For our dear Amiel’s
1st yr death anniversary,
Ateneo set Mass on 24th Feb, 6:30 AM
at Ateneo Grade School Chapel.
Breakfast will follow.
Also in the evening of 24th feb,
we have arranged 6:30 pm
prayer and candle lighting
at the Amiel Marker in front of Ateneo Grade School.
Pls join salo-salo dinner in the grounds after.
message posted at facebook “Justice For Amiel Alcantara”
it is close to being one year since the death of amiel alcantara, the grade 4 student of ateneo de manila grade school. this is not easy to forget – our children who go to school are supposed to be home at 4 pm. the school, after all in our minds is one of the safest places for your young children to be in. this did not happen in february 24, 2009 for amiel.
amiel was crushed by a speeding van to the back of a CRV. he died shortly. i remember talking to pepe, amiel’s dad and asked him what happened that afternoon. he told me, he was in the car when he got the call about the news on amiel. he told me he screamed when he was told amiel had died.
i can only imagine the anguish and pain that pepe felt. but i do not think that what pepe felt can approximate the pain and loss he felt even if i used the most vivid imagination that i can muster.
it is a senseless loss. and it was a great loss. on the approach of the 1 year death anniversary of amiel, we hope and pray that he sits with the Lord in heaven in eternal peace. we also hope that the family of amiel, his parents, siblings and other relatives have learned to find peace in their hearts.
for more exclusive photos, please click : http://amielsfootprints.wordpress.com/
these are pictures contributed by solar. we like to thank solar for his contribution to this blog.
we hope that this marker for amiel will remind us on a daily basis that we should honor this young boy’s life by staying safe in that parking lot. for pedestrians to follow all the rules all the time and for drivers to always take caution and drive slow in that area.
“impossible traffic” was how one ateneo dad describes the traffic situation at the AGS. we concur.
it has now taken much longer, at around 2 to 3 times longer to get in and out of the ateneo campus in the morning during drop-off and most specially in the afternoon at pick-up. what used to be getting in and out of the ateneo from 10 to 20 minutes, it is now anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes depending on the time. and that is just to get out and in to the AGS campus.
something is also wrong now at katipunan, on the approach to and getting out of the ateneo campus. traffic lines are now much longer, bumper to bumper and standstill traffic is more common. we wonder if the new traffic scheme implemented at the AGS is causing the traffic jam outside of ateneo. commuters and drivers along katipunan must now be fuming mad at ateneo.
pictures were taken on june 19, afternoon dismissal.
comments and suggestions posted here, to read, please click: http://wawam.wordpress.com/new-ags-traffic-scheme-comments-suggestions/
we received an email that contains a traffic plan for the AGS. the email says this was developed by a group of professionals on design and safety – architects and engineers and was submitted to the multi-stakeholder committee for consideration.
this traffic scheme is very different from the one that is being implemented now which means this was not at all adapted by the committee.
Design and Safety Philosophy : Separate Pedestrian and Vehicular Traffic
The safety of the Children is the paramount consideration to the design of any Traffic Scheme for schools. The best way to achieve this is to follow the tried and tested standard of separating pedestrian streams with that of vehicular flows to minimize if not to totally eradicate accidents of Ateneo’s students—the children of the main stakeholders of Ateneo de Manila University.
1. Enlarged / Lengthened Waiting Areas.
The Waiting Areas (may be covered later) for fetching and dropping off students shall be lengthened by about 6 times the existing lengths. This shall discourage drivers from fetching and dropping off students in the middle of the road which may lead to another accident.
2. Central Waiting Area.
Pedestrian and Vehicular Streams should not cross as much as possible, therefore, a core shall be created making use of the Blue Eagle Gym, Irwin Theater and the Inner Driveway serviced by 2 Road Loops. The Inner driveway shall be used as a Holding Area where students can play safely in a gated (fenced) environment while waiting for their fetchers.
The Central Pedestrian / Waiting Area (where the current faculty parking is located) shall be connected to the Inner Driveway via the existing covered walkway from the Cafeteria or the existing open walkway (usually reserved for teachers only) through the Inner Driveway Courtyard where the statues of the Holy Family are located. From this Central Pedestrian / Waiting Area, students shall branch out to the Blue Eagle Gym, Irwin Theater and the Pedestrian /Waiting Area outside the Inner Driveway.
