Wenceslao: Bridges watch

Candid thoughts

IT HAS been years since a former SunStar Cebu colleague got in the news himself when he made a scene at the Mactan-Mandaue bridge. I don’t know if he really wanted to end his life that day by jumping from the bridge.

I didn’t get to ask him about it even if I once reminded him about it now that he is successful in his own endeavors in a southern Cebu town where he is doing business. He could already joke about it, which means that he has totally moved on from whatever bothered him in the past.

Which is why I agree with the plan of the Metro Cebu Bridge Management Board (MCBMB) to make it harder for suicidal types to do their thing, even if it means limiting foot traffic to only one side of each of the two bridges (the other Mandaue-Mactan bridge being the Marcelo Fernan bridge). By the way, I once toyed with the idea of organizing a Mandaue to Cordova walk passing by one of the bridges, a walk that would end up with a “bakasi food trip.”

Of course, the argument against the MCBMB plan is that it would be a waste of time because if one is really serious in committing suicide, one can’t really be stopped. If one can’t do it atop the bridges, then there are other places or other methods available. I would even say that suicidal types, if they are really serious in ending their lives, won’t go for dramatics. Thus I think some bridge jumpers may just be initially seeking attention and then are forced to complete the act because of that attention.

But there is one other benefit of the strict monitoring planned by the MCBMB for the two bridges, and this concerns security. Those bridges are important not just on a utility standpoint but also as Cebu’s major landmarks. Attacks on those bridges in this age of terror plots could therefore not be ruled out. And those attacks happen when authorities and the public lower their guard.

I haven’t actually tried walking on foot on those bridges. Another former SunStar Cebu colleague did what can be termed as fitness runs from Cebu City to his residence in Lapu-Lapu City passing by one of the two bridges.

What does one feel when one tarries up those bridges instead of just passing by on board a vehicle? Could it approximate the emotions that trekkers feel after finally reaching the peak of a mountain?

When one is in the right frame of mind, I doubt if one can contemplate ending one’s life when one is on those bridges. I used to frequent the peak of mountains on moonlit nights when I was younger and the view from up there, with the mountains seemingly like waves rolling everywhere and the cold winds caressing my frame, always reminded me that man and society are but a puny part of creation. One can’t be too engrossed with merely human concerns when life has greater meaning.

Maybe I will have to pursue the planned walk with my friends who share the same love for the mountains as myself. It will be, I would say, as enjoyable a walk as those mountain treks we have made together.


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