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Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Two Announcements: Wowowee and StarStruck

We interrupt this blog for some important announcements...

WHEN DEATH CHEERED "WOWOWEE!"

First, I let the news speak for itself...

Manila stadium stampede kills 73 (bbc.co.uk)

A stampede outside a sports stadium in the Philippine capital, Manila, has left at least 73 dead, many of them women, with more than 300 injured.

Tens of thousands of people had gone to the stadium for the first anniversary recording of a popular TV gameshow.

The crush happened when those outside started pushing, prompting security guards to close the entrance gate.

The Wowowee show is popular for giving big cash prizes in a country where 40% of people live on less than $2 a day.


The show, which airs six days a week, normally offers a 1 million peso ($19,250) top prize, but Saturday's anniversary edition had doubled that money.

"This is a programme that intends to help Filipinos, especially the poor," said host Willie Revillame.

"We only wanted to make these people happy."

About 30,000 people were waiting to get into the Ultra stadium in the Manila suburb of Pasig - significantly more than the usual 5,000 who attend recordings.

The programme, produced by ABS-CBN television, had never used the stadium before.

Witnesses and officials said the crush began when guards refused to keep open the gates to the stadium.

A spokesman for the network, Rene Luspo, said people started trying to get to the head of the queue and became agitated.

"The people from behind, not the people in front, kept on pushing and shoving the people in front of them," he said.

"Eventually this gate gave way. That's when the people right in front of the crowd stumbled, and then they piled up."...

Let me tell you about my two cents in a slightly-showbiz point-of-view.

I honestly don't like Wowowee because it encourages extreme medicancy. Instead of people lining up at offices or factories looking for a job, the poor satisfy themselves with falling in line at the Wowowee Studio, hoping for a chance to play its main game "Pera O Bayong" (Money Or The Bag) and see the host Willie Revillame in the flesh.

I honestly don't like Wowowee because how it exploits the poor and their lack of intelligence by asking questions that only walking encyclopedias could answer, and instead rely on guesswork and the gyration of the dancers assigned in each multiple choice.

And what happened last Saturday was the extreme of all extremes. Days before the anniversary show, Mr. Wowowee enticed the audience with promises of minibuses, cars, consolation prizes at least five thousand pesos, and, if you're lucky enough, a grand prize of two million pesos if you choose the right bag in "Pera O Bayong." However, the raffle is only eligible to "the first 300 people to get in the gates."


Everything went just as planned. People began lining up as early as Monday, men, women, little children, pregnant women, with food and supplies in tow. By Friday, around 30,000 people are at the venue.

Come Saturday, they will accomodate the VIPs (balikbayans and Filipinas with foreign husbands), open the gates resulting to a mad dash for 300 raffle tickets. They will designate the poor audience members to the open bleachers, while the remaining people who can't enter the gates will be told to stay in line because a camera attached to a helicopter will hover over the stadium to broadcast the thick crowd that Wowowee has mustered for the amazement of the TV viewers (and to taunt their competing shows as well).

A Michael Jackson-inspired opening number will commence, showcasing a medley of MJ's hits. Mr. Wowowee knows how to moonwalk. He will then thank the audience for attending this momentous event. He will speak some spiels praising the show and its network (common ABS-CBN practices). He will promise that "no one will come home crying." Applause...

Well, that didn't happen.

Who do I think is at fault? Wowowee's network, ABS-CBN, of course. There is a blatant disorganization right from the start. They expect a huge crowd, so why only accomodate 300 raffle entries? Why distribute it on the event day itself? THESE TICKETS SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED DAYS BEFORE THE EVENT.

Of the hundreds of guards stationed in the stadium, only three were manning the gates. HOW DO YOU EXPECT THREE GUARDS TO CONTROL A CROWD 10,000x THEIR NUMBER?

And now, ABS-CBN is pointing the blame finger on 1) the blatant poverty flooding the Emerald Isles and 2) the rowdy crowd. They even asked the private sector through spin-off public affairs programs to donate for the benefit of the 400-plus victims. Why? Don't they have the money for that?

ABS-CBN's hunger for hype promotions and humongous crowds have taken its consequence. I feel so sorry for the victims, and I feel oh so sorry for ABS-CBN. Rising from a problem such as this is not easy.

It was as if Death had a field day, singing a new song...


Wow wow wee sino ang mawiwili?

Dahil sa game na 'to, ikaw ay magsisisi

Wow wow wee namatay ang marami

Ubos ang 'yong luha sa Wowowee...

***************

NO! STARSTRUCK! NO!

I was shocked to learn last Sunday (while travelling from Tagaytay) that Vivo my Vivo, along with Bugz was eliminated at celebrity search StarStruck. I don't mind Bugz getting ditched, but Vivo's ousting broke my heart.

Look at him. JUST LOOK AT HIM. Don't you just wanna give him a warm consoling hug? I would!




6 Comments:

Blogger Talamasca said...

I could never blame the people. That show was their "quick fix." The bad thing? It was crab mentality's finest hour....

Tue Feb 07, 01:53:00 PM GMT+8

 
Blogger Chas Ravndal said...

i truly agree that the show is just exploiting the poor. It's more like a sugar coated candy luring children. I feel very sorry for the people who died on that tragic incident.

Tue Feb 07, 06:49:00 PM GMT+8

 
Blogger ribbiticus said...

my dear empress, that was truly an excellent post. never knew the events that transpired before the tragedy so it was an awakening for me. when in dire straits, the worst comes out of people and the wowowee incident was such an example. i wonder how that person who shouted "bomb" is sleeping nowadays...

Tue Feb 07, 11:18:00 PM GMT+8

 
Anonymous dementia said...

I'm still stuck over the stampede. It's really sad.

Wed Feb 08, 02:04:00 AM GMT+8

 
Blogger empress maruja said...

TALAMASCA -- I don't blame the people and the poverty for what happened. It all boils down to responsibility. ABS-CBN, as the organizer of the event, should be held responsible.

CHAS -- I do feel very sorry, too. There was an account from a survivor that the crowd was so thick days leading to the big event that she couldn't even raise her hand, and that some people would even resort to urinating in place so that other people would not overtake them. It was a case of carelessness.

RIBBITICUS -- The result of the investigation said that there no-one shouted "bomb". It was just that when the gates were opened, a staffer shouted through a megaphone that only the first 300 to enter the gate would get to play "pera o bayong". That agitated some people and resorted to cutting through the queue. Because of the mad rush, the gates were closed again to supposedly control the crowd, but the people kept on pushing, braking the gate, toppling the people in front, trampling the people in front. God, I couldn't take imagining that incident.

DEMENTIA -- This incident could drag on in the news for quite some time. It would be a tough chapter for everyone concerned.

Wed Feb 08, 10:27:00 PM GMT+8

 
Anonymous imbestigador said...

hi empress,The latest Reports Said that The Actual No.of Fatalities in wowowee Stampede is 81....

Sorry,Medyo Late na ako Nagpost,Hirap Hanapin Paano Mag Post eh... :mrgreen:

Thu Oct 26, 10:18:00 PM GMT+8

 

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