1. Gate 1 Entry.
From Gate 1, drivers proceed to Road Loop 1 and may drop off or fetch students along the lengths of Pedestrian / Waiting Areas A & B. They then exit through the Collector Road toward Gate 2-B or park their vehicles in the Parking Lots.
2. Gates 2 and 3 Entries.
From Gate 2, drivers proceed via Mastersons Drive to Road Loop 2 and may drop off or fetch students along the lengths of Pedestrian / Waiting Areas D & E. They then exit through Gate 2-B or Gate 3 or park their vehicles in the Parking Lots.
Drivers entering Gates 2 or 3 may also access Road Loop 1 via the Collector Road and may drop off or fetch students along the lengths of Pedestrian / Waiting Areas A & B. They then exit through the Collector Road toward Gate 2-B or park their vehicles in the Parking Lots.
3. School Bus.
School Buses may enter Gate 1, proceed to Road Loop 1 to drop off students along the lengths of Pedestrian / Waiting Areas A & B. They then proceed to the School Bus Parking via the Collector Road.
School Buses may also enter Gates 2 & 3, proceed to Road Loop 2 to drop off students along the lengths of Pedestrian / Waiting Areas D & E. They then proceed to the School Bus Parking via Mastersons Drive. Students are fetched by School Buses in their respective School Bus Parking slots along the lengths of Pedestrian / Waiting Areas C-1 & C-2 around the Blue Eagle Gym. Students walk to Pedestrian / Waiting Areas C-1 & C-2 without crossing roads / streets.
4. Faculty Parking.
Faculty Parking behind the Blue Eagle Gym and Parking of Administrators at the Inner Driveway shall be relocated to the rear of the Cafeteria where they walk through existing Covered Walkways at the side of the Cafeteria.
5. Fetchers’ Parking.
Existing parking for the general public shall remain. Access to these areas shall be via manned Pedestrian Crossings through Pedestrian / Waiting Areas D and C-1.
we have set up a separate page for your comments and suggestions on the new AGS traffic scheme that will be implemented on june 10, 2009.
fr. nebres in a posting in this blog says he reads this blog. your comments posted here hopefully will reach fr. nebres.
please give your comments and suggestions, good or bad in this page: http://wawam.wordpress.com/new-ags-traffic-scheme-comments-suggestions/ or click the tab at the top of this page.
there is also a Photo Gallery Of The New AGS Traffic Scheme – view photos of the effect of the new traffic scheme here. we also invite everyone to send us their photos so we can publish it here. email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. view this page here: http://wawam.wordpress.com/new-ags-traffic-scheme-comments-suggestions/photo-gallery-of-new-ags-traffic-scheme/
please let other parents know about this as well.
based on the latest traffic scheme released by the ateneo, the teachers’ reserved parking lot is still there and will not be moved elsewhere. that space could be used as exit for cars getting out of the congested parking lot. it will increase efficiency and safety for all.
removing that reserved parking lot and turning it to use for fetchers and students is also one of the unanimous suggestion of parents and even professionals/experts. we do not understand why ateneo is blind and insensitive to that improvement.
we think it is best to remove that reserved parking lot for teachers and transfer it to a much better location. transfer the reserved teachers parking lot behind irwin theater.
that area connects to the back of the AGS canteen and already has an existing passageway. it also puts it very close to the teachers dining are at the back of the canteen. walking distance for the teachers from their cars to the campus will be reduced dramatically making it easier and more convenient for teachers specially on rainy days.
ateneo should not stop at moving the parking area to the back of irwin theater which makes it very convenient and significantly helps traffic and safety at the AGS parking lot, ateneo should make the teacher’s parking lot at the back of irwin theater covered by a roof to protect their cars and the teachrs from the heat and rain. we think the teachers deserve to be treated better as well.
this suggestion is a win-win for everyone concerned – safer and more efficient for fetchers and students and more convenient for teachers.
