Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Age of Stupid 5


When Ondoy flooded San Juan last September, our small city did not get any media attention at all. I just thought that other areas are worse hit, that's why. In fact, other places that never experienced flooding before were suddenly under water. Some places will be under water for months. Indeed, Ondoy swathed a wide area of destruction.

But still, San Juan itself suffered the worst flooding ever. The Youtube video of cars swept away by the flood currents was taken at the UERM hospital, just across the San Juan river. So why is San Juan not in the news? Not that we are kulang sa pansin, we just want to say that "hey we were victims too". Fortunately, despite the lack of press notice, aid still poured in.

It was also noticeable that during the floods, rescue operations were nowhere in sight. Again, I attributed that to the many people that needed rescuing. But after the water subsided, victims were in unison in saying that no help from the city officials arrived. The rescue efforts that saved hundreds were all initiated by friends and families from higher grounds.

Days after the flood, giant banners were put up by the mayor to exhort San Juanenos to be strong, to work together to make the city rise again from its own efforts, to work together to enliven the people's spirit. Good idea, only if people did not learn that the good mayor sneaked out of the country in the morning of the floods for Singapore to watch(?) the races. Surely, he could not have foretold the great flood. Definitely, he has the right to watch horse races. Absolutely, he is the son of his father.

But talks are rife that his people asked the media to be out of San Juan so people won't notice his absence. Without the media coverage of the people's pleas, help did not come. With the mayor absent, his men were clueless in the rescue operations. He did the wrong thing in going to the races. He did the wrong thing in isolating the city from the media. He is wrong to think that the people does not know any better.

This is the age of stupid.

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