January 9, 2023

Struggles of the Past

We went to Intramuros today, the historic walled city of Manila.

We walked for hours. Visited centuries-old churches, rested at the plazas scattered about, and read about the history of the old Spanish bastions.

The walled city has a colorful past—of war, destruction, and blood.

In Fort Santiago, there's a dungeon originally built for storing ammunition and gunpowder. But during WWII, it became a prison. A torture chamber. Prisoners were locked inside, starved to death.

It wasn't even a prison. There was no bathroom, nothing built for comfort. It was for storage, not meant for the 600 prisoners locked there. Not meant for one person.

I could imagine their anguish. The desperation. The fear. The smell.

Wars bring the worst in many people. Wars bring hardship that should never have existed.

And we are lucky to live in a time of comfort and luxury. Of convenience and instant gratification.

Yet, we complain of the littlest things.