DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Almost a year ago, Edmon Arellano, who was a former security guard at a shopping center here, vowed to run after terrorist groups if the government gives him the chance.

But the chance did not come and he will not take it anyway because no one would look after his three young children.

Arellano lost his wife, Ma. Luz to the deadly blast at the night market along Roxas Avenue here on September 2 last year.

Ma. Luz, a native of Banay-banay in Davao Oriental was a massage therapist. She was among the 15 casualties who died in the blast. One of the victims was a pregnant woman.

Her death, Arellano said, brought the emptiness in their home, which he strives to fill in every day.

When his wife died, Arellano resigned from work to look after Dave Yukixis, 6; Athea, 4 and Zxania, 3.

In an interview with Davao Today on August 31, Arellano was rushing to go home to his children who were being looked after by his younger sister.

“Lisud kaayo, ako ra usa. Lisud gyud kaayo (It’s very difficult, I am left alone attending to the children. It’s really difficult),” he said.

Arellano takes the opportunity to get passengers on his habal-habal (single motorcycle) in Buhangin here. He earns P100 to P200 a day driving for only three hours, while his children are asleep.

He has to be back at the house by 5 pm to prepare for their food.

With no stable job, Arellano admits what he earns from driving is not enough to buy food, vitamins, and school projects of his children.

The cash aid given by the government is already depleting, he said.

On Thursday night, the city remembered the night market blast with a Eucharistic mass offered for the survivors and victims. Some of the survivors said they have already moved on.

But seeing the name of his wife engraved on the marker at the center of the busy night market, is a bitter reminder not only because of a loss, but because he now has to support their family on his own. (davaotoday.com)

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