7:34 p.m., January 16, 1987, San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines
“Close your eyes!”
“Nobody moves, screams, or looks at us—or I’ll blow his head off!”
My family had barely finished asking the blessing on a Friday evening meal when we were faced with four masked, shabby-looking men brandishing handguns, an M-16 rifle, and a dagger.
How did these people get in here? What do they want?
“I said shut your eyes!” the leader barked, pointing a revolver straight at Dad.
Dad glanced at my two little sisters, my mom (almost nine months pregnant), my three brothers and me, and said…
“Just bow your heads and pray…”
“Yes, you better pray,” the leader mocked. “Because this will be your last!”
My eyelids trembled as I tried to keep them shut.
My knees were shaking. I wanted to do something, but if Dad was powerless right now, what could a 13-year old do?
I prayed that my five-year-old sister wouldn’t...