Archive for February, 2009

tribute video for amiel alcantara made by his family

February 28, 2009 1 comment
This was a video footage shown during the wake of Amiel Alcantara, a 10-year boy killed in a vehicular accident inside Ateneo (Feb. 27, 2009). The video was lovingly made by his family.
this video was first posted at youtube from this blog and please visit the blog for more on amiel:

is ateneo also liable for amiel’s death?

February 28, 2009 25 comments

the safety of children while in the school is the responsibility of the school. parents entrust their children to the school not only for their education but also their safety.

did ateneo do enough to ensure the safety of school children? many parents have posted that this issue of traffic and parking lots have been there for a long time and something parents have complained about. did ateneo do enough? or did they do anything at all? they charge P600.00 per car sticker in that school. it is pretty stiff for a car sticker.

when the accident happen, where were the school authorities? it was reported that another ateneo mom brought amiel to the hospital. why didn’t a school vehicle bring amiel to the hospital? did the school have to rely on the generosity of that ateneo mom?

were the school nurse and school doctor with amiel at the hospital? was there a school official who went with amiel to the hospital?

what will the school do now? will there be changes?

can the school be held legally liable for the death of amiel?

a lot of questions here.

blue & white balloons for Amiel – “Fly High, Amiel!”

February 28, 2009 1 comment
ateneo grade 4-manobo boys, classmates of amiel release blue and white balloons up to the heavens as the hearse (see headlight of the hearse, bottom left) carrying the remains of amiel leave the grade school compound. the balloons have the words fly high, amiel printed on them. his classmates also sent messages written on small pieces of paper, attached to each balloon.

ateneo grade 4-manobo boys, classmates of amiel release blue and white balloons up to the heavens as the hearse (see headlight of the hearse, bottom left) carrying the remains of amiel leave the grade school compound. the balloons have the words "fly high, amiel" printed on them. his classmates also sent messages written on small pieces of paper, attached to each balloon.

today, amiel alcantara will be laid to rest

February 28, 2009 Leave a comment

say a prayer for amiel and his family. there will be a mass at the ateneo grade school chapel at 11 am after which amiel’s remains will be brought to Arlington for cremation.

spot where amiel was killed

spot were amiel made his last footprints. flowers and lit candles now mark the spot

Father of Ateneo accident victim ‘devastated’ over son’s death

February 28, 2009 Leave a comment

MANILA, Philippines – The father of Julian Carlo Miguel “Amiel” Alcantara, the 10-year-old boy who was killed by a speeding van inside the Ateneo de Manila University campus, on Thursday said they are “devastated” by their son’s sudden death.

“We are devastated. It’s a difficult time. We will make the best out of the difficulty by moving on and we dedicated our moving on to our dear Amiel,” said Mr. Pepe Alcantrara, father of victim Juan Carlo Miguel “Amiel” in an off-camera interview with GMA News reporter Josh Villanueva.

read in full:

GMA7 newscast on Amiel, February 27, 2009

February 28, 2009 1 comment

theresa torres is now out on bail. she paid P42,000.00 in bail.

