Night Kids in Cebu’s Fuente and Mango Avenue Aren’t Safe

For several times, Cebu Fuente Police Station has become the refuge of adults who were victims of small boys and girls.

Yes, you can be become victims of children who at night time make the vicinity of Fuente Osmena circle down to Mango Avenue (Gen. Maxilom Avenue) as their playing grounds.

These kids are not just playing but also looking for their potential victims. Most victims are foreign nationals and unaccompanied women.

Kiddy Modus in Mango

In the November 12, 2010 editorial of Freeman Cebu, the ways of these children were described.

These boys and girls, aged anywhere from seven to 10, operate by ganging up and swarming around their victims, pretending to ask for alms. They grab the victims’ arms to immobilize and stall them. Then amid all the commotion, one will pick the victims’s pockets or bags.

These children should not be underestimated. They are as dangerous as the jeepney pickpocketers and main street holdupper in Cebu.

The same editorial described how these children counter attack!

In the few occasions that victims did try to grab or hit the kids, they would find themselves in far worse trouble because the kids would then launch a counterattack by stoning the victims with whatever stone or projectile they can lay their hands on.

Lately, we got a relief because news stories would say that victims got back their stolen wallet. Apparently, our Police know so well where to find these children once a victim reported.

Of course, because they are children, no case were filed. The next evening, these children would attack again.

In a society where we are very protective to our children, let us also give attention this uniquely Cebu kiddy modus. Even adults need protection.

No Reputation to Protect

What if Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV declares straight to my face:

You have no reputation to protect.

What else should I say?

I am praying that it would not happen to me. And now I am still hoping that the Filipino nation had not heard such arrogant line. In silence, I have entertained another hope – that Sonny Trillanes hadn’t become (elected) as senator of this country. (My apologies to the your Senator and his family.)

But what if Sen. Trillanes was our god – all knowing, all powerful?

What the world would become if Trillanes, our god, tell us that we don’t have “reputation to protect”?

Let us give thanks to our Lord that some people hadn’t wanted to teach. Because if the former military man, Sen. Trillanes is teaching our children and in one of his inquiry tell a young boy that he has no honor and reputation?

The Philippine Senators, in their celebrated investigations, had long been shaking us – emotionally and mentally.

I asked one friend who have witnessed a senate investigation of the past congress. “It feels like you’re grilled”, my friend told.

What had our Senators accomplished so far from their physically, emotionally, and mentally draining investigations and inquiry?

I have nothing against on Senate investigations. It may be necessary – I am not sure enough. But I am hoping the our Senators accord respect to all people they have invited.

When Sen. Trillanes thrown his hard hitting line: You have no reputation to protect. He had not only traumatize us but had also caused pain (and destruction) to intricate social web (of family and friends).

Who has the reputation?

Can our Senators, specifically Sen. Antonio Trillanes, generously share who still got reputation?

Everyone deserves respect because everyone has honor and dignity. Who are we to tell someone that his “reputation” already gone?

What’s next?

I learn (by heart) the great lessons on the stories from the Senate. The lessons from Senate investigations – from the melodramatic acts to antagonistic verbal attacks – to the famous line of Sen. Trillanes, you have no reputation to protect can be enough.

Should we hurt each other more?

Lessons from the story “Piece of String”

I remember a story “The Piece of String”. It was a story about a peasant who was accused of stealing. He was too disturbed that he wanted to get everyone believe that he really hadn’t stolen the pocketbook but has picked a piece of string instead.

But who will believe a peasant like him? For a poor man like Maitre Hauchecome (of the story) reputation and honor was more important. Perhaps, more important than sparkling stones and metals.

Hauchecome went out of his way to explain to people that he was innocent and that he only picked a piece of string. But he got mockery, insults!

You can read (re-read if you have heard this in your literature class) this classic from Guy de Maupassant by searching, The Piece of String.

Interesting enough! The last part of the story says,

Toward the end of December he took to his bed.

He died in the first days of January, and in the delirium of his death struggles he kept claiming his innocence, reiterating:

“A piece of string, a piece of string–look–here it is, M’sieu the Mayor.”

Perhaps the story could have different plot and characters if Guy de Maupassant lived with us today. What do you think?