Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bang Bang In A Major Major Way

When I got to the gym last night, the wide screen TVs were all on the hostage coverage. The SWAT team was all lined up at the side of the bus; someone was trying to pry open the door with a sledgehammer.

I stepped onto the machine to do my 20+ minutes of cardio.

I was almost done with my workout and they still were trying to enter the bus, this time from the back door. A lot of the trainers and some of the clients were watching the spectacle unfold. I noticed two Filipino guys who positioned themselves near one of the monitors; they were joking and laughing at the attempts of our police to subdue one hostage-taker.

“Either we Filipinos have a knack of trying to make light any situation,” I said to myself, “or they’re two of the most insensitive jerks who never realized that there are Chinese nationals who are also clients in this gym.”

We really do have this, “Well, what else can we do but laugh at ourselves?” mentality, especially in the face of enormous trial. We did it with Ondoy. And even in the face of outrage, we just had to joke about the Maguindanao massacre.

So when the next morning came and with it, the spectacle of the grandest beaucon of all, Miss Universe, many were understandably excited as evidenced by the numerous tweets and FB status updates. It’s as if people were grasping at some good news, having our national image dragged to hell the night before. Someone even joked to me, “The hostage taking was sooo last season! Charos.” It’s as if, please Lord, let the Miss Universe wash away the blood and embarrassment of the night before.

But even if Venus Raj was crowed Miss Universe, our triumph will be but short-lived. Sure, our networks can try and milk the good news beyond its 15 minutes. But being crowned doesn’t even come close to the senseless deaths of 8 people, and the embarrassing aftermath.

Yes, it’s unfair to link the two. But reading all those tweets this morning, I can’t help but notice a palpable, nay, willful choice to forget the hostage debacle and replace it with a major, major world event. And I can’t blame them. As much as we like to run to our teleseryes to run away from reality, we needed the distraction from Las Vegas, even of only for a few hours.

But unfortunately Venus Raj stumbled in her Q&A portion. Now as Hong Kong and China are raising questions and issues about how we handled the hostage crisis and the safety of the Philippines as a tourist destination, we seem to be stumbling as well in our Q&A portion.


rudeboy said...

I've often found it frustrating how short our memories as a people are, at how quickly we forgive, how conveniently we forget.

I guess which is why we're such virtuosos at stumbling.

And stumbling.

And grinning like fools while at it.

~Carrie~ said...

What a striking entry. Coincidentally, I received an email with the subject "PNP Hostage Management Training" with a picture of two policemen 'immersed' in Time Crisis.

We poke fun st our mistakes but we seem to never learn.

Mu[g]en said...

Perhaps, at the back of everyone's head, they know, the Miss U could only afford them an hour or two's escape. Nothing more, nothing less.

Its a reality they cannot truly escape.

Mac Callister said...

sayang sana nag major major effort pa si venus sa pag iisip ng tamang

pero yaan na!4th place is still something than nothing hehe

paci said...

some things should never be forgotten so the lessons would forever remain and changes would happen..

Désolé Boy said...

that picture is depressing...

mysuperalterego said...

The incident last monday reminds me of the song IMAGINE.
It's so sad that some people can do anything even to kill innocent people just for personal interest :(

karla said...

i found it odd that her town held a parade when the president declared a national day of mourning yesterday. we are a country of jarring contrasts.