laments/rants from middle-class

9:01 AM Monday, February 06, 2006

(the following post may sound mean and cruel, arrogant and self-righteous, but i don't care!)

moral lesson of the wowowoee tragedy: it is wrong to manipulate the poverty of people to be used as a ratings'tool. That is God's message to ABS-CBN. Let's pray for the victims!

That is the text message my boss mass sent to us all last Saturday night. And for the life of me, I have yet to feel sorrow or pity for the governement, the abs-cbn network and the victims.

How come?

First, there was obviously a lot of lapses in judgment. Poor security plans (or as Gordon said, lack of a disaster plan... yeah right, as if you can actually control a 20,000 strong mob), poor foresight (I was surprised how the stampede could have happened, but got less surprised upon knowing that Ultra's grounds slope downwards. Surely, having seen the sheer number of 3-day campers, abs-cbn could have predicted already that there WILL BE accidents when people start pushing and shoving for the tickets, tickets which the network decided will only be distributed hours before the anniversary program), poor values (i respect Charo Santos-Concio as a woman who has made it, but it's just plain bullsh!t to say that all wowowee hopes is to provide entertainment and hope. Of course, they're manipulating poverty in the Philippines! Of course, they're manipulating the Filipino people's innate laziness! And don't tell me about helping out NGOs, because that gives the network tax breaks... and no matter what they say, they still earn more than what they hand out! Otherwise, they wouldn't be handing out P500 just for a corny joke said onstage).

Others might have more informed analysis of what happened. Still, I just really hope abs-cbn executives get scarred for life. And to up the ante on my being judgmental, I also hope Willy Revillame really gets traumatized for life (might shut him up a little and make him less of a lascivious, disrespectful person) too.

Maybe this will make them rethink their collective value framework and start churning out QUALITY shows for a change (that's not to say that Channel 7 is such a great network, ok, but yeah, i feel they're a bit more conscientious... emphasis on the 'bit').


Still, though abs-cbn should really take responsibility for the tragedy, they should only shoulder around 20% of the blame.

And no, I won't be ranting about how poorly our leaders have been running our country to the ground either. First, because it's a given. Second, because we collectively let them.

I've said already that I have yet to feel pity and sorrow for the victims. I'm sorry I just can't feel anything for them. Sure, there is sadness at the general loss, but no real compassion for them.

Because they've just shown in a grand, horrible scale WHY things are becoming a little more and more hopeless in this beautiful country of ours.

If i sit and camp and squat for 3 days, I would be stupid to expect to get P20,000.00. But the people who went there counted on the prize money so much. Nobody even thought for a moment: what are the real chances of abs-cbn, tho a rich network, giving out money to EVERYONE who shows up?

Announcing that P10,000 will be given to the first 100 people to secure tickets... that was already asking for trouble on abs-cbn's part. But suffering day and night camping outside ULTRA for the slim chance to win P20k, that's just really, really, really stupid!!! 3 days where you could have worked and earned money... money that isn't that big maybe, but money that's surely yours!

And what the hell were you thinking, dragging grandmothers and children there? What use could they be to you? What, nobody's going to look after them at home? Is camping on some street looking after them?

Arggh... suffice it to say am more angry and upset and frustrated with the victims.

And poverty couldn't be used as the sole reason here. Times are hard, yes, for we all feel the economic crunch (and yes, the poor feel them exponentially). But not all of those who went there were exactly dirt poor. If you saw the footages of people crying over dead mothers and aunts and sisters, you'd see that some of them actually were in uniforms, suggesting employment and therefore, an opportunity to have a good enough life.

But that's just it, Filipinos would rather suffer for get-rich-quick schemes instead of suffer from honest labor. Filipinos would rather have P20,000 now rather than an assured income over many years (victims who had broken ribs and all that sh!t, what if you never get employed again after your disability?). Filipinos are just plain greedy! (sweeping generalization, yes, but what do you call these people who were born, bred and actually live here? Filipinos right? and what do you call a bunch of people who'd continue stomping on other people... or who'd continue being glued to their seats, after announcements have been made that there were deaths outside, hoping the program will continue?)

And so now, some 60+ people have landed themselves in Medical City (known to be a little more expensive) and Arlington Funeral Homes (known to demand hundreds of thousand of pesos just for embalming and a funeral)... places that reek of money and prestige... only, they're kinda dead to bask in the glory of it.


a friend discusses stampede from a medical point of view


And after this really angry post, I still cannot feel for them. I suffer thru boredom and long hours and the bureacracy etc. but I make my living. I don't expect handouts. Sure, i'd love to be handed money but I know well enough to continue working for my keep.

And my parents were both poor, they both had to work their way for the education they had. They saved all the money they could. Up to now, they're not too keen on being too comfortable. They made themselves proud for reaping what they've sowed. And they made us, their kids, proud that they chose honest labor over everything else. Whatever rewards they're reaping now, they fully deserve them.

And these victims, those 20,000 people who were present there, are nothing like my parents.


Has anybody noticed that only one man died at the last celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene, considering that there could have been more than 20,000 people in Quiapo last January 9?

Another example of how exacting the price we pay for greed is.


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