The one thing I’ve wished for devoutly these past several years is the one thing I’m deathly scared of now. That is that Arroyo might not last till Election Day. That is that Arroyo might be ousted by People Power.
What exactly are you talking about gramps? Are you saying you foresee another People Power “revolution” taking place in 2010? Or is your fearless forecast nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to incite the vacuous masses to mass the streets of Manila again to dance the ocho-ocho?
It seems de Quiros is on a mission to scrounge around for “evidence” that his long-awaited storm is already brewing. Perhap the same kind of “hiss of fire-and-brimstone wrath” that he’d like to think are the unmistakable symptoms of that “deep-throated rumble from the bowels of this earth that truly hasn’t been heard in a long time” are already so obviously evident that we may as well start preparing for the inevitable march onto the streets. Indeed, Mr. de Quiros, several years is a long time to wait for your favourite fiesta activity, so much so that you’d latch on to “lamentations” and “curses” that make use of words like “animals” and “savages” — supposedly “[w]ords that had the virtue of conveying revulsion” directed at the recent atrocities in Maguindanao province and Arroyo’s bid for a seat in Congress after her term as President.
Nice try Mr. de Quiros. Your rather quaint use of that childish technique called reverse psychology may, to be fair, actually work — considering that ours is a society still beholden to the kind of horsemanure that is given so much profile and airtime by the Philippine Media. But like everything else that passes off as quality content for distribution in mainstream channels, your views benefit from our society’s sorry lack of ability to consistently apply a bit of perspective around the crap we routinely eat up.
As I mentioned in a previous article:
What is new about politically-motivated killing in the Philippines? Nothing, actually. What is shocking about this recent one? Perhaps the number of people — particularly the number of journalists and lawyers — involved in one go (our definition of “shocking” is whatever the Media tells us is). Yet, fourty six dead is a tragedy dwarfed by what one researcher estimates to be at least 10,000 Filipinos killed during the Marcos regime. Has anyone of consequence been punished? The answer to that question (or the more obvious lack of it) becomes relevant when we now consider what happens next in the aftermath of this most recent atrocity.
You seem to imply, Mr. de Quiros, that the Arroyo Administration holds exclusive monopoly over senseless dying under a single person’s watch. And what about the thousands who have died in maritime “mishaps” involving ships belonging to a single shipping line?
Indeed, where is the outrage?
Today [the 26th of June 2008] we have 800 dead in a sea disaster involving a Taipan-run enterprise that happens to own four other ships that put the Philippines on the peacetime disaster map over the last 20 years. The 1987 sinking of the Sulpicio-owned MV Doña Paz is the worst peacetime maritime disaster in history. It’s ironic that Pinoys continuously and pathetically scrounge around for little snippets of trivia to put our “race” at the top of various lists of stuff when this bit of trivia has been sitting right under our noses (or swept under the radar of our collective awareness) for the last 20 years.
Galing Pinoy nga naman talaga.
I’ll tell you where this “outrage” had gone — down the same black hole where learning SHOULD have been in Filipino society. Following that loss of 800 Filipino lives, there was silence…
Taking stock of the latest disaster photo coverage over the islands, one can’t really tell whether it is 2008, 2006, 1998, 1991, or 1988. It’s all the same. One big monolithic ethical vacuum — no different from the way we stumble from one election circus to another and, in between those, no different from the way we muddle along from one Edsa “revolution” after another.
It is the banal sameness of our society’s collective response that is the real outrage here. A bit calmer, shall we say. We tell ourselves this was nothing like the 4,000 dead in the aftermath of the sinking of the MV Doña Paz in 1987 — the worst peacetime sea disaster in the world. Of course not. We’ve murmured our three Hail Marys and three Our Fathers at that time and all is forgiven and forgotten. Let’s deal with THIS disaster.
And here we are, more than a year later, reading some two-bit columnist for the Inquirer.net make something out of some imagined unprecedented “outrage” over 57 dead people in Mindanao gleaned from, among others, those bastions of Pinoy ha-ha insight — Twitter and Facbeook — and in the process alluding to yet another Ocho-Ocho Revolution (and pretending to be “scared” of his own allusion).
Next steps, plez? Sorry folks. Next steps are a no-no in Filipino mainstream thought. Indignation leading to fiesta revolution, perhaps, but none of the sort that yields sustainable results. Do we truly want to honour our dead? Let’s stop plastering images of their uncovered remains on our Facebook profiles and blogs, waxing poetic about “revolutions”, and expressing hollow “indignation”. Let us take our politicians to task within established channels (and give real honour to our democracy as well) by lifting the standards by which we evaluate and engage them.
The thing with Mainstream Media is that it now suffers from the same kind of rot that afflicts the very politics it presumes to critique. It has become a boys’ club of like-minded within-the-square thinkers whose “opinions” routinely pass the saleable test of these monolithic Philippine media enterprises that market regurgitated inbred content at such a huge profit.
Let us step out of the square that Filipino demagoguery has painted our minds into and be more discerning. Tune in to Sentro ng Katotohanan at DWBL 1242 KHz (AM band, Philippines) 8.30 to 9.30 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s the better option when stuck in traffic.