Leaving my kids is never easy no matter their age. I informed my family that I will be traveling to the USA by the last week of September for a series of talks and to visit my 3 siblings. My daughter asked “Who will drive us? it is dangerous to commute. There was a holdup inside a jeepney in Katipunan last week. And have you heard about Tara Santelices who got shot because she tried to wrestle back her bag containing a laptop? yadda yadda!”
Oh the risks of commuting! I suddenly felt like canceling my trip altogether. There I go again, letting fear control me. The “What if?” is the nagging question and on the other hand, What should I do?
What would you do in my shoes?
My girls got to use the public transportation system only in college. By that time, I learned to let go of worry. I am aware of the dangers and risks in our transport system but I didn’t want them to live in a perpetual cloak of fear. During their pre-college years, it was either me or the driver that brought them to school or any destination in Manila. It was easier to control their activities when they were younger since they were a bit obedient in those days with limited social life to boot. They lived a very sheltered life.
I still remember the day I learned to let go. The security guard called our house if a taxi cab can be allowed to enter the village. The cab driver wanted to return L ‘s wallet. I called L. “What is your wallet doing in a cab? I thought you lost your wallet in the library”. She said she didn’t know. Glancing at her guilty look, I interviewed the driver. He told me that he brought Lauren to the house from the Ayala MRT station. Lauren could not deny it anymore. We argued about letting her go and allowing her to commute.
Mom, I am 18 years old!
It was at that point where I realized the girls cannot be sheltered forever.
Going back to my current transportation dilemma, I thought of solutions and some of the lessons learned from Tara Santelices.
1. Hire a temporary driver for the kids but L doesn’t trust drivers. This option is out.
2. Hitch with their dad and wait to be picked up after his office hours.
3. Just let them commute if number 2 option is not possible but to remember,
3.1 Do not resist giving up laptop or cellphone and any other valuables in the event of a robbery,
3.2 Do not bring laptop when there are plans to commute.
3.3 Backup all the files in the laptop so there is no initial resistance when a robbery takes place.
The best that can be done is to exercise caution and pray. We never know when these horrible robbers strike. The “What if’s” can really make us crazy. They put control over our life in someone else’s hands.
I know I should not worry about other people’s reactions or events outside of my control. Instead, I will focus on my reactions. I will handle my life well today and trust that, tomorrow I can do the same. I will relax, breathe and go with the flow.
If your heart is moved to help Tara Santelices, here’s your chance to pay it forward.
Word spreads around fast and almost everyone has already heard about what happened to our dear friend, Tara Santelices (Assumption Antipolo’s Batch 2003 and Ateneo de Manila University’s Class of 2007, AB Political Science).
On the eve of her 23rd birthday, Tara was shot in the head during a hold-up while riding a jeepney along Imelda Avenue, Cainta, Rizal. Joee Mejias, who was with her at that time, rushed her to Amang Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Marikina City. The parents of Tara and Joee arrived at the hospital shortly thereafter. When morning came, Tara’s parents finally decided to transfer her to the Medical City, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City. Since 8:00am of August 6, Tara has been in the ICU fighting for her dear life. Her parents have decided not to push through with the operation.
Although it might seem that there is nothing else that we can do but wait for Tara to wake up from this horrific nightmare, we, the friends of Tara, have decided to raise funds for Tara’s hospital bills. This is the least we can do to ease the unbearable pain her family is going through. We have been given the go-signal from Tara’s dad, Tito Larry, and here are the details:
The temporary bank account is under Anne Marie F. Santelices, Banco de Oro, SA 2140-062201. For direct cash donations, please proceed to the ICU Waiting Room of the Medical City (Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City). Please look for Joee Mejias or Lila Santelices.
Any amount will be gratefully accepted. Anonymous donations are also welcome. Please spread the word. Forward this to your family, friends and even to everyone else you know. Please post this on Friendster, Multiply, Facebook and wherever else you can think of. Please send group messages on Yahoo Messenger. This will mean so much to us, her friends.
Please continue praying for Tara, for Joee and for both of their families. If you want to come see Tara, visiting hours at the ICU are at 9:00 am to 11:00 am and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
Thank you so much for your time and kind consideration.
For inquiries, please contact Joee Mejias (09228154987) for calls and Jac Ledonio (09167243071) or Myka Francisco (09163695148) for text messages.
Read the Justice for Tara Santelices written by my husband.