There but for the grace of God, go we, must be the thought in many a person’s mind. David Llorito definitely had that passing, sobering, thought. jackson_nash recounts a mother’s concern and relief:
As soon as I get home I call my mom. She told me how she freaked out and how it gave her a headache. Her tone of voice was sounded so defeated yet relieved. It made me feel sad but it also reinforced that even though my mom doesn’t say it, she does really love me. I mean I didn’t doubt it, but it’s the little things we do for each other that shows how much we care.
Blogger ambonsamakati blogs about being in the vicinity (complete with snapshot of crowds); Adventures in the Temporary Autonomous Zone blogs about sirens and watching the action from a few blocks away. magentic_rose blogs about how her brother had a close call. Sunny Side Up! was there. So was uchihayukiko:
I was in bo’s cafe, teh exact opposite o f where the bo,b was placed. But it felt like the explosion was just above us. It was tha strong. It was my second grande cup of coffee that day.I drank my first at home, because I thought I have to be alert this day.
If I decided to drink coffee in starbcujs that day. I will be dea now.
If I wore skirt ad heels this day, I wouldn’t be able to run fast.
My intuition never failed me. Never since I was alive. And I am thanking god for it.
I sent sms to people in my phone list. And called KR, because I know glorietta is his home too. And he is always in timezone, where I think the bomb was near.
I do not want to listen to the news now. What I saw was enough. Ambuklances everywhere, people lying in the streets near the ambulance, a man’s limp hands…limp and carried by someone from the ambulance.
White Lady recounts a friend’s experiences:
Miru was in netopia glorietta 2 printing something and after that,only 10 minutes after while walking in glorietta 4(in front of jollibee) he felt the impact of the explosion.It’s like something pushed him daw from the back and he saw the glass walls of jollibee shook. He was able to video pa the people screaming and running inside the mall to the nearest exit and outside he took pics of the damages.He even saw a dead body daw.
My Life… – Hayds also recounts her experiences:
Around 1:30pm we were saying that we need to give away all of our fliers before the next group comes in. Then I distinctly remember I was seating on the couch facing the Glorietta 2 side when I heard a big boom. Together with the big boom was an earth shattering like earthquake. Then in just a couple of seconds, I saw something fell from the ceiling. It was a big chunk but it looked like it didn’t weigh much. Then everybody started running as fast as they could towards our direction. I didn’t panic since as some of you might know, I was also in Glorietta during the Valentine’s Day bombing last February 14, 2005…
But today was different. I heard the explosion and I saw something that triggered why everybody started to panic. Everything I saw was not close enough for me to realize the urgency to get the heck out of the mall. I started to pack my things calmly and I was again trying to look for more details why the people were trying to get out of the mall but Jacy was really scared that she kept on calling for us and was in a hurry. We got out of Glorietta and went straight to Park Square 1. While everybody was outside and trying to figure out what happened, everybody just started running away again. This time we stayed at the Dusit Hotel. For about an hour of calling people we know, we just wanted to go home but Didith and Jacy were kind enough to make sure I’ve gotten my car in the parking lot of Glorietta 4 before we went our seperate ways. Unfortunately, nobody was allowed to go inside the mall nor the parking. We had to seat together with the hundreds of people around the area while the fire brigade, ambulance and media people were trying to check on what happened.
The most complete eyewitness acount I’ve come across is from angeliz105 in an online message group:
I have never expected myself to be an eyewitness to such a tragedy. Man staring blankly at his bloodied hand, women hysterically screaming, unconscious woman lying lifeless near the blast, frantic sirens and alarms, broken glass and debris everywhere…
I had just parked my car at Park Square 2, 3rd floor near the timezone entrance. After switched on my car’s alarm, exactly, a loud explosion was heard. A cloud of smoke was seen. I ran at the back of my car where the railings are and there it was, I am directly looking at it from where I stand.
My knees turned jelly and felt my whole body shaking. My brain felt numb. I can’t believe, that a few moments ago, barely 5 minutes have passed, I was there at the ground floor on my way to the parking lot.
