Wowowee Tragedee

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

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2 thoughts on “Wowowee Tragedee

  1. Hi. I found my way here from Sassy Lawyer’s blog.

    I agree with your line about desparation that drove people to the stadium that morning. But don’t you think that there were also others there who went, not really out of desperation but because of greed – the desire to have much, much more than what they already have? Just a thought.

  2. Point taken. The desperation is more on the excessive desire to get in, to get a good seat, ahead of the others. A lot of people camped out near the gates *days* before the day of the show. Those who weren’t there early enough, went over the bakod and on the rooftops. Those peope, in particular, were not there “just to see Willie” or “just to enjoy the show” or “just show their support.” And thus, desperation.

    On greed. Maybe so. But the question is: How much do they have really? The way I see it, not that much. Or rather, barely enough. So its really normal – or even, necessary – for some of them to want more. No one should blame them for wanting more.

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