REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Fil-Am Bianca Monzon-Cueva has lived in Paris since 2008 with her husband and children. She joined Balitang America via Skype to describe how locals in the City of Lights are coping days after Friday’s terror attacks.
Monzon-Cueva said that the areas that were attacked are areas she and her husband and friends would usually go to. She shared, “It’s very disturbing to actually think about it because that’s easily where we would have been on any given Friday night.”
She also described how members of Paris’ Filipino community used social media and smart phone apps to check on one another as news of the attacks spread. She related, “When reports of the attack started coming out, everyone started to mobilize and call everyone in the group to be accounted for.”
Monzon-Cueva stressed that Filipinos there are organized and have their own social groups. She pointed out, “I can imagine that’s how the other Filipinos were similarly accounted for by their friends and loved ones, by phone calls and texts and making sure everyone in the roster is listed as safe.”
Monzon-Cueva lives close to the Eiffel Tower. She said that what were once crowded streets around the Eiffel Tower were now somewhat empty. She said, “You see that when people pass each other, they kind of see who’s passing them. There’s some insecurity.”
But despite the struggle to return to normalcy, she insisted that Paris is getting back on its feet.
In a separate message to Balitang America, she added, “Just tonight there was the initiative Tous Au Bistro that encouraged Parisians to go out and eat at their local restaurants to continue the joie de vivre Parisians are known for and not to let fear overcome the French spirit. The Parisians are always going to remember and never forget, but they will continue to live life the way they are known for — in defiance of the acts that threatened to paralyze that freedom.”