Surviving A Gunshot (Carlo Ople’s Story on Love and Courage)

“Superman’s not brave. You can’t be brave if you’re indestructible. It’s every day people, like you and me, that are brave knowing we could easily be defeated but still continue forward. – unknown”

This is a guest post from Carlo Ople. Some of you might not be aware that Carlo nearly lost his life three years ago due to a gunshot wound from a robber who tried to molest his girlfriend. This is a story of love and the will to survive at all cost. The question is would you risk your life to protect your loved one?

If you have a recovery story to share, please send it to [email protected]

Around 3 years ago, I had one of the most challenging experiences that I’ve ever faced in my life. I was with my girlfriend, Mich, in an internet café. We were having fun playing a few games and surfing the net when I suddenly felt a cold and solid object being pressed hard on the back of my neck. One of my worst fears was finally materialized: we were being held-up. I can’t remember if there were 4 or 5 men but the entire café was suddenly plunged into the silence. The only sound you could hear was the cruel and deep voice of one of the robbers cussing and cursing people while his cohorts started to collect our cell phones, wallets, and jewelry.

I tried to calm myself down because I knew that everything would be alright and these guys would eventually leave when they got what they want. Things took a turn for the worse when one of them decided to ““trip” on my girlfriend. My blood boiled. A drugged up, drunk, and obviously evil man was putting his hands on the one person that I loved the most. My vision became hazy. Adrenaline started to course through my veins. I started to breathe heavily so that I could relax a bit. However, the guy just couldn’t help himself and he pointed his gun at Mich. He crossed the line.

I jumped up, got his wrist, turned it a bit so that his elbow was exposed, and smashed my fist against his elbow. I heard a crack and his gun fell to the floor. Everyone else in the café suddenly got up and started to engage the robbers. The next guy on my list was the one who pointed his gun at me. I was able to land a solid punch on his face and he fell back.

Amidst the rumble in the café, 2 resounding gun shots pierced the violent air and quickly stopped everyone on their tracks. I suddenly wondered why everyone was looking at me. Time stood ridiculously still. Then I felt warm and a bit dizzy. I started to wonder why my shirt felt thick and wet. I looked down and touched my chest to confirm what I was thinking. I was just shot.

My knees buckled and I collapsed to the floor. I was having difficulty breathing and I could feel the blood literally pouring out of my wounds. The room swirled and my vision blurred to the point that I could no longer see what was happening. I felt someone’s weight on the side of my face. I thought to myself ““wow, the robber actually stepped on me on his way out. No class at all.”

I was dying. I was afraid, frustrated, and angry. Man, I don’t even have a son yet! Thoughts started to bombard my mind. The saying that ““your life flashes before your eyes before you die” suddenly made a lot of sense to me. I found myself reflecting, thinking, and pondering if there was really life after death. Images of the devil and hell burning flooded my mind. Did I deserve salvation? I sure hope so, I thought to myself. Amidst all the turmoil and pain I found myself opening my eyes. I was crying. I was really sad that I would have to die. Then I saw her.

Mich was there, holding my hand. She was also crying while trying to talk someone on her cell phone.

I don’t know how I did it, but I reached out, and said ““I’m sorry.”

Then I felt peace. All the turmoil in my head about where I would go if I died suddenly disappeared. Seeing someone there that I loved so much made me feel secure. The only regret now was that I would have to leave her alone.

To cut a long story short, my family arrived and I was brought to East Avenue Hospital. They operated on me without anesthesia, putting a tube in my lungs to drain out the blood. They also sutured the wounds without the use of any anesthetics. Yes, it hurt a lot. When my aunt asked one of the nurses if they had any anesthesia, her answer was ““May dala po ba kayo Ma’am?” *facepalm*

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I was transferred to Medical City, and after 8 days of being treated and cared for by doctors and my loved ones, I was able to get up and walk outside of the hospital – alive. I later found out that I was shot twice by a 45 caliber pistol and one of the bullets went through and through my body. The second bullet lodged itself near my shoulder but it was removed in a successful operation in Medical City.

Lessons Learned

Be aware of your surroundings

If you’re in an internet café, make sure that the glass window or doors are not covered by posters. If there is no visibility from the outside, robbers will think that it’s an easy target. If it’s late at night, try to go to cafes that have security guards nearby and situated in well lit areas.

Life is really short (haha)

Don’t take things for granted. If you think about it, life is really short. Make the most of every second that you have. Live it to the fullest and make sure that you give more love than the love that you receive. Nothing beats the feeling of having people there for you when you’re down in the dumps. I never would have recovered so fast if it weren’t for the steady stream of support that I got through visitors and prayers.

About the Author

Carlo S. Ople is the grandson of the late Senator Blas F. Ople. He’s currently working as the Marketing Head for Casual Games in the ePLDT subsidiary and leading online gaming publisher in the Philippines, Level Up Inc. . He’s also a New Media consultant, having worked for various politicians and companies. You can read about his writings and work at his blog at New Media Philippines. He also has a gaming blog, Waukster Online.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.- Ambrose Redmoon

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1346 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.


