Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Definition of Senseless Tragedy

Got an email from my friend Oli Reyes last Saturday, about the tragedy at the ULTRA:
Unbelievable. Wowowee just went on the air. Apparently, the several thousand people who did get into ULTRA are still there, waiting for the show to begin. I am typing this as the events transpire.

Willie Revillame standing on the ULTRA stage. As he entered, people started screaming "Wow wow Willie! Wow wow Willie!” Then he starts crying. At the sight of him weeping, people start screaming again, "Wow Wow Willie." One person screams "Willie ang gwapo mo!"

He then starts speaking, in tears, asking for apologies, saying that he only wanted to help people. He pleads with the crowd to understand what happened, and implicitly not to blame him or ABS for the tragedy... He couldn't believe it all happened. He asks people not to get mad if the show was not to go on. Most of his remarks are greeted by applause, except the one about please don't get mad if the show didn't go on. Willie Revillame then pleads for national unity.

Noli de Castro then comes up on stage, without much applause, except when he notes the fact that most of the people still have tickets which apparently will be redeemable or somehow still usable. Probably after minutes of looking, ABS is finally able to cut to a shot of sad faces in the crowd. The sad people look suspiciously rich and beautiful, and are probably ABS staffers. Cut to Mike Defensor, standing beside a man in drag makeup who in fairness looks sad. Noli actually sounds authoritative, calming, and sober, fatherly even. Willie on the other hand looks like a teen who just crashed his dad's car into 79 people.

I get the sense that these people inside Ultra had no idea of the extent of the carnage until Noli pointedly notes that "there are 79 dead bodies lined up in the streets."

Charo Santos now, no applause, her film career having died years ago. She pats Willie on the shoulder. I bet he's fired after two months, if only as part of the legal defense strategy. She apologizes, then goes into flight attendant mode, asking people to line up in an orderly fashion as they step out of ULTRA.

Willie then asks everybody to stand up for a minute of silence to pray for the dead. Noli and Charo then thank everyone and ask everyone to leave. People start repeatedly screaming "Wowowee! Wowowee!", thus revealing an appalling lack of perspective.

Sabi naman ni Tabachoi:
Ganito yan e. Imagine mong may hawak kang isang pirasong pritong manok. Tapos sa harap mo, may limang tao na hindi pa kumakain ng limang araw. Sinabi mong mapupunta ang manok sa mauunang makaabot sa manok. Winagayway mo yung manok sa harap nila na parang matador na may hawak na pulang tela sa harap ng toro. Hindi nila alam na may bangin pala sa tabi mo. Hindi sila nakatingin sa bangin. Sa manok sila nakatingin. Nahulog silang lahat. Namatay ang lima. Tapos hindi mo aaminin na kasalanan mo?

(Links to FrancisM and Conrado de Quiros' takes on the tragedy from his post).

No comments: