What started out as a very ordinary December 30 for Joel Atienza turned out to be a life-changing day when he found himself one of the victims of the infamous Rizal Day Bombing in the year 2000.
Atienza was aboard an LRT train approaching the Blumentritt station when a bomb exploded. The explosion, which was one of five bombings in Metro Manila within that day, instantly killed two passengers and shattered not only Atienza’s feet but also his dreams.
He was supposed to ask for the hand of her girlfriend from her parents on New Year’s Day. He dreamt of starting a family in 2001. Suddenly, all of these plans seemed gone.
Joel was initially angry, frustrated and hopeless. He even thought that dying was the better alternative for him that time. But as a testament to the unwavering spirit of the Filipinos no matter what odds they face, he managed to recover his bearings and appreciate anew the beauty life has to offer, in spite of the physical limitations he had to contend with as a result of the bombing.
Watch Joel’s complete story on “I Survived” anchored by Ces Oreña Drilon this Thursday (July 29), after “Bandila” on ABS-CBN.