ateneo traffic and parking issues petition letter

February 27, 2009 16 comments


Ateneo Traffic and Parking Issues




  •  Did you know that over 5,000 vehicles enter and exit Ateneo daily?  This causes problems in vehicle traffic, limited road spaces, and parking.   ( Based on figures from the Ateneo Admin. )
  • Did you know that the open space around Football Field No.1, where tents are set up during events, can easily accommodate 100 to 150 vehicles if parked properly?  ( See the yellow area in photo. )
  • Did you know that the open field beside the Observatory, behind the Lee Irwin Theater, can accommodate about 300 + vehicles for parking?  ( This is based on reliable sources inside Ateneo.  See the blue area in photo. )
  • If Ateneo opens more parking areas and sacrifices a little “non productive” real estate there will be less clogging of vehicles and battling for parking spaces.  Perhaps it can even help ease up traffic along Katipunan Ave. since vehicles of grade school students can then enter smoothly and park properly inside the campus.
  • Did you know that there is a “drivers’ mafia” wherein the drivers connive amongst themselves to block available parking spaces in the open parking areas so that when their “barkada” driver arrives they move their cars to accommodate each other.  Therefore other drivers or parent-driven cars cannot avail of these parking spaces.   ( Based on reliable information from the security guards and actual observations. )
  • Did you know that rude and arrogant parents, drivers, and VIP security are another problem?  We are all equal in Ateneo and must follow simple traffic rules or face heavier penalties.  NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.
  • Have you seen the Grade School driveway turn into triple or quadruple lanes with bumper-to-bumper traffic causing children to walk in between cars to get in or out of their vehicles? Do we need another Amiel Alcantara incident for us to be proactive about these serious issues?  Let us not waste more precious lives.


Parents and Ateneo, please we must unite! Let’s make Ateneo pedestrian-friendly.

We owe it to Amiel.  We owe it to our children!


Let our voices be heard. Please email this to other Ateneo parents and petition Ateneo for immediate action.  Print this page and sign below to signify your concern for the above, then send to Father Kit Bautista, SJ, Headmaster of the Ateneo Grade School.



this is another version of a petiotion letter that is being circulated. please send an email to to get a copy of this petition letter.

Amiel’s Footprints – Petition Letter To Improve Safety For Ateneo Boys In Campus

February 27, 2009 1 comment

if you wish to get a copy of this petition letter, send an email to: and a copy will be emailed back to you.



Amiel’’s Footprints
A Petition From Ateneo Parents To Improve Safety For Our Sons


Amiel Alcantara, 4-Manobo, died last Tuesday, February 24, 2009. His dad, Jose, speaks fondly of Amiel as a boy who loves the outdoors. Unlike other kids his age, he would rather be outdoors than spend his time indoors watching TV, using the computer or playing computer games. We can only imagine the many small footprints Amiel must have made on the many outdoor places he has gone to, marking each one a happy moment in his young life. Amiel made his last footprints at the parking lot in front of the grade school campus when a van pinned him down to the back of another vehicle and shortly thereafter lost his life.

It is our desire to continue making those footprints for Amiel by petitioning the Ateneo de Manila University to do the following:

·         Do an exhaustive, professional and competent study on the traffic management system in the school.

·         Then develop and apply drastic, significant and meaningful changes and improvements to the vehicular traffic management system and the parking lots of the school.

·         Do all and everything that needs to be done to uphold the shared belief that the safety of our sons in school is most important, bar none.

·         The one and only motivation and inspiration for all of these is a true and deep desire that what happened to Amiel should never happen again at the Ateneo campus.

We affix our signatures and urge the school to join us in continuing Amiel’s footprints:



·         Send this to Fr. Norberto Bautista, SJ, Headmaster of Ateneo De Manila Grade School.

·         Make copies for other parents.

·         If you need more copies, send an email to: and you will receive a copy.

your suggestions on how to improve and changes to traffic safety at the ateneo GS

February 27, 2009 27 comments

what happened to Amiel SHOULD NEVER AGAIN HAPPENat the ateneo campus!  as we grieve and shed tears for Amiel,  that is the singular thought we should all have.

we are asking readers of this blog to please let us know of your ideas and suggestions on what the Ateneo school authorities can do to make sure the tragic death of amiel is never again repeated in campus.

we will let the ateneo school authorities know of your suggestions. we will ask ateneo school authorities to read this blog and at the same we will be sending them hard copies of your suggestions.

scene of the accident

the spot where amiel died. it is now marked with flowers and lit candles.

we are aware that many of you have already posted your suggesti0ns attached in the other posts. please take take to cut and paste the suggestions  you made to this post. it would be more productive if we centralize all your suggestions to one section of this blog.  

to give your suggestions, click “comments” at the bottom right of this post and type your suggestions.

