A long post fiercely defending Davao City and Davaoenos from Trillanes’ lies and insults has been making the rounds online.
Netizen Shanez CT says she is not the type who fiercely defends the President from critics because there are people who would that for him.
However, when you malign Davao City and her people to make the President look bad, “I will not hesitate to speak mind,” the author says. “Because maybe, just maybe, people would understand where I and many Davaoenos are coming from,” she continues.
Shanez says she has friends who hate President Duterte but she truly respect their opinions and understands them. However, when critics attack Davao City and its people, she will not hesitate to speak her mind.
The author says Davaoenos are proud people because they went through so much and survived.
She says Davao City is what it is now because of the collective sacrifices and pains that they went through together and emerged beautifully from the rubble.
Tells critics who have not lived in Davao City in the 1970’s up to the present to stop calling them names like “bread-dead” zombies and “blind followers of a cult leader” because they will never truly understand their collective journey as a people that brought them to where they are right now.
“You might be surprised to know that many Davaoenos are just as smart as, or maybe even smarter than many well-heeled, highly-educated individuals from other parts of the country. We too use our brains as well as our hearts when we make decisions for the good of ourselves and our families,” Shanez proudly says.
Shanez recalled the horrors she experienced while growing up in darkest days of the Davao City in the pre-Duterte 1970’s.
As young as 7-years old, she worried for her parents’ safety because they had to use dark roads on the way home. One day, her parents were chased by a black unmarked Volkwagen but escaped unharmed. Armed men casually killing a cop or a civilian was the norm. People lived in fear but tried to live normal lives. Hiding in the bathroom when a gun battle erupted outside their house was normal then. Being roused from sleep and whisked to safety by her godfather for fear of a rebel attack when huge military tanks rolled by? That was normal then.
Shanez was not spared of tragic deaths in the family and family friends either. An uncle was stabbed to death by drug addicts. Another uncle shot in Church; luckily he survived. Yet another uncle was killed by gunmen.
Several of her father’s colleagues were mercilessly threatened and killed one by one, as the company they worked for refused to pay the NPA’s revolutionary taxes.
The big bosses of her father traveled with heavily-armed bodyguards to protect them from NPA assassins. Her father, who was not a big boss and had no bodyguards, was spared.
One night, while having dinner, Shanez and her family heard the grenade explosion at the nearby San Pedro Cathedral. Mama had to rush to the hospital to attend to the victims, despite their pleas for her to stay home.
Three times, thieves jumped over the fence into the family compound in the city, the first time, stabbing Nong Manuel, our then 60+ year-old watchman before fleeing. The second and third times, they were chased by Boy Scouts, policemen and a group of civilians, and were luckily caught. When she peered out the window, she saw bloody faces.
When the clock struck 6:00 pm and their parents had not yet arrived, she recalled how she and her brother stood by the window, waiting, pacing, almost-crying, worried where they were at that “late hour”.
“If these are just stories for you, they were real for many of us. THEY WERE REAL FOR ME,” Shanez declared.
“I know many Davaoenos had been through something similar to this, maybe even a lot worse. Now, have you?” Shanez asked.
“If you haven’t, ask yourselves if you have the right to judge and label us the way you do,” she said.
You may continue reading below.
Yes, the whole Philippines suffered from Martial Law…Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Interestingly, Davao was in a tight fix because as the country was oppressed by the government, Davaoenos were caught in the crossfire between the government, the NPAs and the BMAs. We were oppressed from ALL sides, just in case you didn’t know.
Yes, some may claim that there were NPAs operating in other parts of the country, but they were not as active as they were in Davao City, which they chose as the training ground for their sparrow units. Hence, the infamous term “Killing Fields.” In other words, to get back at the government they couldn’t reach in Manila, the rebels turned many Davaoenos into sacrificial lambs. In our midst was a “laboratory for urban guerrilla warfare.” Innocent cops were their favourite targets as communist hit squads killed them for their guns (agaw-armas), thus policemen had to be taken off the streets. In an already chaotic city, crime flourished almost everywhere with no law enforcers in sight.
Thankfully those days are way behind us and we have come a long way since then.
It took a strong leader and a cooperative citizenry to rise above it all. He had to clean up a dirty yard for his citizens to live in and we all just had to do our part.
Mayor Duterte didn’t do it alone. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Many other heroes paved the way. Mayor Duterte followed through and the Davaoenos worked WITH him to attain what we have now. Yes, many ranted and raved, whined and complained whenever a new ordinance was implemented…the speed limit, the liquor curfew, the curfew for minors, the firecracker ban, the no-smoking ordinance. But, like any disciplinarian, he stood pat on his decision and now, most Davaoenos dutifully obey the city’s laws.
Are we oppressed? WE MOST DEFINITELY ARE NOT! Do we live under a dictatorship? WE MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT!
So to those fabulous fiction writers, PLEASE STOP SPREADING LIES MAKING US APPEAR AS PITIFUL SLAVES OF A RUTHLESS LEADER!
Davao City hated Martial Law in the 1970s and early 1980s just like any Manileno or Filipino. When Yellow Friday was launched nationwide, Davaoenos wore yellow shirts and marched through the downtown streets, chanting “Sobra Na, Tama Na, Palitan Na”, singing “Bayan Ko”. We joined noise barrages and did what everyone else in Manila did to show our unity as a country.
When Marcos left on the night of February 25, 1986, I was reading a Sweet Dreams book in my room when I heard the church bells tolling and people shouting outside. I rushed out to see that people were converging in the streets. Since my Papa was already sleeping, we snuck out in our pajamas in his pick-up truck, with my cousin at the wheel and I was overwhelmed by the number of people dancing in the streets, hugging each other, overjoyed.
We were in Daphne’s house when the Senate refused to open the controversial envelope during Estrada’s impeachment trial and we were among the first to go to Rizal Park where a small crowd was already gathering. We celebrated EDSA 2, just like the rest of the Philippines.
We hate oppression just as much as every Filipino does.
Now, would we be crazy to go back to those days which we ourselves abhorred? I think not. If Mayor Duterte is such a terrible person, don’t you think it was so easy to kick him out of office by simply not voting for him?
The man hardly campaigned whenever he ran for Mayor, Vice-Mayor and Congressman in the past. I don’t recall seeing campaign posters in the streets. Why is that? Simple…MOST people of Davao love him. They don’t fear him. They love him.
(Ok, I know. Not all Davaoenos like the Mayor. Their reasons I will never question as I respect them as well.)
So, please, don’t go around claiming that we live in fear of a man who has shaken the status quo of Philippine politics.
The man isn’t the typical smooth-talking politician we have been accustomed to who says what we want to hear. He says what we DO NOT want to hear and yes, the truth hurts…a lot, sometimes. He is rough around the edges; I would cringe at every cuss word, my toes would curl with every controversial statement. Sometimes, my heart would drop to the floor. There are times when I don’t agree with what he says and does. But at the end of the day, he delivers. And my decision to support him, despite his flaws, doesn’t make me less of a Filipino or a human being.
In the meantime, while hoping for the best for this country, every evening, I would tuck my children in that pastel-striped blanket that kept me warm during that horrible night many, many years ago, grateful that they do not have to go through the fears which used to keep me up at night when I was their age, while fervently praying that they never would have to…ever…