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Deadly Noontime Shows

In a few months people will forget anyway.

Yesterday 74 people died in a tragic stampede.

The reason? Crowding to get into the one-year anniversary show of a local noontime variety show. Wowowee.

This is ridiculous, an obvious barometer showing how desperate many of our countrymen have become. The show was offering prizes in the form of raffle draws and contests, and many were hoping to win a house and lot or at least some cash to help them get by. Many of them were poor and coming from far-flung places even outside the metro.

Shocking how these people look up to Willy Revillame, host of Wowowee, as some sort of Messiah who can uplift them out of their poverty. And some paid dearly with their lives.

I remember during the days of the "Pera o Bayong" contest that there would be literally hundreds of would-be contestants hanging out near the ABS-CBN compound hoping to win a big prize. I remember thinking that these people spend hours in line, many probably coming back day after day; if they could just devote themselves to some sort of honest work they would have had far better chances of improving their lives.

While I say a prayer for those whose lives were lost, I'm glad I have the luxury of thinking that crowding in with thirty thousand people for a chance to win some cash is just too much hassle.

Feb. 5, 2006, 3:25 p.m. / / blog / #philippines / 💬 2 / 237 words

Last modified at: Jan. 17, 2021, 4:57 a.m. Source file


dave said...

Ei Roy,

This actually made me think of one of those Discovery programs I saw a while back, about how the Battle Of Agincourt during the Hundred Years war may actually have been the French being defeated by themselves and the terrain rather than any special prowess of the English (although it probably helped to have arrows raining down on them, even if the arrows couldn't penetrate their armor).

Once a crowd gets to a certain size, nothing is as dangerous as their interaction with barriers around them. Once people start crowding in front and the ones in the back don't realize the ones in front are impeded, the pushing of the ones in the back easily propagates and gets amplified by layers of other people pushing until the front ranks are crushed.

Roy said...

I skimmed over the link, and my first thought was: those guys need more micro!

I think the same applies to the Wowowee people.