these are my suggestions:
  • there is a need to change the thinking and philosophy behind the traffic management on campus – the whole traffic system, including the security guards should be re-oriented to make the safety of the children their primary concern and not to speed up traffic flow. at the moment, the whole system and the security guards seem to think only of speeding up traffic flow and not safety of the school children.
  • we need to recognize that mixing children together with moving vehicles (cars, huge vans and huge SUVs) in the same space is an accident waiting to happen.
  • the new traffic and safety plan should adapt the thinking that it needs to develop one that will ensure the safety of the youngest school children – from prep to grade 3. developing a traffic and safety system with them in my mind will make it very sensitive to the needs of these little boys.
Categories: Amiel Alcantara

send 30,350 emails for Amiel

February 27, 2009 Leave a comment

this blog has gotten a total of 30,350 hits since tuesday night, the first time we posted the story of amiel in this blog and hours after we learned amiel has died.

it is our wish that the number 30,350 will be number of emails the ateneo school authority’s in-box will receive from readers of this blog.

send an email to and let ateneo school authorities how you felt when you read amiel’s story. and ask the school authorities to implement drastic, significant and meaningful changes and improvements in school as it relates to the safety of school children and vehicular traffic.

we think receiving 30,350 emails in their in-box is a pretty good indication that we want change, that amiel’s death should never be repeated again at the ateneo campus.

ask your friends and family members to read this blog and ask them to send their own email as well. if you know an ateneo parent or ateneo alumni, tell them about amiel’s story and ask them to send an email for amiel.

even better, also ask them to send a letter to the school authorities, names and addresses in the post below this one.

send an email a day! we need to keep sending emails to the school authorities until we get definitive word from them that they will implement improvements. with your efforts of letting others know about amiel, we can grow that number to at least 100,000 emails from today’s 30,350.

let us make sure amiel’s death will never be repeated at the ateneo campus again. let us send 30,350 emails for amiel!

an ateneo mom’s reaction to the Amiel tragedy

February 27, 2009 18 comments

I just feel like I have to tell my story to let out the pain, the sadness, the anger and the guilt! . .
I was in the Ateneo Grade School (AGS) cafeteria yesterday with my Gr.3 and Gr.1 sons waiting for the dismissal of my Gr.5 son.  We were eating, doing HW and enjoying each others company.  I glanced to the Purefoods Hotdog counter and noticed some Gr.4 and Gr.7 boys fooling around while buying their hotdogs. 

It was 4:15 pm and my sons and I decided to head out to the car to wait for my other son in the parking lot.  As we walked out past the lady guard there was a commotion in the AGS driveway right beside the covered walk-way fronting the bulletin board. 

We ran and saw a lanky body full of blood all over his head being taken away to the hospital in a van.  His blood was on the ground and a foot long hotdog had fallen on top of the blood.  We were thinking could one of those boys we just saw minutes earlier been the boy taken away?

Many of the admin, students, teachers, parents and drivers were crowded around the scene. When I asked the driver beside the accident what happened he said a mother in a van asked her driver to get down from their car to fetch her son.  Then she took the wheel of the car. 

This part is fuzzy, but apparently the mom accidentally stepped on the gas pedal and hit Amiel Alcantara of 4- Manobo. (We’re not sure if, as she was moving her car forward to an empty space, she accidentally pushed the gas pedal hard instead of the breaks.)  Amiel and his yaya seemed to be just passing by in between the cars to get to their own car (like we all have done).  The mom hit Amiel so hard he fell to the ground and the yaya got struck in the leg or foot but is now ok with minor injuries daw.  The mom hit two cars in front of her too. 

I saw the scene and honestly there is no way the boy could have gotten out.  He was sandwiched between 3 cars that were left inches apart, he was pulled from under the cars. 

