Monday, February 06, 2006

Ramblings: A Dose of Insensitivity

Monument of Jose Rizal at Lagawe

"Do I believe so? As I believe in the Gospel! The Indio is so indolent!"

Words of Padre Damaso in the first chapter of Noli Me Tangere. I bet Rizal would be turning in his grave if he heard news of what happened at the Wowowee First Anniversary special. There were so many potential great men and women lost in the pursuit of easy money. Unfortunately, we are just proving the image that Rizal and his fellow Propagandists have long tried to change. We are living in a culture of quick, but myopic solutions and easy but conditional escapes. We are a society that lives on the hope of a hand out and a "gift from God". We are a people who has forgotten the saying we, ourselves, popularized.

Do we still remember, "Nasa Diyos ang awa nasa tao ang gawa"?

Though I also believe in the words of Mohandas Gandhi:
"There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread."
and I, somehow, understand why people cling to the small hope of winning money they could only earn by sweating blood and tears for months, years, or even their entire lifetime (How else would a poor man react when a gold nugget is dangled in front of him?), I do not see God looking favorably upon a man who is able to work well, lining up for several work days, for a chance to make easy money. When God sentenced man to have to toil for food upon banishment from Eden, I seriously doubt that He had lining up for a gameshow in mind. Games of chance like these should only be taken as a last resort.

We have always been like this. Instead of working hard to better the community we are not satisfied with, we take to the streets and blame the government for not doling out enough money. Instead of standing by a candidate with gradual, but suitable reforms, we choose the guy who can pay for that day's meals.

These things are easy for me to say. I was not one of the people lined up for the games. I was never the man who sold cigarettes and newspapers all day and all night for meager earnings. The amount of effort I put in my studies and in my workday, though a smidgen of the labor other people go through, earns more than some people do in a month.

I am not a person who believes in adding insult to injury. I was very much saddened by the news of people dying in the stampede. I was unfortunate enough to witness the suffering of the people first hand. I found it very difficult to stem the flow of tears as I saw the injured lined up in their gurneys and wheel chairs along the walls of Medical City. I, too, mourn for the meaningless loss of so many lives.

This is why I do not blame them. I do not blame anyone, to be honest. I do not see any point in trying to put the blame on anyone. We are at a point in history where trying to pinpoint the source of the problem is more than arguing about who did not draft proper security and safety measures. We are at a point in history where we have to review the patterns our society follows.

And if someone told me that I had to pick someone to blame, I would blame Rizal and his contemporaries. I mean, really, our forefathers could have done better in changing the consciousness of their countrymen.

Picture of victims of the stampede.

Let us pray for them.

Taken from

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