A DAY before Ramadan, the headlines were: Terror alert in Davao.

At least those were the headline news most shared in social networks. We opted to put it in the third page simply because...

We're not downplaying the harm terrorists can do, but...

We've heard it before in so many different forms, almost every year just before Ramadan. The storyline goes like this: During Ramadan, there are ill-intentioned forces who will be sent out to earn their stripes by committing terroristic acts. This storyline remains the same although characters may change and embellishments may be added, year after year.

There may be truth in it, but it's something that has to be taken with a grain of salt, even a cupful of salt because this straddles a very complicated thought system that is intricately mixed with historical distrust so deep that many already eat and breathe this and detect nothing wrong.

There may really be a threat, there may be none. But we all know the drill by heart. Be vigilant. Keep an eye out for your neighbors, for your brothers. Anything unusual in your community and environs should be brought to the attention of authorities.

As we have always been told, we should not allow terror threats to drive us hiding and changing our lives. If we do so, we have already allowed the terrorists to win because a terrorist's intent is to make people cower in fear. By locking up our children and living in paranoia, we have allowed the terrorist to fulfill his mission without even raising a gun.

We should continue with our lives, except that we should be most mindful of everything that is going on around us and every person whom we meet. This is all about vigilance. Except that mixed into the fray is a history of animosity and distrust and prejudice that many still deny, and thus can never be resolved.