So the mom hit Amiel and the 2 cars in front of her and those 2 cars hit 2 more cars in front of them shattering the back window of one of them.  It was an unbelievable scene, the impact was so strong.  It was dismissal time so all the cars were parked on the AGS driveway within the 3 lanes alotted for standyby parking right beside the covered walk-way.  

The mom had no car behind her, she must have just moved her car forward talaga and accidentally hit the gas pedal really hard. The mom practically fainted and was taken to the infirmary in a stretcher.  I feel for her.
My boys and I got so close to the scene and saw the blood and the chaos.  And now looking back, maybe I shouldn’t have let my 7yr old and 9yr old see so much up close, but we all just gravitated to the scene. 

Later that evening when we learned that Amiel had passed away, my boys got so scared and clung to me like glue.  They couldn’t sleep and my 9yr old even had nightmares shouting out something about “cars” . . .

So of course we are all deeply saddened by what happened.  I felt so much pain and couldn’t stop crying and kept telling myself that it was such a “freaky accident” that it could have really happened to anyone of us!!! 

I also asked God what was the message and meaning in it all?  We prayed for Amiel, his Gr.7 brother Avie, the Alcantara family and the family of the mom, Ma. Theresa Torres. 
I am still crying when I think about what happened but I am also angry and guilty as well.  Angry because I see the root of the whole problem stems from the perennial PARKING AND TRAFFIC PROBLEM in the AGS

I have been a parent in the AGS for only 6 years and I have seen the problem worsen in the past 2 years.  As a current CPR for my Gr.3 son I felt it was our duty to voice out our opinions and offer solutions to this problem in the beginning of the school year.  If you can recall,  this was an issue earlier this school year with the incident between the “gun-toting dad vs. the pushy mom!”  And yet our voices fell on deaf ears. 

Their problem may have been resolved but the parking and traffic problem was not.  We are all still scrambling to get our boys in and out of the campus, it is never a pleasant experience.  I even learned that the MMDA was heavily trying to offer solutions and suggestions but the Ateneo Admin would barely budge, if at all. 

The MMDA wanted Ateneo to open up the sides of the soccer fields for temporary parking to accommodate the 5,000 cars that come, go, park, standby etc. in the AGS DAILY!!  Can you imagine 5,000 cars all at one time in and out of a 2 lane village?!  What a nightmare!  The MMDA got involved because the Ateneo was causing tremendous traffic on Katipunan and beyond!  At first I thought sayang naman our prestine soccer fields.  But come to think of it, is a good suggestion.  Another suggestion was to create a fly-over from Katips to enter Ateneo, but it’s too expensive I guess.  One other solution was to build a multi-level parking area like in the International School.  It seems this would be practical to meet our needs as a University.  Better yet another suggestion was to open up the 300 parking spaces of the Ateneo Conservatory for temporary parking!! . . . Haaay I could go on and on . . . . .

So this is where my guilt comes in because I wish I had pursued these issues, but heck, who am I?  Now yes I do agree with (name) and many others that WE ALL MUST write our school and our teachers to address our issues. 

We cannot let the soul of Amiel die in vain.  I know that God must have wanted Amiel badly to take him so suddenly but God must also be telling us to start taking an active role in ensuring the safety of our children’s environment.  We MUST be “productive” and not a hindrance to the problem by offering our “voices,” following the rules, and helping where ever and whenever we can.  We all must be ONE in this cause.  So let’s not put blame in any of this but instead help it to move forward for the betterment of all . . . especially for the love of our children!

Thanks for listening, this is just my two cents worth.   Let’s continue to pray for the Alcantara and Torres families.  Amiel’s body is now in the AGS chapel until Saturday.  Mass will be held Wednesday to Friday 6:30am and 7:00pm.  Last mass before the burial is this Saturday at 11:00am.  May God Bless us all.