About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

The comments posted on my blog are moderated. I reserve the right to remove comments, words or phrases that are defamatory, abusive, incite hatred and advertise an email address or commercial services or just plain spammy. I also reserve the right to remove posts that to my opinion are off-topic, irrelevant, ad-hominem, personal attacks and or just plain rude.
  • http://socialmediaphilippines.com Rob Angeles

    You are a very courageous man Carlo. I would do the same if I was the one in that situation and would rather die protecting someone I love than seeing them fall without me lifting a finger.

    Understanding the mood of this post, I can’t avoid laughing at this “May dala po ba kayo Ma’am?”

    Thanks for sharing this experience to us and may you contribute more to our community. Rock on!

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      ugh how can our government hospital not carry any anethesia. Must have been so painful.

  • BrianB

    No anesthesia? This is the first time I heard about hospitals not having them. Did you think of suing them?

    Another lesson, tender words even to drunken armed robbers would’ve saved you a couple of bullets in the torso. You gotta swallow your pride, a little pleading might’ve done it for them. If you’re really angry why not just concentrate on what you’d do to them later when you come looking for payback. Sorry to say this but you reacted in the worst possible way.

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      I am not sure of tender words would have saved him but it might have been worth a try. I am sure Carlo learned a lesson from this.

      • BrianB

        I know a some really tough people who’d rather make uto-uto these robbers. Sige na po pasensya na, wag na po, and then go into a personal manhunt after the incident.

  • http://adebrux.wordpress.com Anna

    A beautiful story indeed.

    I don’t know if I would have the courage to do what Carlo did if I found myself in the same situation but I sure hope I would (have the courage).

    Annas last blog post..A lovely tour of Naples, Pompeii, Mt Vesuvius and Sorrento

  • http://kofistains.blogspot.com rhona

    wow! he is one brave guy…Just the other day I got punched in the face by a would-be mugger.

    rhonas last blog post..This Is Me

  • http://bragsimply.blogspot.com Dinah

    i guess we wont know how to react unless we are in that situation already. but it was still a brave thing to do.
    wtihout anesthesia? nakupo!

    Dinahs last blog post..Be Single No More

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      yeah I don’t know what I would have done. The good thing is Carlo lived to tell his story and we can all learn from him/

  • http://parenting-adventure.blogspot.com/ adelfa

    wow, i really saulte you carlo your one of the few gentleman.

    adelfas last blog post..Secret how to handle poverty

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      gentleman talaga yan.

      • BrianB

        Yeah, but he could’ve gotten them all killed.

  • http://newmedia.com.ph Carlo Ople

    Oh, didn’t know this was already up, haha. Thanks Noemi.

    @BrianB: That crossed my mind bro. I apologized for Mich and the rest of the people in the cafe after I got better. The image of a gun pointed against Mich’s head was just too much for me to handle. I can also remember that the guy who held the gun really had his eyes all red and his speech was slurred, which probably means he was drunk and drugged up. I don’t think pleading back then would have made a difference.

    As for the anesthetics, maybe if I was in the US I’d go ahead an sue but it’s a government hospital in the Philippines. I’d end up spending more just with the legal fees. And it will probably take years before the case is resolved.

    @everyone else: Thanks for your comments! Mich and I have been together for 8 years now going on our 9th this December. We met each other in 1st year college in Ateneo (we were English blockmates haha).

    Carlo Oples last blog post..Janette Toral Interview on iBlog5, iBlog6, and the Top 10 Emerging Blogs Project

    • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

      that image must have torn you to bits. I am glad you are alive Carlo. and Mich is safe.

  • http://mikeabundo.com/ Mike Abundo

    A friend of mine was robbed in an Internet cafe three years ago. Good thing she wasn’t hurt. You’re one tough cookie, Carlo.

    Mike Abundos last blog post..Yaya Han Steampunk Cosplay

  • Ronald Mojica

    I found myself crying on the part wherein your reflecting and with the person you love.

    I can’t help myself and nakakaasar talaga.

  • http://www.millionaireacts.com Millionaire Acts

    Oh, nice story you got here Carlo. I could only see doing the same thing as you did defending your loved one.

    Millionaire Actss last blog post..Power of Positive Thinking

  • http://techathand.net Dexter | Techathand.net

    You can really give everything to the one you love… Great story of courage and love

  • http://www.selaplana.com Selboy

    For sure, I would do the things you did even if I am not good in martial art.

    Very inspiring story.

    Selboys last blog post..Is Unlimited Bandwidth Web Hosting a Scam?

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  • http://rolly07.multiply.com rolly07

    Wow! Another great story of love and courage. I have read a lot of great love stories in your blog, not to mention your own. This is one of the reasons why I got hooked to your blog. More power and more inspiring posts to come! =)
    .-= rolly07´s last blog ..The Proposal =-.

  • http://archondigital.com/ Archon Digital

    I really can’t think of anything else to say but wow, you did the right thing, you followed your gut and saved her life.

    That was a very brave and noble thing to do, putting yourself in harm’s way to save your loved one.
    .-= Archon Digital´s last blog ..Getting the Menu on WordPress 30 to Work with Thematic =-.

  • kristine0019

    This story affirms my belief that the death penalty should be brought back in the Philippines.