by Miles Therese Granada | Circulation Manager
Way back 5 years ago, I made a decision to come here in Dumaguete for me to pursue my college degree. Born and raised Ilongga, travelling through land from the Occidental hoping and wishing that in this tranquil city of the Oriental, I could reach my goals and aspirations. The humid climate yet sunny weather also enthralled tourists to roam around the city and its neighboring islands and beaches. A paradise in the Visayas as many would say.
People here would greet you with warm hugs and with huge smiles. The person serving in the Silliman kiosk can be your “ate” or “ning”. The guard in the Silliman gates who greets you with a smiling face or the parking boys outside of the streets and in the outskirts of town can also be your “kuya” at any means. You see, everyone is treated like a family here. Your friend’s parents are basically your titos and titas and your friend’s cousin is also your “gaw”. Maybe these are the few things why I love Dumaguete City, because of its safe and calm environment. It feels like my home away from home.
Regardless of how peaceful this city as it may have been, with recent happenings about gun shooting and stabbing, my views are slightly shaken. Months ago, news has circulated of the college girl from a nearby university walking along the Hibbard Avenue around 9 PM that was stabbed by a man whom everyone thought was her boyfriend having an argument with her. Another incident happened last summer when a media person was shot dead by riding-in-tandem as he was getting off a tricycle. And last week, a fistfight happened between 3 people and one of them was an alumnus of Silliman University; fortunately he survived but his friend passed away.
With whatever motive those killers or gun shooters have, the fact that these are happening right before our eyes are daunting and scary. Before, I would confidently walk along the streets of Silliman Avenue at nine in the evening or the sidewalk of Jollibee North Road to grab some fries after my 7 PM. Class. The fact that there is no safe place in this world anymore leaves me worried all the time and also anxious for my safety. Before I can study until 2 AM at McDonalds for the upcoming midterms, today I fear of going out beyond 8 o’clock. And other times, I would pray while hailing for a pedicab, to just spare me from the unexpected danger that may happen.
Nevertheless, the wrongdoings of few people cannot just represent the community as a whole. Maybe the streets aren’t safe anymore for a lady like me walking at night time and also not safe for anyone else, right? The wisest thing to do is to be pre-cautious enough and to be vigilant anytime, anywhere. Well, as to the question on the top, is this city still “The City of Gentle People”? Well, it’s for you everyone to decide and justify.