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Batch 67 at the Glorietta

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Doing nothing can be boring. In such moments I could be at my computer playing games. And games after a while, when they have lost their challenge, also become boring.

A one-on-one war in Battle Realms has become boring. Playing Dragon, I’ve been trying to defeat three allied Lotus tribes for a long time now. And I’m beginning to think that my mission is impossible. My boys had laughed at me. One of them taught me that if I click at enemy structures and press Ctrl + D I can destroy them all at no sweat…Thanks, but I don’t want to cheat myself!Besides, I don’t want the game to become boring.

I was crumbling in the face of incessant onslaughts by Lotuses when the Glorietta Blast was flashed. My TV always goes on unnoticed except on familiar jingle of breaking news. I suddenly thought of Batch members Nanding and Tony. I sent a short text message to Nanding (Fernando Urbanozo). He resides in Makati. I also called Tony (Fortunio Arricivita). Thanks God, everyone of them was not there!

Nanding had thrown a special lunch for us there at Glorietta – me, Tony and Batch Tessie (Teresita Mesa) a few weeks before. With Nanding were his wife, son and daughter. They’re all that he’s got.

He and Tony were together in Cebu Institute of Technology after high school. They were also together as Mechanical Engineers for DMCI, Metro Manila. From there, Tony left for Saudi Arabia while Nanding moved to Hitachi, Philippines. For me and Nanding it’s a reunion after 30 years. I and Tony had met occasionally since I came to Metro Manila in 82. It was him who showed me the big city. He started it by treating me to a place called Discovery Disco near Stop & Shop. What can a bagong salta and probinsyano say then but Wow! Wow! and more Wows! Maraming salamat Pare! Also we became Compadre of my second born, Joanne, born 1982 in Marikina.

[Me and Merli have two, born in 82′. Others, ‘black sheeps’ not included. ]

At Glorietta, I remembered being in the same restaurant once but I could not recall when and with whom. The restaurant is or was a good one. In fact it is too good a place to be my idea of an enjoyable place to dine. And my idea of a place? One where I can lick my fingers as I eat my meal! And one where we can be noisy without being minded! And I warned Nanding about it when he first invited me over the phone.

[For those who don’t know, Nanding is married to Susan Caballero of Barrio Obrero, Biscom. We know the Caballeros. We know Binalbagan. But who had known destiny in ’67!]

And the Glorietta agenda? In the next grand homecoming, old time sweeties should be paired together. Great, Aye here! But Pare Tony is against it. He and Tessie have been together since high school, blessed with two sons and three daughters, and with a few grandchildren today! Their eldest, a daughter, is in Canada.

Nanding’s boy is in love with music, he said. The boy is in some musical band. Their girl is about to become a Doctor of medicine. I guess both youngsters, very polite and all smiles, must have been bored having no active part in the meeting. Fine youngsters. They excused themselves early, leaving the five of us in the restaurant.

Later, we decided to make a round of the Glorietta Mall where we saw again the two youngsters. Tony introduced us his son, Jed, whom we saw loitering in there and who works just across Glorietta. Remembering all that gives me some shivers.

Police Conclusion of the Glorietta Blast Released This Evening

Police has concluded that the explosion was accidental and caused by gas. Diesel ignited to explode, people will buy that. Basements are usually alike – big wide enclosure with one or more stairwells and elevator (optional) and/or driveway (optional) ports, one big firing chamber in the case of Glorietta, in the manner of the ‘boga” or the “kanyon” that people fire every coming of the New year. There wont be fire coming after. Oxygen is fully consummated before force can be released from the chamber. People can easily comprehend that. Debris and signs of damage, I believe, point likely to a big Whoosh instead of a big bang of high explosives. The area of the damage if caused by high explosives probably would have shattered a good part of Glorietta to the ground.

I’ve seen police’s simple demonstration of everything in TV. They used bottled diesel fuel for the Fuel tank, plus detonator, all placed inside a holding chamber made of concrete for the Basement, and that’s it.

Many people are questioning the police report. They have doubted it. I think the doubtful part of the report is WHAT ACTUALLY PRIMED IT. Police demonstration used detonating cord/fuse and BLASTING CAP. Investigators have theorized another gas like methane for that.

Maybe somebody for whatever motive placed a small charge at the diesel fuel tank to cause fire in the basement? And it caused explosion and not arson? Naughty bungang isip lang. Maybe I have been imagining too much. I am a construction worker. If it happened in a construction site I will instantly say acetylene primed it all and no doubt about it.

I think Police should fully explain this methane theory to erase all doubts or suspicion by the public of a man-made explosion, to firmly establish accident.

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