For almost the entire Philippines, the first thing that comes into their mind when Lauren Rosales is mentioned is that “girl who was shot in a jeepney”. At the age of twenty-six, that was her final and unfortunately, most famous moniker.
But for her loved ones, Lauren Rosales was Kulot (Curly), Nangnang (Grandmother), Superwoman, Bebe Lauren, Babe, Honey and Hun-Hun. She was a young woman who first delved into the fandoms when the Taiwanese drama “Meteor Garden” first aired in the Philippines. She was one of the youngest members of the fanclub for that show at the age of thirteen. Most of her fellow fangirls were college students and young professionals.
Lauren Rosales outside the meet and greet venue for Kim Hyun Joong
In her college years, she decided to work part-time to support her new fandoms which are the Korean boybands Super Junior and SS501. At this point, you might think that all she cares about is fangirling but to her loved ones, they know that she is capable of balancing her professional life with her life as a fangirl.
What made her even more inspiring was the fact that despite being active in her fandoms, she managed to maintain her college scholarship and graduate as a cum laude. That success of course, led her to being hired by Bayer where she was assigned to the Carewell Foundation to work on monitoring drug distribution and the cancer patients under the foundation.
Her first career became her stepping stone to another career in the fast food industry as a popular fast food joint – ultimately becoming the executive assistant to the general manager.
Her years of hard work finally brought her to Taiwan to meet F4 of Meteor Garden fame. A dream that was previously put on hold during her early days in the Meteor Garden fandom (due to the fact that back then, she lacked the time and funds to go to Taiwan with fellow Meteor Garden fans).
The next journey she was to embark would have been in Japan next year, if not for the gunman who ended her life for various reasons leading to being a victim of stray bullets to being a victim of extrajudicial killings.
Take a good look at the life that we have indirectly ended through our failure to vote tactically in the last elections. This was a woman who only had nothing but harmless interests, nothing but a soul of determination to reach for her dreams by doing what is right and just.
This was a woman who only wanted to make our world a better place in the little things that she does. She is one of the many Filipinos working hard to keep this country alive – not just economically, but socially as well.
We as a country have failed to nurture the people who made their lives better through honest means. Instead, we let our paranoia for public safety issues that affect these hard working people be tainted with ideological purity and you know what that got us? Leaders who turn a blind eye to the people being killed unjustly, to the people who died because someone thought they looked like criminals.
To Lauren, to the people who died in unjust means and to their loved ones – we are so sorry for letting ideological purity take over our pragmatism as we worried for the safety and future of this country.
We are so sorry for voting for the wrong candidates, for having selfish reasons to vote for these wrong candidates and in effect, for allowing insensitive people to take charge of this country.
No amount of apologies will bring back these lost lives to frankly put it but we hope that with these apologies, we will be able to eventually stop more innocent lives from being lost.
We hope this is a lesson learned for all of us. To consider the people around us when we make big decisions, especially big decisions that will affect the people around us. Big decisions like voting for our next elected officials in the next elections.
No one really knows for sure about what Lauren would say if she were alive today but perhaps, she will appreciate it if we made our country safer for hardworking and honest people like her by steering clear of ideological purity when we make that one choice that will pry our country from the hands of insensitive people.