we shared the above same suggestion in a yahoogroup of ateneo parents (234 members) and we got a reply from one of the ateneo parents:
yes!…. teachers come early in the earliest and leave last…. they are old
enough to cross the street or yes, they can take the back of Irwin theater for parking… a lot of parents i know feel the same way.
we thought that was an excellent point. we gave this reply:
you raise an excellent point – teachers arrive first and leave last. that is an excellent rationale for moving the reserved parking spaces from where it is now, beside the blue eagle’s gym.
since they arrive first and leave last, they are actually obstructing the flow of vehicles owned by thousands of students/parents/drivers who can use that prime real estate to exit the already cramped parking lot. freeing that space up for use of the thousands of students/parents/drivers will decongest the parking lot even faster and in effect have better safety for all.
moving their reserved parking spaces behind the irwin theater will be much better for them as it will be closer to the campus. they will need to walk a much shorter distance and that is good given the load of school things they have to haul from their cars to the classrooms.
that space behind irwin theater is unused. its a good idea to put it into good use for better traffic effiiciency, safer for our kids and more convenient for the teachers.
we also think ateneo should build roofs over the parking area for teachers for the comfort and protection of the teachers and theirs cars from heat and rain.
here is one comment from an ateneo mom posted in this blog:
with “penny changes” at the ateneo parking lot, i think that amounts to ateneo ignoring the overwhelming sentiments of AGS parents. not only that, it seems the school trivialized the horrific accident that killed amiel alcantara in their parking lot.
i have re-read the comments of parents in this blog – specially those on their suggestions on how to improve safety in school. it is clear to see in those suggestions that the parents expect the school to implement what one parent calls “radical and significant changes and improvements” in the school’s traffic scheme.
with the pictures shown in this blog, it seems like no change to very minimal changes are being done at the parking lot, definitely something you cannot call “radical and significant”. that can only mean the school has ignored the sentiments of the parents.
i have talked to many other parents and even ateneo alumni like myself and all of them have said one of their top two concerns this coming school year is safety of their sons at the parking lot. (just like the survey in this blog)
from the ateneo website, i have also read the homily delivered by the jesuits during the masses for amiel. in there they mentioned how the whole community was touched by the death of amiel and how what happened has affected parents in the school.
there is a huge disconnect in what has been said to what they are now doing at the parking lots. implementing “penny changes” in the school parking lot is inconsistent with what the jesuits said they recognize to be very strong sentiments of the parents.
it is hard to understand how one can see penny changes as commensurate or being responsive to such strong emotions displayed by the parents.
one parent commented the jesuits are clueless and that they will probably not act on this. i agree with that comment.
comment posted here: http://tinyurl.com/pychoh
last night, at around 9:30 pm, we passed by amiel alcantara’s shrine.
we saw 3 flower pots, the sunglasses, the remote control toy car and two candles were lit.
a few things:
- the most surprising was the lit candles. we thought someone is being diligent enough to go to the shrine at night and light them. this is very time specific. that takes devotion.
- the flower pots are a very good idea. it is adorned by beautiful blooming flowers everyday, living things placed on the spot where amiel died.
- the flowers are blooming. that can only mean someone or some people are diligently watering the flower pots. an ateneo gardener? an ateneo parent?
- the flower pots, the toy car and the sunglasses were arranged neatly. someone took the pains to fix it and put some order there. an ateneo maintenance man? security guard? a parent?
the ateneo community continue to remember and pay tribute to amiel.
we also saw bond paper sized posters around the shrine. it had the image of footprints with a pair of angel wings on them. yes, that is the spot where amiel’s footprints stopped. but they now have angel wings for us to follow and to continue.
rey canlas is not an ateneo dad nor is he an atenan. he is a lourdes school mandaluyong (LSM) dad and from UP and he posted in this blog when he read about amiel alcantara’s tragic death.
like many dads, moms and individuals, he was touched by amiel’s death. having a young son at LSM, he championed safety improvements at the shcool of his son. LSM school authorities responded positively. (read this here :
now, here is an update on what has happened at LSM. go to his blog and let’s post there and celebrate this good thing that has come out of amiel’s tragic death :
A PEDESTRIAN LANE… THANKS TO AMIEL!
