Earlier today (September 2, 2016) an explosion rocked Davao, killing 10 people and injuring at least 60 others.
The explosion took place in the night (about 10:30PM) at the very popular Roxas Street Market. The market usually has many thousands of people there at that time.
I was just there in May. This is a sad happening in Davao.
I will post a few photos I took while there, to give you a sense of how it looks on a typical night.
Roxas street typically has 5,000 - 10,000 people walking closely together and sitting together in the hundreds of street vendor stalls and eating places.
It is a HUGE crowd of people, milling about, walking slowly from one food
vendor to another. It is nothing but a busy street during the day, but at night vendors erect temporary stalls where they usually barbecue
meats and other foods. It is a very interesting place to see, and one of my favorite things to see in Davao.
Notably, the street is such a Mecca for tourists and locals who come to eat and shop, that there is always a police presence there too. In fact, there are always several police officers and undercover policemen too (looking for pickpockets etc.). I spoke with the onsite police about this while walking the Roxas market. In general they consider the Roxas market "safe" for tourists, with occasional pickpockets. The police are usually very visible with a marked vehicle and walking or riding bicycles. There are also usually some of the local "paramilitary" security
types walking around and some of the businesses do have security
guards stationed at their doors.
Notably, the people of Davao consider it "safe" as every night of the week, in good weather
, about 10,000 people show up. It is normally fun. It is located close to a major private University, so many college students meet there. It is nice to see families with children
walking and enjoying ice cream and other foods. Normally, it is a VERY nice place to visit.
Reports say this happened while the new Philippine President Duterte was in town. Could this be a terrorist bombing to discredit the President's new security crackdown in the Philippines
? Or could it possibly be just an explosion of one of the hundreds of propane tanks
used by the street vendors? Whether it was planned or accidental, the result is tragic.
Davao has seen terrorist bombings in the past, notably at a shopping
theatre. Consequently the local shopping
malls have many security guards who check the purses and packages of any shoppers entering the malls, including a TSA type pat down and searches of vehicles entering their parking garages.
Here is a link to one of the news reports.
Philippines explosion: 12 dead, 60 injured in Davao City market blast - CNN.com