screw the status quo. we need change and we need it now. we need not a leader who plays with words and public funds. we need not a leader whose years of service fall under the 'fiction' category. we definitely need not a leader who knows nothing. we require a leader who has conviction, who has the guts to change the seemingly unchangeable. we need... to prepare for 2007. Now.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Bad Luck and Mendicancy

Feb. 4 of this year turns out to be really sad. Around 80+ people died outside Ultra while waiting for their chance to win more than a million in a famous gameshow. This IS tragedy to the heighest degree in the world of Philippine showbiz. And you see sad faces and tears on TV after this.

Accidents happen, and no one is to blame. But there are many ways to prevent accidents from happening. And those who ignored a possibility of accidents to happen in the most likely place and time deserve something.

"If you predict that there's going to be a huge crowd, you should be ready with ambulances and communications," Gordon said, blaming poor organization of the event as the cause of the Wowowee frenzy. He is right. The local government of that city (Pasig, I believe) where Ultra is should have sent more police, ambulances and first aid people to the scene where people are starting to grow in number.

But there is something deeper to all of these.

Most people who came to see Wowowee had great hopes and dreams to win a prize that would alleviate their lives to a better status. This, even if the chance is up to a million to one. This how poor most of our contrymen are today. They will kill (by shouting "bomba" in a very crowded place), or be killed, for luck. They think luck IS the only hope for a better life to the Filipino, and for years, they have learned to embrace this roundabout principle. To almost 20,000 people who went there, and met this horrible tragedy resulting to their death, it seems that it is. It's not only culture. It has become a way of life.

Although ABS-CBN claims that all they desire is to give hope and entertainment to the "kapamilya", gameshows such as Wowowee, Eat Bulaga's Laban o Bawi, among many others, infuses mendicancy in the way of life of the poor. Instead of teaching to strive for success and focusing attention to worth-while and productive tasks, the Filipino sticks to the culture of betting and relying on luck.

(Ah, anyway, no matter how hard you try, there will still be evil factors who remain happy stealing your money from your wallets legally by imposing laws such as the extended VAT... but obviously, that's another story.)

See how these people line up three days before the show, just to have a better chance of winning the jackpot. At the time of the tragedy, they were tired, hungry, did not have enough sleep, but fed more with a burning desire to win. Some of them must have already given up working their frail bodies for minimum daily salaries. In their minds- it's better to be here for a bleak luck, striving for rewards that they deserve is just not possible in this country.

Three days will be worth the wait for them in the streets beside the Broadway Centrum or ABSCBN studios than three-days worth of a real job, if not finding a real means to earn a living.

It is but natural to hear throwing of blames from all sides after the mourning subsides in the next days. But I believe the blame goes to the system who continuously teaches the Masses that there is no hope for a better life in this country but to go out and forget about the country itself, or to bet your life on a televised commercialized gameshow.

The Filipino poor is hurting everyday, and it is but immensely unfortunate for them to die while waiting for what they belive would give them the last chance... no, the only means to a better life, even if it's false hope. Even if it's a one-in-a-million chance.

It's a wake up call for a complete change. Time to change this crooked way of thinking and false belief. Isn't it time for media to use all resources to teach the people the truth about what IS in this country? Isn't it time for big media companies to realize what power they have over the masses? If they TRULY feel for the poor, they would lead the people to what really provides a better life- to know the truth, to defy what is wrong, and to strive for success through productive means.

So ABSCBN spent all day for public service. Please. If they are to spend the whole Saturday (Feb. 4) for public service, why not devote everything for public service from now on? Or is it just public service just ain't enough for ratings?

To the families who are greatly affected by this commercialized craze turned tragic frenzy, my sincere prayers for justice and peace.


Blogger Jozzua said...

hi katie.

hearing you loud and clear. it is indeed very sad.. what happened. when you think about it really.. media nowadays is just another propaganda machine for either the government or the big corporations. like it or not, money still pushes what direction news and information goes. TRUE public service, then, probably won't exist until it is not driven by money or corporate self-interest.


3:40 PM

Blogger AKILEZ said...

I'm Sad... Even though I am currently unemployed I still have the chance to receive money from the Federal Government and other Benefits for the unfortunate Americans but the political situation in the Philippines is totally different.

I should blame myself for the demise of the Filipino People.

Just wait for three days for your fortune or curse to come after a long wait for nothing.

But who is to Blame?

1:08 PM

Anonymous Dexter said...

We are saddened by this tragic incident and it is a reflection of our society. How a lot of our people accept game shows as an escape to our growing problem like poverty, hunger, and lack of domestic jobs. The economy is in the dumps and we as a nation is rich in natural resources.
What are we doing wrong? We have a lot of very inteligent and hard working people. Is this not enough ? Yes, if you ask me. First and foremost, the government has to step up it's campaign to control population. There is not enough resources because we have a population boom and a lot of the people that you see that are suffering have 10 or more kids. You cannot point a blame on them, the government has a higher authority and a sense of responsibility to understand this, that is why they are governing for the majority. The churches has to support the campaign also or work with the goverment by spreading the word.

Let's forget about politics and work together for the good of our country. We as a united force can work this out, but as a divided nation, we can never think of ways to solve our problem.

Post whatever solution you think we will be doing for the betterment of our country. "Positive thinking is a start of solving the problem."

5:44 PM


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