putting a story to bed
i'm steadily getting tired of all these reports about what ABS-CBN is planning to do to fight lawsuits and their efforts to compensate victims and families of victims, and politicians' and writers' musings on why in the world did the tragedy of 73 and 600 injured happened.

airing out theories and making amends is all good. it's getting real and trying to clean up the tragedy's aftermath. speculating on why 30,000 flocked to a stadium with a 17,000 capacity all for a slim chance at a new house and P1 million makes sense, even those who waited in line made sense.

a friend of mine mentioned that experience in the philippines is primarily communal - everyone is happy about the same thing all at the same time because there's only so many things to focus on: and that saturday, it was television. so it's not suprising that about twice the amount of people that the philsports arena could hold showed up with hopes to participate in wowowee and win or just merely see the celebrities heading the show. everyone knew what wowowee was. everyone wanted that one chance to be on TV and possibly win some prizes.

everyone is blaming the network for not anticipating record crowds, not distributing tickets beforehand, not hiring law enforcement to control the crowd. they're blaming the network for holding a benefit entertainment show without asking for donations but for accepting advertising anyways (maybe it's to raise funds for the anticipated record settlements and lawsuits).

ABS-CBN isn't scared of declaring they'll face any lawsuits because they might not expect that many suits to be filed in the first place, much less suits to be won by the victims and families of victims: most of them are poor, and their money will dry up long before they could see the inside of a courtroom with any level of ABS executive. whereas, we can say that the revenue of the philippines' largest television network is almost limitless.

how do you fix what's already broken? glue it together with settlements. fix the law for shorter stature of limitations. by the time that victims' son graduates from law school, he'd be too late to avenge his mother who died trying to win them some money or who died just following her whims for a cute host, for once.

how do you fix what's already broken? by more news conferences. more appearances. more advertising-riddled, collectionless, song and dance benefits. more tasteless entertainment. we all need the distraction. the entertainment isn't all that empty, after all, it's reflection of philippine urban society.

i'm sure the networks have returned to regular programming by now. the good, too-late thing that i think is happening right now is that every filipino has stopped and assessed their own lives. after all, we should all start from there. where else can we start?

meanwhile, the networks will come up with something to patch grief - they'll invent a new show, maybe no longer a game show, at that particular time slot; they have to, because the benefits and special reports can go only so far.

people in mecca have died for following religion. people in the u.s. have died for overcrowding nightclubs that have only one exit and entrance. people in manila have died for following a dream.

there are some stories that deserve to be interminable. others that come to a neat end. and then, there are stories whose ends are hidden, and the only appropriate action is to shave from them momentum, to let them shed speed, let them slowly tell themselves out, until they've finished, concluded not by some external force, but by themselves, on their own.

shhh. a story is tired. it's resting a moment, just for a moment, because it's not yet done telling. it's going to go to sleep.

Philippine stadium stampede kills 73
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