Saturday, November 22, 2008


“How do you cross the line from robbery to murder?”

It was what Bianca asked me when she finally went online after the tragedy. I wasn’t supposed to write anything about this, the family wants to keep this tragedy private. But when she shared the story, she made a point there that made me feel compelled to do this. Mamang, as all of us call her, the mother of Tita Ayie, Tita Ayie being Mum’s bestfriend, a close family friend, was murdered last November 19, 2008 at their residence in Manila. She was 86. They were robbed and the robbers looting her jewelries and stuff decided to take her life as well. It is not fair for animals to be compared to these bastards; they are much, much worse.

Be happy with the Lord, Mamang. Look over your family.

It was around past 7:00 am when Mum’s celfone was ringing non-stop. She’s taking a bath and everyone knows I won’t go near ringing phones or buzzing alerts. I was still somewhat asleep then so I just let it go on and on and on, and then I dozed off. It was a shocked gasp from Mum that made me come to my senses. “Nac, pinatay daw si Mamang.” What? I must be dreaming. It’s not a statement that you hear everyday, and don’t ever want to hear really. Normally, I’d be grouchy from being awakened by loud voices and avoidable noises…not this time. I hurriedly did my morning rituals, and before you know it, we’re off to Tita Ayie’s house. It was the longest trip to their place ever. When we got there, that’s when it all sunk in.

Investigators are everywhere and the body is still there. Like what Bianca said, I wouldn’t go to the details on how she was taken from us…it’s inhuman and unforgivable. Tita Mat was being comforted by some neighbors, and then I saw her, Tita Ayie, always as strong as ever, trying so hard to relate to the police what had happened. At that point, no one can really tell what transpired; just the specifics. Someone broke into the house around 3:00 am to 5:00 am, successfully ransacking Mamang’s room and stealing some valuables, and then…

Knowing that I wouldn’t be of any help, I decided to go ahead. I have work that day and I need to get my mind off the horrible incident anyways. The whole day, I was in awe. I was still my classic self with smiles and everything, but then I remember, and my thoughts shut down. “Why did she have to die like that? She’s old. Couldn’t she have gone peacefully?” I mean, what kind of human being--wait, no. They are not human beings. They are not capable of emotions! I only told one friend about this because it’s hard to keep something like this to one’s self. I felt like I’d break down each passing minute as I struggle to contain the heartbreak.

When I got home, Iya told me that the police had caught the criminals. There were five of them who went inside Tita’s house but only one of them did the deed. It was their youngest member, a 14-year-old kid, who felt like he was cheated from the plundering and decided to report to the authorities the whole thing. Their ringleader, a 20-year-old man, admitted to finishing off Mamang. He was their neighbor. And here’s the irony, the media decided to make the story more interesting by publishing online articles that Mamang was the bad person. The killer even went as far as to blame her for being prejudiced against their religion and was making his life miserable with her constant bickerings. All these inaccurate reports that weren’t even written by legitimate reporters…it just adds grief to the family.

No, Mamang was not prejudiced about other religions. She may be blunt and direct to the point, but she was always sweet and cared for her family, even to us, her extended family. So those petty articles are really inaccurate.

Mamang, I will miss you. You made the meanest spaghetti and this native ulam that I forgot. You were taken away from your family in the harshest and nastiest way possible. Nevertheless, I know by now you’re looking down on us wishing for our happiness and relief from grief. Thank you so much, Mamang!

Here’s one of those better articles about Mamang’s killing courtesy of Bianca. “Five Suspects Held for “Lola’s” Slay.”

Video from


KAdz said...

Deaths of people that you know, that may have been too much to take.

I hope your lola gets justice.

keem said...

Deepest condolences, Tim.

AthensDLR said...

Condolence, Tim.

timeenutlatte said...

Friends: Much gratitude on our part. Even though she's not a blood relative, she was family to our family.

I really do hope justice will be served.

KK: Yeah, so much death this year! Freaky!

odt said...

no words can explain, t.

timeenutlatte said...

Yeah. Exact same sentiment. I'm still feeling the after effects. But it's all good. Gratitude, O!

momikristin said...

Will include her in our prayers.. Condolence Tim.

timeenutlatte said...

Much appreciated, Kristin.