Home > Philippines for Dummies > ULTRA Tragedy

ULTRA Tragedy

February 5th, 2006

Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor. – Sholom Aleichem

I was gripped with grief and anger as I watched on TV the reports about the stampede at ULTRA that took 73 lives and injured a hundred more.

“We only wanted to help people, especially the poorest,” said a despondent Willie Revillame, the host of the gameshow Wowowee!

“This TV show is for all Filipinos,” he added, his voice cracking and his eyes welling up in tears. “This is their show. I’m just the host. Even if you come to our show without slippers or with a hole in your pants, you’re welcome here. We will help you.”

Wowowhat? That’s BS!

What help to Filipinos do these TV game shows provide? Besides peddling trash entertainment, the only thing these game shows provide to our poor is the perpetuation of an illusion to get rich the quickest way. Everybody knows that giant TV Networks are just using the situation of poverty of the people to outdo each other for ratings and commercial revenues beefed up by viewership and patronage.

For all we know these game shows, in the guise of helping filipinos, earn much more than what they give as prizes. Among big Corporations, the much hyped Corporate social-responsibility advocacy is nothing but another do-good PR and marketing strategy intended to ease tax accountabilities through charitable contributions while banking on the abject poverty of the masses to rake more profit.

Again, what social responsibility? Even the tragedy like the ULTRA stampede is treated as a scoop and raised to sensational proportions by these rapacious networks. A TV anchor while reporting the news even had the audacity to use the word “phenomenal” to highlight the attraction of a huge crowd to the anniversary of Wowowe. As if the tragedy doesn’t really matter, what is important is that the Wowowee game show was able to mobilize such mamoth crowd. Willie Revillame even wanted the show to go on despite the deadly stampede, according to the Daily Tribune. And for sure the other network will capitalize on this tragedy to undermine its rival.This is sickening.

Naturally ABS-CBN being producer of the show took the responsibility of shouldering the funeral expenses of all victims and the hospitalization for those who were injured. While Willie Revillame plans to take a leave to personally condole with families of victims. But this is not enough. These are but consolation prizes for a game show that was paid dearly by the lives of poor people. Even if it was an accident, someone must be held liable for this tragedy. Unlike natural calamities where we only have our faltering faith in God and the corruption in Government to blame for its disastrous outcome, the ULTRA tragedy is an accident that was bound to happen. The organizers have already saw the influx of a big crowd days before the actual event. The Devil is in the detail, they must have given extra attention to it.

If anything, the ULTRA tragedy like all tragedies that befell our country, highlighted a grim and sad reality of our society. As mentioned by Willlie Revillame, “This accident only shows how hard life is for many of our countrymen.” I completely agree with this statement if only to point out that the Government is as guilty as the giant TV networks. Guilty of making poverty in this country the biggest reality show.

Categories: Philippines for Dummies Tags:
  1. February 7th, 2006 at 17:11 | #1

    Hi Kuya Sam,

    ako nga parang trahedya din minsan ang tingin ko sa buhay ko dahil pinanganak akong poor kaso kaso kelangan ko na lang mangarap na may magawa man lang ako kahit kunti sa kabila ng kahirapan…[drama no?] hehehe… :-) suki na nga ako ng lotto station ngayon eh…

    buti na lang di ako napasyal don, baka naapakan din ako don, mabagal pa naman akong kumilos…tsk tsk tsk…. sana di na magyari ulit yong trahedyang yon, sayang ang buhay pag sa ganyang walang kwentang bagay lang mawawala….

  2. Sam
    February 7th, 2006 at 22:11 | #2

    Hi Denver, klasmeyt pala tayo sa lotto…:)

    Sana nga hindi na maulit ang ganitong klaseng trahedya. At para di na ito maulit, dapat itigil na nang mga TV networks ang mga ganitong klaseng gameshows.At dapat lang din na may managot at maparusahan sa nangyaring trahedya.

  3. February 8th, 2006 at 13:42 | #3

    I just hope nothing like this happens again in the future. Sometimes, organizers of these kind of shows forgets that we are dealing with lives of human beings and not merely puppets to gain advantage in the ratings war. If only foresight were enough, the stampede would not have happened.

Comments are closed.