THE skies looked dark and heavy on Thursday afternoon that's why a lot of people gathered at the waiting shed outside the Sasa Old Airport.
Leo Goc-Ong who stood four meters from the waiting shed remembered a hissing sound emit from a bag before an explosion that killed 22 and wounded 135.
Goc-ong, a survivor of the incident, was among those who commemorated the seventh year after the 2003 Sasa Old Airport bombing Thursday.
Vivien Fugata, whose mother and niece died and injured a sister in the bombing, thinks of the event as a personal sign.
"Hindi namin alam na may commemoration palang mangyayari. Nagkataon na pinayagan na akong mag-leave sa trabaho kaya pumunta kami para makita yung site kung saan nangyari ang pambobomba at para na rin igunita ang kumbaga day of second life. Nasa taxi lang ako noon eh noong pumutok. Sa may di kalayuan lang sa lugar," said Fugata.
Goc-Ong, Fugata and the other survivors and loved ones of victims were joined by barangay and city officials, the Davao City police, and members of the Task Force Davao. Those present lighted candles, offered flowers, and said prayers on site.
City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in his message said Thursday's event was to remember the sorrow cause by the tragedy as well as the government's continued stand against terrorism.
"I would never understand how some people think that they can heal the world through evil means. The world would never be rid of terrorists but what we can do is to cope and our presence here proves that we can move on with our lives but also remembering those we have lost and what we experienced," Duterte said.
"I remember the great sorrow caused by this day. I myself was about 4 to 5 minutes from the airport because I was supposed to go to Manila. When I came I saw all the bedlam, the sordid incident which will be forever etched in my mind. Ako naay pagkasuplado pero muhilak pud kog akoa. (I have a mean streak but there are times I would cry to myself)" Duterte said.
Lolita Latoño, a bombing survivor who now works for the City Treasurer's Office, thanked the city government for the financial and educational assistance given to her and others who lost members of their families or were disabled.
"By working together we move on. We should never let terrorism hinder our goals and wishes for the ones around us," Latoño said.
City Social Services and Development Office head Luisa Bermudo said the city has given P3.1 million worth of financial and educational assistance.
Vice Mayor Sara Duterte also gave word to the victims’ relatives and survivors to remember the incident with importance.
"This event is also a reminder that terroristic acts can happen but we have to remain vigilat and to always cooperate with the local authorities," she said.
"I hope this event will hold meaning to the survivors and the dependents left behind by those who died. Remember it in the sense that you value life and your loved ones," she added.