Was riding the taxi from the domestic airport yesterday when I heard this piece of news on the radio: armed men stormed two banks located inside the sprawling SM mall in Fairview carting away an undetermined amount of cash…
The radio report certainly reminded me that I was back to the organized chaos of Manila after breathing fresh country air. After all, in the provincial places where I came from, I rode a bus at four in the morning without having to fear a holdup or anything.
What happened at SM yesterday must have left some people incredulous. How did that happen in SM which is the favorite mall slash hang-out place of Filipinos? How did those robbers armed with .45s and long guns enter the mall in the first place? On the other hand, considering the senseless security measures enforced in public establishments, including a few supposedly dignified hotels, this incident was long in coming and SM Malls’ management was just waiting for this slap in the face.
Senseless because nothing irritates me more than those security guards who poke my bag with what looks like a barbecue stick before I am allowed to enter the mall. The guards do it so aimlessly and so routinely (sometimes talking to each other while they do so) that it doesn’t really look like they’re doing the task seriously at all.
This is the same situation in hotels and the overhead train systems, site of a previous bombing incident. Poke, poke, poke and there you go!
My kids and I visited SM Manila today and there were already bomb-sniffing dogs. Just another case of too little, too late?