I never noticed I was crying until two elderly chinese couple approached me and asked if I am okay. I was just telling them, ” No, look out there, there’s a dead woman…” I was ushered by the elderly man to sit on the hood of one of parked cars. I didn’t know how long I stayed there, coz the next moment, I am maneuvering my car out of the parking lot.
I called my brother, I was crying. I have no idea how I was able to drove out of that place and eventually got home when all the while I could see are the images of the tragedy. To stay calm is easier said than done.
I still don’t know whatever it was that exploded, all I know is, those images will haunt my memories like a movie, playing repeatedly… even in my dreams.
See websaytko.com who republishes a father’s account.
Blogger Sprclfrglstcxpialidotius! (who also has pictures) says gossip saved her:
While we were on our way back (from the hardware shop in Park Square), we noticed there was a crowd gathering outside Glorietta. We initially thought there was an on-going shoot or perhaps some actor/actress was around. We heard some people talking about a bomb going off in the center, near the fountain. Another man said it was on the second floor – the Subway resto…
But then some people were still entering Glorietta, and when we were about to cross the street to get in, a wave of screaming people suddenly came rushing out of the doors. This sent everyone else in a panic, and the crowd started running away as fast as they could.
I thought someone had a gun or something because some people had their hands over their heads. Kristel and I held hands and ran with the crowd… and then it happened.
Y’know those chase scenes in movies? When someone always has to fall right when they’re NOT supposed to? Yea, someone fell alright… I did! It’s quite hard to run for your life while in platform flip-flops!
I’m really grateful Kristel didn’t just let go of my hand and run…that’s a real friend for ya. She made sure people didn’t step on me 😀 Love yah, sis!
I must say, I’ve never felt so alive though. I could feel my heart threatening to explode through my chest, and my leg muscles trying to leap out of my skin as Kristel and I sprinted our way through the crowd.
just walk away was also there:
anyways tapos punta kami sa mei meeting place wala pang bus..so punta kaming gold crest..ayan na!nasa store kami tapos biglang mei narinig kaming malakas na sabog!tas mei nabasag!as in na feel namen ung lakas ng sabog!ung glass ng store parang mababasag!bumaba kami nina mariel para mag take cover tapos dapat lalabas na sila mariel at dzi sabi ko huwag muna kasi baka may sumabog pa..tapos ung tindera kinuha ang bag at nauna pa lumabas samin..so lumabas narin kami..ang scary kasi ang gulo na ng place ang daming tao na nag panic tas hinanap namen ung bus..kahit Wat a face na kami haha..
sa bus umiiyak na sila mariel and dzi ako..shock.di ako maiiyaK!as in wala lang di pa nag sink in sakin ung nangyari!tsaka naluluha ako kasi umiiyak sila mariel naawa ako..nung kinausap na lang kami sa bus dun na ako naiyak.tapos humagulgo ako nung naghug kami nina mar,dzi tsaka tita baby..grabe!nanghina ung knees ko ..grabe talaga!tas sa chapel..xbrang thankful ako kasi binigyan pa ako ng chance na maglaro pa tomorrow sa championship!haAy sobrang naapreciate ko adviser ko…tsaka narealize ko kung bumasag ung glass sa likod namen..cguro..hmmm..haAY..grabe talaga!2nd life?di ko toh makakalimutan!
(Loose translation: Anways afterwards we went to the vicinity of our meeting place but the bus hadn’t arrived. So we went to Goldcrest. Then it happened! We were in a store when suddenly we hard a strong explosion! Then something shattered! As in we felt the strength of the explosion! It seemed as if the glass of the store was going to shatter! Mariel and I descended to take cover and then Mariel intended to exit and I said, not yet because there might be another explosion. And then the saleslady took her bag and left the store even ahead of us. So we left as well. It was very scary because there was so much confusion and so many people panicked and we we looked for the bus, never mind however we must have looked haha… On the bus Mariel wept and I got dizzy. I was in such shock I couldn’t cry. Then I started tearing because Mariel was crying and I felt pity for her. When we were talked to on the bus that’s when I started to cry. Then I was overcome when Mar and I hugged, and Tita Baby too. It was terrible, my knees got weak. At the chapel I was so very thankful that I was given a chance to still play in tomorrow’s championship. And I really appreciate my adviser. And I also realized that if the glass had shattered behind us, well, probably, hmmm… A 2nd life? I won’t forget this!)
