Davao City unbowed
WITH the sunset as their cue, vendors quickly invade Roxas Avenue to set up stalls, tables, chairs and makeshift kitchens. A blanket of smoke from grills is a sign that the night market is already open for business.
It is the center of nightlife in Davao City. A meet-up place for an assortment of people—students, lovers, families and employees who just got out from work. The night market occupies at least three blocks of Roxas Avenue where people can dine, shop and get a massage.
Stalls offer street food, fruits, desserts and full meals including grilled fresh seafood. Vendors also sell a mix of products like brand new clothes, shoes, toys, jewelry, accessories, bags and ukay-ukay.
On the evening of Sept. 2, a powerful blast ripped through the night market killing 14 people and wounding at least 70 others. Davao City was shaken. Its image of safety and peace was challenged. But the people refused to yield to terror.
Three days after the attack, vendors slowly returned to their stalls. Patrons shared photos in social networking sites to show that the night market is open again. On the commemoration of the first week of the bombing, the Roxas night market is again bustling with life.
The only difference is that there now stands a memorial in the middle where people can offer flowers and candles for the victims. There is still an eerie feeling at the blast site, but the crowds that flock to the night market are signs that while Davaoeños are still mourning, they, for sure, are not afraid.
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