I arrived almost past 9PM and as I entered the building, I saw newly made PEDESTRIAN LANE just in front of Lourdes School of Mandaluyong facing our residential building. It was still half-done but it made me feel happy. I got my phone and I took a photo of it. As I climbed the stairs to the lobby, I remembered AMIEL ALCANTARA, the 10-year old student who passed away almost a month ago at Ateneo Grade School.
I greeted the security guard whose name tag has the name, ALCANTARA. I then talked to him about the new PEDESTRIAN LANE and how important it is not just to the kids at our residential building studying at LSM but for all others who goes to the church and those who goes to work in nearby buildings who needed to cross the street with care.
Then, I thought of referring to his name tag and relating the discussion to AMIEL ALCANTARA and how instrumental he was for all the various safety enhancements and initiatives now being adopted by schools nut just elementary but also high schools and colleges. Manong Guard agreed. He heard about it and he was thankful as well.
It has been almost a month since the incident that claimed the life of this young boy took place but the lesson learned and the good things that this has brought to the society will always remain. I know that somehow, whenever I get to see the PEDESTRIAN LANE at Lourdes School of Mandaluyong, I will always remember the young boy that was AMIEL ALCANTARA.
message from the alcantara family:
Please join us for the 40th day mass for our Amiel on Palm Sunday, 5th of April at the Atene Grade School chapel. There will be a program that will start at 5pm in honor of Amiel.
The tragic death of our Amiel has left us his footprints for us to follow, for our healing as a family and community, and for our doing of its meaning and purpose. Please join us in this journey.
~Pepe & Melanie Alcatara
pepe, amiel alcantara’s dad disatisfied with ateneo’s “turtle’s pace” in correcting safety lapses at the ateneo
Alcantara family plans to sue Ateneo for parking mess
abs-cbnNEWS.com | 03/27/2009 4:11 PM
Amiel Alcantara’s family is set to file a “breach of contract” charge against Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) for allegedly failing to solve the campus’s parking scheme problems, the family’s lawyer announced Friday.
Rafael Aquino, lawyer of the the Alcantaras, said the family is dissatisfied with the Ateneo’s “turtle’s pace” action in correcting safety lapses in the school’s parking and traffic scheme.
He explained that the “breach of contract” charge will be filed against Ateneo because the school is not only morally responsible, but legally liable, for the students within its grounds.
According to Amiel’s father, Jose Fernando “Pepe” Alcantara, Ateneo’s decision to beef up the number of security guards is merely a “band-aid solution,” and that the school’s actions lacked determination, a time table, and scope.
He said he wants to see Ateneo implement fast and comprehensive safety measures around the campus like constructing road humps in parking areas, improving the parking plan, fixing the sidewalks, and hiring more crossing guards instead of security guards.
The Alcantaras’ 10-year-old son Amiel was killed after he was pinned by a speeding car at the Ateneo Grade School (AGS) parking lot last February. Amiel died from severe injuries after he was hit, while crossing with his nanny, by a Toyota Hi-Ace Van driven by Ma. Theresa Torres, mother of a fellow AGS student.
In criminal trial proceedings conducted Friday, the prosecution asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 106 for a reinvestigation of the case.
The prosecution alleged that Torres showed a clear intention to kill, and that she should reportedly be charged with homicide instead of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide.
The Alcantaras’ counsel also petitioned the court to issue a hold departure order against Torres.
However, the suspect’s lawyer, Atty. Rolando Villiones said that his client does not have any plan to leave the country.
Villiones also said he had filed a motion before the Quezon City RTC to merge three criminal cases filed against Torres into one complex crime of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and multiple physical injuries. He said this would make it easier for his client during her arraignment.
Mr. Alcantara, meanwhile, said several parties have approached the family for a settlement, but that they are not open to it at this time.–report from Sol Aragones, ABS-CBN News
comments to this post:
If that is what it will take Ateneo to move towards a more permanent solution, I agree with the Alcantara family. SUE ATENEO! It has been more than one month since Amiel’s death but we still have to hear from the heads of the department and committees. It is an exercise in frustration waiting for a response from a supposedly reputable school. Its procrastination and seeming lethargy is something its students should not emulate.
