A mall fire in Davao last April 10 put to test one student’s true priorities as the guards started calling for everyone to evacuate. Hundreds of people had to evacuate but one student quickly went viral for clearly putting his stomach first. Joshua Jamez‘s photos show Eujay Regner continuing to enjoy his plate of chicken as the firefighters worked to put out the mall fire.
Part of why Eujay went viral was probably due to him being the only customer who thought to take his food with him in the face of a possibly life-threatening fire. Although in his defense, he does say the reaction to pick up and bring his food with him was automatic. He explains that it was probably due to being so hungry and having had to wait for his meal for a while.
In an interview with Sunstar he expounds by saying:
It was a very stressful day for us because it was our thesis-defense day. I skipped breakfast and lunch as I have to prepare everything. After our successful defense, we agreed to celebrate and eat out because we are very hungry, especially me.
We waited for about 15 minutes to secure a table, then we lined up to the counter, afterwards we waited for another few minutes before the food were served, so imagine, gutom na gutom na talaga ako [I was really so hungry already].
Before Eujay was finally able to eat, a security guard shouted to evacuate:
Isusubo ko na sana yung kanin tapos may biglang sumigaw na “Labas! May sunog!”, na badtrip ako kasi isusubo ko na sana, so tumakbo kami palabas, nag automatic respond yung body ko, kinuha ko yung plato ko tapos dinala ko sa labas.
[I was just about to put the spoon in my mouth when someone suddenly shouted “Get out! There’s a fire!”. I was put in a bad mood because I was just about to eat, so as we were running outside my body automatically responded and picked up the plate of food and brought it outside.]
He immediately noticed he was the only one to do so when out of the mall. But he decided to own it:
I was kind of ashamed because I was surprised why it was just only me who brought a plate. But I disregarded that thought because food is life. Until, people around me were taking videos and photos, some of the restaurant crew even teased and asked me: Extra rice, sir?
I told them that I’ll just return the plate after eating. Actually, I also thought of also bringing my friend’s untouched ‘halo-halo’ with me outside.
Initially, he shares that he was a little embarrassed especially by how it became quite viral. In the end, he decided to appreciate how happy it made others:
I am glad to know that somehow that post generated positive vibes online. In situations like fire, it is very important to stay calm and of course bring the most precious thing that you can, in my case that time – food. Food is life.
Don’t worry, Eujay — I would have brought my food too. I probably would have gotten the halo-halo as well.
What about you? Would you bring your plate out in the middle of a fire?