December 18, 2004

Deliver Us Some Evil

First, there was the Bangladesh-like flooding in Quezon. Then, FPJ dies of a stroke which was followed by mass hysteria. Next, the youngest daughter JDV was burnt to a crisp right inside their "mansion." After that, what else? Another earthquake?

When has December, the month of joy and hope, became the season of anguish and despair? Is this God's punishment on us? Or was this the result of man's folly? Perhaps they are indeed. The tragedy in Real, Quezon reminds us of man vs. nature wherein we have exceeded our abuses against Mother Nature the very which she tries to prevent in the first place. Second, the FPJ fracas reminds me of man vs. himself when we abuse ourselves by enriching our health with fat-laden calorific food coupled by a daily diet of alcohol to the point where our bodies can not compensate anymore, hence, pop goes the basilar artery. The third tragedy shows man vs. fate which means that even when we are insulated in the protection of our homes and "mansions" right inside one of the most exclusive snotty villages in urban Makati, it does not rule out that we might not die a tragic death. It's like that movie "Final Destination" wherein everyone dies a horrific death through the hands of Fate. In this case, a bit of extravagance might have done Kristina de Venecia in. If you have been reading the news, the culprit for her death was the Christmas lights that were never turned off (even in brightness of day.) So, with a little spark, grilled up bathroom windows, and no one in the house except the household help, it became the perfect recipe for death.

I empathize with those who have been close with FPJ or Ms. de Venecia for they truly are affected by the loss of a loved one. The bond has now been broken. But to see all those "fans" in hysterics over the death of FPJ is very amusing indeed. I admit Da King has a soft and humble heart to those he had helped and I admire him for that but what has he done for the public besides his B-movies, that merits acclaim and adulation? Was he as holy and ala peace-maker like the pope? Was he as vocal by current injustices like Chino Roces and Ninoy? Was he great in nation building like Magsaysay? Poe was a good man, but not a great man.

And as for JDV's daughter, she might have been one of those coño brats whose brains are made exclusively with shopping lists, charge slips, and gimmick lists and whose concept of Manila is limited by the bounderies of Glorietta, Rockwell and Greenbelt. Or she might have been that unreachable Starbucks-addict who only goes to art schools, ballet schools, who plays only with expensive dolls with daddy's bodyguards or with her IS classmates, who goes to HK or LA every weekend with Daddy dearest (or to Paris to meet up with KC Concepcion), and whose idea of the Philippines are limited to the news she sees in CNN. Or she may be just another you and me- rugged, cowboy, non-descript and level-headed. I don't know her, and she does not know me. All I know, the media is going ga-ga over her untimely death. The death of a politico's daughter. The death of "Manay" Gina's youngest. And as if putting her in the headlines for one week would make people stop and cry over it. What about some uknown beggar that was run over by a ten-wheeler last night? Doesn't it deserve the same attention as this brat?

These headline hoggers are just one in a hundred deaths that occur in our beleagered nation everyday. My patient died today in the wards and no GMA crew was there to record his demise. It just so happened that they were famous and we're not. And so the whole world weeps with them as if the globe has stopped turning on its axis. The sheer absurdity of it. Just like Princess Diana. You can just "admire" the veneration of countless fans who wept and laid flowers on the streets. At least Princess Di has something to prove to the world like campaigning against eating disorders and land mines. What about them? What have they proven? That alcohol must be taken in moderation? That Christmas lights should be turned off during the day? Perhaps only after their burial will the air become more still and calm.

After these terrible incidents, what next? The only thing I'm looking forward to is the death of a dwarfish character called Stitch sitting on a highchair in Malacañang Palace cackling in her seat thinking that the attention has somewhat shifted away from her poor performance. I keep my fingers crossed.

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