MAGANES: Moving on from trauma

November 11, 2019 at 10:15 pm Leave a comment


As I am writing this, I can’t help but recall the November 8, 2016 incident that almost cost me my life. The events were vividly etched in my mind that thinking about it brings shivers down my spine. Thank God that I still enjoy the breath of life and savor the beauty of nature and the relationship with few real and good friends, and with my family.

.vir

 On that day, I rode in a tricycle going to Villasis downtown to get another ride going to Dagupan City for my radio program over DWPR Radyo Asenso. It was still dark at 5:00 o’clock in the morning. The weather was cold and damp. The crows of roosters as well the barks of dogs could be heard from afar. I did not sense any danger on that morning. It was my usual daily routine. The tricycle that I used to ride on everyday was owned by a neighbor whose house was just a stone’s throw away from our house.

 When we were negotiating the Asingan-Villasis Provincial Road, I heard three gun shot sounds coming from behind the tricycle. I did not notice that I was the target of the gun shots until the tricycle swiftly swerved to the left portion of the road. The driver and a woman back rider jumped off from the vehicle leaving me inside. In seconds, a motorcycle with two men riding went near me. The man at the back poked his gun towards me and fired a shot and sped away towards the Poblacion area.

 It was so fast that I did not notice that I was wounded. I played dead by not moving thinking that they might return to finish me off. I then realized that blood kept on oozing from my right side. I squeezed the wound and alighted from the tricycle waving to those tricycle drivers  passing by. No one dared to stop and extend succor to me. There was one fellow who approached me that when he recognized me, he immediately took his tricycle and gave me a ride. I instructed him to take me to the Polymedic and Trauma Hospital in Villasis but it was closed. I told the driver to take me to Dr. Marcelino Chan Memorial Hospital in Carmen West, Rosales.

 At the hospital, I was attended immediately by the medical crew. A nurse provided first aid and put gauze to stop the flow of blood. I was a little bit relieved of the pain. I directed the tricycle driver to report to the Villasis Police Station. After few minutes, the medical staff brought me to the X-ray room. After the X-ray, I was brought in a room to wait for my attending physician and to have a rest. Intravenous liquid provided me strength during those periods. I noticed too that two policemen guarded my room and was told also that two other policemen were posted at the entrance of the hospital.

Relatives and friends came to visit me at the hospital. At 5:00 in the afternoon, Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco of Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) came over along with the Police Regional Director of PNP Region I and Provincial Director Ronald Oliver Lee of Pangasinan. They were accompanied with many police officers and had a command conference. Undersecretary Egco assured me that he will do his best to support my case including Secretary Martin Andanar.

I had my wound debridement in the evening of November 9 and was released from the hospital on November 10 but was instructed by my attending doctor to report to him every other day for wound cleansing. Hospital costs were shouldered by good Samaritan persons who continuously provided me with financial assistance until I fully recovered.

Why am I recounting those events surrounding the incident?  It’s not to ask sympathy or any support from the readers of this article. This is to point out that after the incident that I experienced, the pain did not end after the hospitalization. It was more than that. The physical pain vanished for a short period of time but the emotional pain lingered on forever. Whenever I read news articles about fellow media men who suffered the same fate as mine whether they survived or dead, that incident hounds me.

For three years I was in trauma. I could not concentrate on my work. The zest to work eroded day by day. At night, I experienced nightmares. The incident how hard I tried to forget kept on lingering. Aside from the trauma, there was also the fear that said incident will happen again. I became paranoid on being alone. I was suspicious of people around me that I shied away from even those so-called friends.

The trauma did not only affect me. Even my family was not spared. There was a time that they distanced themselves from me. They feared for their lives too because bullets do not respect any person. However, they were my first support group. They extended help in their own ways. They cheered me up, and yet the bitterness is still there.

I am praying that impunity against media practitioners will end soon. I am praying too that no similar incident will happen to media colleagues in Pangasinan. As I said physical pain will end but the trauma lingers on.

I am trying to make my life as normal as before. I am now making friends with other groups and dissociate myself from my previous groups that I thought could be my support groups but were not.

Life has to move on!

(For comments and suggestions email me at virgilmaganes42@gmail.com. Read my blog The Roving Pen at http://www.virgilmaganes.wordpress.com and the online edition of Northern Watch at http:// northwatch.wordpress.com.)

Entry filed under: News.

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