“Okay. Next. Let’s listen to your position, Miss Evergreen. Step on the riser and begin…” instructed Miss Hally.
“Ahem- ahem!” Cara paused for twenty seconds for a pensive effect. She looked at each of her classmates’ foreheads – the area close to where eyebrows furrow. After a lungful of breath intake, stated:
“The TV talks about the Maute group devastating and ruining Marawi. For whatever reason, they do this, I don’t know. Their antics are quite nebulous, imprecise, ill-defined and questionable to me. I believe they demand something from the government – freedom, liberation, separation? – I don’t know. They just seem to want something all the time. As if they’re the only ones who have the right to want and demand something.
I’ve learned not to trust the news anymore, at least not the news on the network run by the elite group with a Spanish family name . Dare I say that they are partial and very much sensationalized? My small knowledge in Journalism taught me that news people – especially the ones in that particular network – sometimes have to do this shock-tactic and make up whatever story, just so there is something to tell and something to talk about. The virtue that is truth has long since been mistreated by the media people, I dare say. What matters today is the story and what makes the story click – never mind the ethical concerns, I suppose. The story is the only vital thing.
I don’t blame media people or hold them liable for fallacies, farce, and partial truths. It’s what they do; it is what they are obliged to do. It is the viewers, listeners, and readers who are responsible for judging the worth and value of any perceived knowledge. It is wise to exercise utmost tolerance and discernment in matters such as this, for one cannot do so much as to eradicate everyone who contributes to false reports and stories. I’ve also learned to detach myself from the feeling aspect of things, so as not to tax too much unnecessary reactions such as anger and disappointment towards my countrymen, the Filipino people.
So, when a dedicated reporter said that ISIS is behind the chaos that is in Marawi, I did not believe it. Who knows what the big media network is trying to cook up again? Perhaps they needed more TV viewers or what not. I don’t believe them anymore. They’ve cried wolf many times already. I’d be a total fool to ever believe and gobble up everything that they claim to be “true”…
Marawi is in God’s hands now. I can’t do anything except to be aware of what’s happening… be extra vigilant… and hope that perhaps, God will hear my prayer for peace.”
Cara Evergreen smiled – pleased with herself. I will surely get an Uno she thought… She looked at her classmates. Their eyebrows furrowed. In shock perhaps? Cara couldn’t tell…
Wiiiiww-wiw-wiw!!! rang the school emergency alarm. It resounded and filled the corridors with furious echoes of urgency.
“Miss Hally, the school is under attack!” a random student bellowed from the hallway.
“They’re here!” asserted Miss Hally. She couldn’t believe the terror reached their area – the capital city. It was just the safest part of the country a couple of hours ago.
“Class, I want you to – …”
Before Miss Hally could finish her sentence, a deafening boom was heard from the outside of the building. Everybody ducked out of reflex. All too suddenly, gunshots went off…
A loud ringing in the ear… a dreaded continuous beep like a flatline readout on an EEG and EKG…. The last thought of Cara Evergreen was an image of a luminous 1.0 against a black backdrop. It blinked and flickered…