GMA7 newscast on the amiel alcantara fatal car accident

February 27, 2009 Leave a comment

dear mr. & mrs. jose alcantara and family; dear amiel,

February 27, 2009 11 comments

we are opening this post to allow anyone who wants to send a short message to the parents and family of amiel. or to amiel himself.

we told  pepe, amiel’s dad, about this blog and he knows that in here he can read an outpouring of sympathy for their family and how many are  sharing their grief and sorrow on amiel’s tragic death. we are hoping that they will feel their strength rekindled and feel consoled as they read this blog and your short messages.

please click “comments”, bottom right hand corner of this post and type in your message.

amiel's wake 5

visitors line up to view the remains of amiel. thursday, february 26.


conversation with Pepe Alcantara, Amiel’s dad

February 27, 2009 3 comments

i went to the wake today to talk to pepe alcantara, amiel’s dad. here is
how our conversation went:

i introduced myself and told him that among other things, i had converted this blog to dedicating it to Amiel and what happened to him at the ateneo campus.

his 3rd sentence was something like – the school need to improve the safety of our children while in school specially at the parking lot, as it relates to traffic. he said Amiel’s death should not be in vain and should not be repeated in school.

i was floored by what he said. it is one of the things that i had taken up as a cause from the beginning of this incident with amiel.

pepe said he wished all ateneo parents would be united and pressure the school to actually do changes and improvements on safety of kids and traffic/vehicles. he felt this issue has been there for a long time andit has only come to a head after Amiel’s tragic death.

i told him that through the internet, i have been urging parents to write or email school officials on the matter and he agreed that is a very good thing to do.

i hope knowing how amiel’s dad feel about the safety of school children at the ateneo will inspire those reading this blog to send a letter or write an email to ateneo school authorities to express their feelings about the incident and to urge them to improve the security and safety of school children at the ateneo campus.

please send an email or a letter to the following ateneo school authorities:

Fr. Norberto Bautista, SJ

Ateneo de Manila Grade School

Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights

Quezon City, Metro Manila 1108

 Fr. Ben Nebres, SJ
Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights
Quezon City, Metro Manila 1108

or send your email to this email address:

i think it’s important that all members of the ateneo community make their feelings and their desire for improvements on security and safety for school children be known to the ateneo school officials. i would also urge non ateneo community members to do the same. i think everyone’s efforts will count.

what happened to amiel should never happen again at the ateneo.


February 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Dear friends,

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
personalis .

jonny salvador


February 26, 2009 8 comments

25 February 2009

Please refer to: Ma. Sonia Araneta, Tel. 426-6001, ext. 4086


The Ateneo Grade School, though its headmaster Fr. Norberto Bautista and the Ateneo de Manila University, through its president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, express their deep sorrow and condolences to the family of Grade 4 student Julian Carlo Miguel (Amiel) Alcantara, who succumbed to head injuries before reaching New Era Hospital at around 5 p.m., Tuesday, 24 February 2009.


Amiel, son of Pepe Alcantara, was a valiant and responsible Boy Scout and a friend to many students. He had just completed the challenging year-end camp in Bolinao Pangasinan on Feb. 20-22 with nary a complaint, in spite of his asthmatic condition, according to his scoutmasters Ruth Senga and Raymund Gubat.


At around 3:45 p.m., Tuesday, Amiel, his household helper Tata Suarez, his sister Jana, his grade 7 brother Javier, their driver, and his brother’s friend, exited from the Ateneo Grade School main gate towards their parked vehicle.


At about this time, the vehicle of another parent was situated at the side of the University Physical Plant Office along the garage area which is near the entrance of the inner driveway gate.  Her driver alighted from the vehicle after which she took over the wheel to drive it forward. According to her, her vehicle accelerated uncontrollably and hit Amiel and then Tata Suarez and two other vehicles.


Spectators called for help and a car driven by another AGS parent was in the vicinity, and she, together with Amiel’s driver, rushed the boy to the New Era hospital. Efforts were made to revive Amiel at the hospital, but he died from head injuries.


Suarez suffered fractures in her shins and ankles and, accompanied by Jana, was taken to the school infirmary for treatment.