What will it take to announce that humps are being constructed, parking slots opened, sidewalks being fixed? Does it need to form a multistakeholder committee to see this? Will they need to wait for another accident to happen? Do they need to wait for the beginning of the school year?
The answers are staring everyone in the face. The response should be simply and proactively addressed.
If it will need a court case for Ateneo to proceed with its unfinished business, we support the Alcantara family on this!
This tragedy should never happen again.
Inoperahan sa paa kanina ang yaya ng nasagasaan at namatay na Ateneo student na si Amiel Alcantara. Pero mas masakit para sa kaniya na hindi natuloy ang arraignment sa nakasagasa sa kanila. Magba-Bandila si Gretchen Malalad, exclusive. Bandila, Huwebes, Marso 12, 2009
Blogs: Ateneo pupil hit by ‘texting’ driver
The 37-year-old mother who accidentally ran over and killed an Ateneo de Manila gradeschool pupil on Tuesday afternoon was allegedly “texting” moments before the tragedy.
Witnesses said Ma. Theresa Torres appeared to have dropped her mobile phone and was picking it up when she seemed to have mistakenly stepped on the accelerator of her Hi Ace van just as the victim, Julian Carlo Miguel “Amiel” Alcantara, was passing in front of her.
“Torres asked her driver to get her own son and so she was seated on the driver side, buckled up. Eyewitnesses saw her texting with her cell phone. Then people saw her unbuckle her seat belt and she stooped down to get something on the floor of the van, presumably she dropped her cell phone and bent down to get it from the floor,” one witness said. “It was in that position that led her to mistakenly step on the gas accelerator rather than the brakes,” the witness added.
read in full here: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=police3_feb28_2009
abs-cbnNEWS.com | 03/05/2009 5:36 PM
The Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) has strengthened its efforts to improve traffic safety and management inside the campus, following the tragic death of one of its students.
In a statement released in its website, AdMU said additional traffic enforcers were deployed in areas where there is heavy convergence of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, particularly in Grade School and High School drop-off and pick-up points, and pedestrian lanes leading to parking areas.
Safety measures have also been set up in the stretches of the campus road network where speeding is likely to occur.
In addition, the university said a multi-stakeholder committee has been formed to review community recommendations. Chaired by Grade School Headmaster Fr. Norberto Bautista, the committee is composed of parents, university administration, campus traffic group and consultants.
“We have received many email messages and phone calls from the community suggesting ways to improve traffic safety and traffic management on campus in light of last week’s fatal accident. I would like to assure the community that the recommendations and concerns will be attended to,” AdMU President Fr. Bienvenido Nebres said.
Parents of Ateneo de Manila Grade School (AGS) students earlier launched a signature campaign to back a petition for the safety of their children.
Called “Amiel’s Footprints,” the petition aims to preserve the memory of Grade 4 student Amiel Alcantara, who was pinned to death by a van last week inside the AGS parking area.
as we to mourn the death of a beloved student, the task before us , a
task that no single group or person can manage on their own, is to
come together as a community and contribute to the healing of a
community that is wounded.
May I invite everyone of us, most especially those on the ground to
consider the following guides as we walk our students/ sons through
1. find time to talk about it.
2. as we talk about it, take a conscious effort of going beyond the
graphic details of his death. While the tragic circumstances force us
to focus on this aspect of his death, we also like to form a more
optimistic image in the minds of many of our young impressionable
3. be keen on people’s emotional reaction. they may come in the form
of jokes, or non verbal gestures but they speak volumes about people’s
inner selves. In particular, in may be good to be on guard for
feelings of fear, insecurity, and anger- emotions that if not
channeled productively can lead to dysfunctional behavior.
4. Finally, and most importantly find time to validate our own
feelings and reactions to this experience. This is after all what we
bring with us as we take on this important responsibility of helping
others deal with this issue.
let us show amiel that his sorrowful death was not in vain because
from it, we are blessed with the opportunity to appropriate cura