Monday, September 12, 2005


I was on my way to meet my brother and his family for a brunch at Edsa Shangri-la Mall last Sunday. My mom and I were running late in meeting them at CPK so I dropped her off at the drive-way of the mall and then rushed to deposit the car at the nearby parking building.

I found a parking slot at the 2nd level but foolishly, instead of going down and then across the street, I went to the 5th level via the elevator and used the bridgeway connecting the two buildings. From the 5th floor of the mall, I used the series of escalators going down to the 2nd floor where CPK was located.

I had just gotten off the escalator near the Dreyer's cafe when I heard it: a rising wave of sound composed of screams and murmurs. My first thought was that there was a celebrity or a movie star on the premises, hence the hullaballoo. But looking around, I saw that people were looking up at the 5th floor of the mall and pointing below at the 1st.

(For those who don' t know, the mall is layered and semi-hollow: if you're standing on the 2nd, you'll be able to see the upper floors from where you're standing and part of the 1st below you. But I digress...)

It was only later on that I realized I heard something else-- almost dwarfed by the cries-- that of the sound of a body hitting against something hard.

When I got to the nearby ledge overlooking the 1st floor (already full of people), I saw the reason for the commotion. Someone had jumped off-- or fallen from-- the 5th floor and landed smack-dab in the middle of the 1st floor lobby near the entrance doors. From where I stood, I saw that the man had landed face down and one of his slippers had fallen from his foot.

As security guards tried to get control of the situation, I asked the old man next to me what had happened. It was simple enough: the man below had fallen from the 5th floor above. Whether it was an accident or he had leaped was unsure. As I walked away to meet with my family, the only thought in my head was: Shit. No, I won't get a picture of the jumper despite my job. No fucking wonder people think reporters are goddamn vultures.

I later learned that despite the fall, the man survived but was in critical condition at the nearby Medical City hospital.

For other details, see this article.

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