The Ateneo assures the community that a proper and thorough investigation of the incident has been launched, and that counselling assistance is being provided to the affected families and students. Masses and prayers are also being offered all over campus for the repose of the soul of Amiel, whose remains lie in state at the Chapel of the Holy Guardian Angels at the Ateneo Grade School. As a final tribute to Amiel, the AGS Boy Scouts will forego their scheduled pass in review tomorrow and instead hold a mass for their fellow scout.

 The Ateneo requests the media to respect the privacy of the parties involved in the tragic accident, and of those members of the school community who were profoundly affected by Amiel’s sudden demise, during this time of prayer and mourning.

news video on amiel alcantara car accident

February 26, 2009 9 comments

send an email to ask school authorities to improve safety for school children

February 25, 2009 31 comments

if you are an ateneo parent, an ateneo alumni or you have been touched by the story of 10 year old Amiel and you wish to express your thoughts/feelings and/or you want to ask the ateneo school authorities to do something about the safety of school kids at the school, here is an email address that i found from the ateneo website that you can send your email to:

amiel alcantara wake 3

at amiel's wake, february 25

i do not know amiel nor do i know his parents, but when i heard the news that night, i felt physical pain in my stomach. it horrified me very much. i knew that my imagination is inadequate in figuring out how amiel’s parents must have felt when they were told the sad news that their son died in a car accident inside the campus.

to me, there are only two places where i know for certain my children are safe in – first is my home, the other the school. we go to work everyday feeling very secure and confident that it is ok for our children to be apart from us as they are safe in school. what happened to amiel has shattered this belief in a most devastating way.

what happened to amiel should NEVER happen again. please write the ateneo school authorities and urge them to change things for the better.

Grade 4 Ateneo student dies in car accident: report

February 25, 2009 11 comments

Grade 4 Ateneo student dies in car accident: report | 02/25/2009 3:16 PM

A fourth-grade student at the Ateneo de Manila Grade School was reportedly killed when a car accidentally crashed into him and his nanny inside the Ateneo de Manila campus in Quezon City Tuesday.

Ten-year-old Julian Carlo Miguel Alcantara, known to his friends as “Amiel,” was on his way home from school with his 65-year-old nanny when he was reportedly hit by a van inside the Ateneo campus in Quezon City. The boy was rushed to the New Era Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival, while his nanny, Tata Suarez, sustained injuries.

An online report said that the van’s driver, Ma. Theresa Torres, was reportedly following a car parked in front of her when she accidentally hit the boy and his nanny. Torres was picking up her child from school and had parked her car near the main gate of the university, the report said.

Torres was reportedly brought to the District Traffic Unit Section 3 after the accident.

Based on e-mails from various sources who witnessed the incident, the boy was crushed between the two cars, wihch were spaced just two inches from each other. “The driver forgot that [she] was driving an automatic car that when she started the engine, that car went straight and hit the boy,” a witness said.

Concerned parents and students offered prayers and support to the victim’s family. Ateneo de Manila president Fr. Ben Nebres and Ateneo Grade School Headmaster Kit Bautista had reportedly stayed with the Alcantara family.

as of 02/25/2009 5:25 PM

express your thoughts, write a letter for Amiel

February 25, 2009 1 comment

if you are an ateneo parent, if you have a child studying at the ateneo de manila (college, high school or grade school), or you are an ateneo alumni or you may have been simply touched by Amiel’s  story, please take time to write to ateneo school authorities to urge them to take this matter seriously and to adapt drastic, significant and meaningful changes and improvements in relation to safety of children in campus as it relates to traffic and vehicles on campus.

please write to the following school officials:

Fr. Norberto Bautista, SJ

Ateneo de Manila Grade School

Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights

Quezon City, Metro Manila 1108


Fr. Ben Nebres, SJ

Ateneo de Manila University

Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights

Quezon City, Metro Manila 1108


what happened to Amiel should never happen again.

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