight to defend yourself. That was a metaphor. So how about fighting for life in the middle of a real scene of war?

Last May 23, 2017, I was an ordinary college girl in Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City who kept on clamoring about thesis works, allowances, and even terror professors who always get in the way. I was so down, feeling like I cannot bear it anymore. I sometimes wish I would never wake up one day because I am tired, or so I thought. I heard a bang of a gun. I did not mind at first. I heard another one, followed by three more gunshots, and bombs. The President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, then declared martial law in Mindanao and that day was only the start of terrors.

While a lot of soldiers and civilians get killed, we waited for the soldiers to rescue us just like how we are so used to. We, the millenials, seemed to always need help. In the end, no one came and we did not have a choice but to find a way to be able to leave the place alive.

Life is a war, inside the battleground, no one will save you.

We made it out alive on the night of the 25th after eight hours of travel from there to the neighboring city. I lost my appetite since we have not eaten anything when the siege happened. I just stared down at my food, feeling so thankful for being alive. I breathed the air and it felt so different, like breathing again after few minutes of drowning. How could I ever wish not waking up one day?

The siege that happened in our beloved Marawi City has left the deepest scars to those who lost someone dear to them or their homes. And yes, it will never be the same again. And to me, it taught me things not simply learned in today’s world where everything is easy and convenient because everything has become an instant click. It taught me that I should start appreciating what I have or what surrounds me. Disappointments and discouragements may strike one day but it will never summarize everything of me, it should never nurture that dark and empty place inside me. I have been reminding myself everyday, especially during down moments, that I once fought for my life. I once asked God to keep me alive because I still have a lot to say and a lot of things I need to do and He gave me that chance. Who am I to say “I quit”?

One needs not go through what others went through to appreciate life but I am hoping that, you, who have been reading this, would know that you can do more because you are made for more. You are a warrior and your scars will remind you how strong you are.


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