They said February 14 was the day of rage. In fact, we didn’t have work, just to be safe.It could have been a perfect Valentines day if I were in the Philippines.
I woke up late, to my pleasure, did what I can’t on an ordinary weekday-DVD and real food. I was merely waiting for sounds of bombs, helicopter, and all the drama, being a movie junkie that I am. There was none. In contrary, all was quiet, peaceful, and stagnant.
Out of curiosity, my brother urged me that we go out and see what rage is in Bahrain. He was able to convince me with an offer that I get a chance to take photos of the commotion. My intrigued creativity was struck and so I geared up, bringing only my camera and a sweater.
We drove, I, for one, feeling little jitters, for no one knows what awaits us. We are safely sheltered at home and this stupid thing were gonna do, looking for the trouble, I can already hear my mama screaming.
To make the trip a little comfortable, we were cracking jokes at each other how later I have visions of my mother fetching us at the rally site, showing off her ID to the authorities to claim back her troubled children. Oh how hard we laughed. Katy Perry on the background helped ease out.
We had a tip that things are starting to get chaotic in Muharraq. So that’s the first site we aimed at going. Yes, silly as we are. But minutes passed, and we saw no trace of rebellion. In fact, the roads were too peaceful and spacious, I’m starting to wish for a daily rally.
After seeing nothin in Muharraq, we tried to follow the path of the parade as press released. We went to City Centre and Seef mall and surprised to see that the road to the malls are barricaded. We looked further, and the entire mall was really closed, maybe business security measures, we thought.
We drove back heading to maybe Budaiya or Manama. And then we saw a crowd building up, excitement grew on us. We think we finally got the right destination. Cars were intermittently honking, flags hung on cars, traffic was definitely building up.
They tag children along. That’s how tight family ties are. But after a while we figured, this group is maybe pro-king. These are maybe not the raging people. They were kind of calm and organized. We were expecting burning tires, slogans in red, and all the rally brouhaha.
Rumor has it, that the king doled out about a thousand BDs to families to discourage them from participating in the rally. We thought, these must be them, campaigning, to counter the rage.
Police visibility was a hundred percent. Light flashes, police cars and motorbikes are each in strategic areas within the city.
We drove away from the traffic, my brother not a fan of slow-moving vehicles, and subsequently saw that every intersection leading to Budaiya, the rally site, were blocked by police cars and orange barricades. A lot of drivers were confused of course, resulting to severing traffic situation. We wondered what happens to people going home to Budaiya. If there’s no way for them to drive in, what happens to them? Where do they spend the night? Same thing for cars who got stuck inside Budaiya and who needs to go back to where they came from.
I find the police control very effective, in this perspective. It was a preventive measure, avoiding more people from getting in trouble. They contained the chaos within one controllable area. What happens inside Budaiya, I knew only from the news. There were tear gases thrown on air and rubber bullets shot to disperse the crowd. One person was allegedly confirmed dead, for cause I am yet to know.
I read from Reuters there were helicopters atop the Budaiya area. From my point of view, news made it seem so chaotic, Egypt level. People are already asking me if we have plans of moving out of the country. They made it appear that alarming, it is so over rated.
It is better safe than sorry. We stayed in, and away from the central chaos. They said nobody knows how long the protesters will remain in the streets, I hope not long.
They have reasons for doing this for sure. They have their own convictions. Whatever that is, I pray, in community with this Moslem country, that not another life gets wasted for a cause that can be dealt with peacefully, in a very civilized manner.
Let there be peace.
And by the way, no single rally scene got captured in my lens. Futile adventure.