One of the first things I saw on Twitter was a farewell tweet to "Sir Pavia." I thought it was referring to a relative of Em-J so I went to his Facebook profile to offer my condolences if ever. I was not prepared to find out that it was him who got killed.
Yes, KILLED. Shot dead. On his way home from Ateneo where he's teaching.
I met Em-J through HumbleBola. We've seen each other only twice probably, interacted online through Twitter and chat groups a few times, but I was super affected by his death. I still am. I keep on reading tributes about him and crying every few minutes here in the office.
We've been hearing news of senseless deaths all around the world. I've been enraged by the terrorist attacks and the alarming increase in extra-judicial killings in our very own country in the past weeks.
I am very affected because this particular crime, this particular senseless death hits close to home.
This culture of hate. This culture of violence. It's saddening. It's maddening. And it's frightening. What should we do? How do we put an end to this? It seriously pains me to not know the answers.
"If we have the opportunity to be extraordinary, seize it,
and never settle for anything less than giving our very best
in whatever it is we do."
I took this to heart today, Em-J. Thanks for these inspiring words.
I saved our conversations about Ateneo basketball so that I have something to remember you by. Man, I wish I got to know you better. I grieve with your family, your friends, your students, and all the many others whose lives you've touched.
Eternal rest grant unto Em-J, O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.