…My Life… has a smiliar account.
Another account is In My Pocket, this time, of someone who got there an hour after the explosion:
As I walked down Ayala Avenue and crossed toward the Makati Stock Exchange, I was walking with a group of people that included a young couple and their daughter. The father was carrying the little girl and the couple tried their best to be calm around her. Then, as we reached the Stock Exchange, the father passed their daughter into the mother’s arms as he walked inside a bank. The little girl asked the mother something, to which she replied, “E diba may sumabog sa Glorietta? Hindi ba katabi natin yun? (Didn’t something explode in Glorietta? Weren’t we standing next to it?)” I took a closer look at them. They were carrying hardly anything, and the daughter was sock-footed and holding her sole shoe in her hand.
I had arrived at SM some time around 2:20pm. An MMDA truck and the ever-vigilant media (represented by ABS-CBN News) already were parked out front. The SOCO van arrived just as I was walking away from the scene, continuing on my way. They — and I — had only missed the explosion by an hour.
See Witnesses account: ‘People thrown like dolls by blast’ for more eyewitness accounts.
Disney Cute Land has pictures of the area and the damage (Interior photos from ABS-CBN reproduced in look at this tangle of thorns). Azrael’s Merryland also has exterior photos. a round world for a square me has a photo of the interior of Glorietta filled with smoke. Horrible, horrible. However, Don Geronimo has calmer photos and criticizes media for portraying the situation is worse than it is.
And because the political situation is tense, notes from the peanut gallery expresses a suspicion that can only gather steam unless the authorities make an effort to remain sober and calm. For now, ksolaris points out one reason a gas explosion is the main theory right now:
They’re still investigating the cause, and I’m wondering if it’s a busted LPG tank, since I do remember that some time earlier this year, one of the restaurants inside the mall caught fire. They were able to quickly put out the flames that time, though, and only part of the restaurant’s ceiling got burned. The restaurant was back in business after about a week.
A spokesman from Ayala Land says it doesn’t appear the explosion emanated from any restaurants. A shaky-sounding policeman says there was a strong smell of gunpowder in the blast area, and says there was no smell of gas. Blogger bubble hearth has an eyewitness insisting he smelled gunpowder, too, “just like New Year”:
although ben insists he smelled pulbura when he went near the smoke. “para daw new year”
Tony Velasquez pointed out that the initial smells are important in investigating the cause of blasts. The NCR police chief has announced Metro Manila is on red alert.
(A blogger, Public Static, doesn’t want to dismiss the LPG explosion theory and explains why, but then says, basically, the reasoning all b.s.)
This is a time when engineers, architects, and other experts can help weigh in and contribute to a sober analysis of the event. The photographs of the damage are so chilling (see link above), and the damage so extensive, that unless the experts weigh in, public hysteria could run rampant.
Online media sites are constantly updating. As of this posting, the news is: 4 dead, over 40 hurt in Makati mall explosion (ABS-CBN); Blast hits Makati’s Glorietta Mall: 3 killed, says report (Inquirer); Makati mall blast kills 3; top cop says not LPG but ‘a bomb’(GMA).
On TV, a spokesman from the National Disaster Coordinating Council, quoting the Red Cross, says the number of fatalities has reached 6, with 70 wounded. Latest update is that police suspicions have shifted to a bomb being the cause of the explosion: ‘Bomb likely’ in Makati mall blast–Razon.
The PNP spokesman on ANC (4:12 pm) says they have to consider if this was a bombing by Muslim extremists. Said NICA reports and other intel had warned of activity after Ramadan ended.
