Zamboanga Seige and Me As I was scanning my Facebook newsfeed, a post form my sister struck me and in that post she was asking if it is true that the members of the MNLF group were able to enter our city. I can still remember the feeling I felt that dawn, the feeling that I don’t know where to put myself because my mom, dad, siblings, niece, nephew and relatives are staying at Tugbungan – an adjacent barangay to Barangay Mariki using speedboat. Aside from that I am trembling because of the fear inside and out of my system.
That was Just the start of the 20 days and counting sleepless nights I and my family experience. On the succeeding days, it was more horrifying and heart- stopping. As I hear the gunshots and explosions my heart Jumps and stops to beat for a second. l, as a Zamboangena living in this city for 21 years, am not used to hear and experience such things. From that on, my past 20 days was never normal. I am always alert and am living my life now in fear that one day I might wake up losing someone close to my heart or the barangay where I am staying might also be ttacked.
My normal routine like doing my thesis, going to school and having quality time with friends and family was cut off. With the attack of the MNLF everything for me was shut down – from the progress of my thesis to the point our business was force to be close due to the shutting down of the Zamboanga Port. Everything for me was a mess but despite the frustration, I extended help by disseminating verified information through Facebook. As a mass communicator, I should make out something despite the crisis we are facing.

Since I cannot submit myself to evacuation centers to personally help due to security purpose, what I did was spread helpful information in Facebook and through text messaging. My Facebook feed became a home for information and I set aside the narcissist inside me which I believe that an Atenean should do in times like this. Although I am sad that still some of us are insensitive of what’s happening around especially in the city. There are still a number of Ateneans that post non-sense stuff and their selfie despite the alarming nd heart breaking event we are facing.
Now as all of this continues which is I don’t know any more who to believe and who is telling the truth, my life or should I say all of our lives is somehow destroyed especially to the most affected. All I can do now is hope and pray that this crisis will be over and may Allah bless and guide the decisions of our leaders and lastly guard their decisions that it will always be for the greater good. Reflection Zamboanga Seige By Sheena Rose-Andas

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