And now for a semi-good story. I was given a number to call so I can request for airlifts for the critical care survivors during the Florida bus crash in Bontoc. Someone gave me a number saying “ito, sundalo, si Manny - matutulungan ka niyan, kilala mo yan.” So I call this number late late at night to guarantee that a ride will come and fly sila Abby Sicam, Mylo Cabardo, and the rest to hospitals in Manila. I bugged him and was a bit stern and firm, told him, “Sir, aasahan ko yang helicopter ha ng 5am sa Bontoc.” And he was really listo and said, “Yes Ma’am, I guarantee it.” I even name dropped a Colonel (Zagala) whom I was calling and who helped us during Typhoon Yolanda and said if wala doon ang chopper, tatawagan ko ang Colonel. And he said, “Ay sige, Ma’am pero ako rin ang tatawagan ni Colonel.” So that was that. True enough, when we got to Bontoc, the Air Force was there, available, willing, efficient. They flew everyone as best they could. Done and done. I was so grateful. So I msgd Manny the soldier again and said thank you, broke the news that Mylo didn’t make it but we were grateful for the chance to try everything for his family. So he called me back and said, “At your service, Ma’am, condolence, sorry about your friends.” And that was that.
The next day nakita ko sa diyaryo na nasa Baguio pala si Manny (sundalo) kasi PMA reunions at nakita ko do’n, apparently AFP Chief pala siya. Wasak! Lt. Gen Emmanuel Bautista was “Manny Sundalo” on my phonebook! Aaaaaaugh! Dyahe!! Kaya pala he was saying “Eh ako rin ang tatawagan ni Col. Zagala.” Shet!!!!! Diyahe. But I must say - ang bait ni Lt. Gen Bautista, hindi niya ako inangasan at the time I was in a state of edgy panic and urgency. He didn’t (though he COULD HAVE) pulled literal rank on me. But he didn’t. I’m so grateful hindi niya ako inastahan ng “hindi mo ba ako kilala?” Or nag alpha-male-whatever, though he must’ve chuckled at how clueless I was when I was bugging him so late at night.
I am as diyahe as I am grateful. Mabuhay ang AFP na tumutulong sa mamamayan!
Rock Ed Philippines
“You never climb the same mountain twice, not even in memory. Memory rebuilds the mountain, changes the weather, retells the jokes, remakes all the moves.”
Sometime ago when BrewRats was still on air over 99.5RT & Rock Ed Radio was still on NU107, Tado SMSd me to call him up, so both shows put the phonecall ‘on air.’ We were saying their radio station’s ID on our air, and Tads would say “that sa kabilang linya is NU107 Rock Ed Radio on 99.5RT but not!” It was messy. It was fun & possibly historic. Us hosts, well, we were all friends off air & that joint aired call possibly wasn’t “right” by radio brand management standards, but on Tado’s lead - we did it anyway. He was the more maverick one, he’d push lines, lower or raise bars, allowing me to be braver; I could no longer see the lines we needed to perilously cross because he already blurred them for us. I will miss him so. Many of us will.
After all the administrative phone calls, text msgs, paperwork, talking to a Mayor, nurses, doctors, a General, I finally read the news and saw that Charley Sta Maria my friend and colleague from JesCom, Ateneo was one of the survivors narrating the Bontoc bus accident. I didn’t see her in the hospital, I felt bad I didn’t see her there but SO relieved she wasn’t on the list given to me as “critical care, must fly in triage order.” I’d have been triply panicked because she’s dear to me. That’s the good part of this post. The bad part of this post is I just realized who exactly Debid was and that I know him. He wanted to play in Rock the Riles the past two years but both were cancelled because of typhoon Pablo in 2012, & typhoon Yolanda last year. I felt bad he didn’t get to play in the train stations but I think both relief ops (Pablo & Yolanda) trained me so I can better manage his release paperwork and got me a number that allowed me to assist the MANY OTHERS who pressed and worked to find a way to fly his wife Abby to St Luke’s faster.
I didn’t mean to post any more on this especially after Tado’s wake is already ongoing, but the bus accident is so much bigger than what I thought it was. Even Tado will agree it’s more than just about him. Even if my heart’s heavy that my old friend is now gone. So I guessed, the more real stories thrown out there, the more the LTFRB & the owners of the Florida Bus Lines will see the real size, the magnitude of what they need to face and compensate. I’m not sure but I’m not apologizing for this post. It’s true, it’s there, I want to say it, and I want more to hear. Don’t tire of this “newsbit” yet - to many of us, it isn’t “just the evening news.” Something must be done. I’m not sure what but it cannot go on this way. Public transport, public trust.
Accidents will always happen, but preventable ones are, well, PREVENTABLE. Lower the probabilities. Fix roads, light them up, make vehicle fit for travel - and leave transport accidents to lightning strikes and the like. It is not good to make us fear venturing out to see our mountains. The last thing Tado or Debid or any of then would want - is for us to stop going to the mountains. That simply isn’t right.