Personally, at this point, finger-pointing won’t help anything. The priority right now remains aiding the wounded and securing the area. Then an investigation can proceed and the public can judge if the investigation raises instead of settling questions. There are simply too many groups that could benefit, politically, from a terror bombing. Finding out what kind of bombing took place, could help narrow down the potential culprits.
4:58 pm Ayala Land has issued a statement saying the blast seems to have originated from outside, not inside, Glorietta 2. Bertie Lim of Makati Business Club dispels text message which quotes him as having blamed the Palace; he says he never said such a thing and that businessmen believe the President needs to get to the bottom of things.
5:31 A blogger who works at an emergency room, gives an eyewitness account of what it was like to be working as the casualties were brought in, See zalveen-ice’s Site:
I was eating lunch when nag aanounce na for the trauma team sa ER. Last time I heard this was nung nag bomb sa MRT nung valentines 3 years ago ata. So I thought baka may vehicular accident na massive. I was wrong…. Sobrang dami tao sa ER blast injuries. Initial reports sabi may LPG leak daw sa Luk Yuen at sumabog yun. Well tha’ts pure speculation. In my humble opinion di ito gas leak masyado madami nasaktan at napakalaki ng area nung blast. Bomb to sa palagay ko. Well during y stay sa ER dami shrapnel injuries yun mga debris ng cement acted like shrapnels nung sumabog. Kawawa innocent people. May dead on arrival, meron din namatay sa harapan ko wasak yun ribs. For a while it gave me goosebumps. I know sanay ako makakita ng dugo sa mga accidents pero iba.
(loose translation: I was eating lunch when the announcement came for the trauma team to go to the emergency room. Last time I heard this was when the MRT was bombed on Valentine’s Day three years go, I think. So I thought there might’ve been a massive vehicular accident. I was wrong… Too many people in the emergency room with blast injuries. Initial reports said there was an LPG leak at Luk Yuen and that it caused the explosion. Well, that’s pure speculation. In my humble opinion it wasn’t a gas leak, too many people were hurt and the area of the blast was too large. It was a bomb, I think. Well during my stay at the emergency room, very many shrapnel injuries the debris from the cement acted like shrapnel when the explosion took place. Poor innocent people. There was someone dead on arrival, there was someone who died in front of me with shattered ribs. For a while it gave me goosebumps. I know I’m used to seeing blood in accident victims but this was different.)
The blogger then concludes.
I couldn’t take pictures kawawa talga and unethical din pero kung nakita nyo magagalit talaga kayo dun sa gumawa.
(loose translation: I couldn’t take pictures, I really pity them and it’s unethical but if you saw what I saw, you would be furious at the perpetrators).
5:54 pm A very angry Sec. Norberto Gonzalez said that if the bombing wasn’t accompanied by demands, it can’t be covered by the Human Security Act. Gonzalez very irritated over comments criticizing the Palace. Says the event does not justify emergency powers for the President.
6:04 pm Maria Ressa says the timing of the blast is within the “bombing season.” Last year was the only year JI hadn’t conducted a bombing within this season. The blast is strong she said, the radius is large, the strongest probably that’s taken place in the country, she says. No burn marks either, if you look at interior damage photos, so this indicates expertise and training, and there are only two umbrella groups with this capacity: JI and law enforcement agencies. It’s interesting she says, in this context, plus recent Australia warning and PNP warnings of Mindanao. She says she’s seen JI plots to bomb Glorietta but they were made in 2002-2003. She says people have to wait for the investigation and that what she’s discussing is putting the blast in the perspective of past events. This is blast impact, “pure wave,” she says. She says sources say it was a bomb, and that C-4 explosive was involved.
7:54 pm Per TV news report, Red Cross says there may still be bodies buried in the rubble. Number of casualties (dead and wounded) has passed the 100 person mark.
8:01 pm The President, dressed soberly in black, addresses the nation. Says it is likely it was a bomb. Issues warning against using the bombing for political motivates. Appeals for country to unite. Asks public to cooperate in increased security measures. Keep abreast of breaking news at Glorietta Blast special section of Inquirer.net.
tonyo links to raw video from an eyewitness.