I’m still finding it difficult to accept what just happened this morning at Philsports stadium in Pasig. It’s simply devastating. According to the latest update from this source and this source, the death toll was 74* plus over 300* more injured.
Wowowee, ABS-CBN’s highly-rated noontime show was supposed to hold its 1st anniversary show at the said venue. Given its extreme popularity, one can expect that people – a LOT of people – will be there to celebrate, to enjoy, to watch the show, to see their beloved Willie, and of course, to get a chance to win. Tragedy, however, struck when a stampede erupted as the admission tickets were being given early this morning.
Very much like its predecesors, this show has been the beacon of hope for many, many Filipinos. It’s thru shows like Wowowee that the masses get a chance to win, whether its a thousand or a million Pesos. Some people will do anything just to get that chance. It’s half perseverance – you wait in the longest lines under the scorching heat of the sun – and half luck – if you get picked as a contestant; you’re half way there.
I have seen winners cry their eyes out on-air after winning the one million jackpot. And in all honesty, I really feel happy for them. In a society where earning a decent living is often a daily struggle for the almost anyone, Wowowee represents the great opportunity. A possible break from the monotomy of poverty.
What today’s tragedy has clearly illustrated is how desparate people can get. Or maybe, how desparate many are already.
It’s not their thirst for knowledge that drove these peole to religiously follow these so-called infotainment shows.
It’s not their blind adoration for Willie and the rest of the Kapamilya entertainers that drove these people to go berzerk for a milli-space in that stadium this morning.
It’s not their hope that drove these people to camp out there and brave the dangers that are ever-present in such big events.
It’s desperation. For that chance of change in their lives.
* – numbers updated. 02.05.06