Monday, Bloody Monday

Together with the lamentation for the death of the hostages is the sadness over the incompetence of those meant to lead and protect us. – Jose Javier Reyes

What was supposed to be the last day of sightseeing for a group of Hong Kong tourists turned into a hostage drama that ended in the tragic death of at least seven people including the hostage taker. The day-long ordeal began when a disgruntled policeman hijacked the Hong Thai Travel Tourist Bus in a desperate attempt to get his job back. Now the Philippines is back in the international limelight albeit for the wrong reasons.

The hostage drama was so riveting, it bumped off all the prime time dramas of the two giant networks. Who would watch a scripted series when there was something real that was happening in Luneta. It was like a scene straight out of a Hollywood thriller. Cops negotiating with a fellow cop, Chinese tourists finding themselves in the wrong place and at the wrong time, media men scrambling to get the latest on a hostage drama that seemed to last forever and a whole nation glued to their television screens waiting for something to happen, tragic or otherwise.

And it did happen, but unlike in the movies where some heroic figure saves the day and everyone lives happily ever after this one ends in tragedy. Tragic for the hostage taker who lost his dear life and will never get to redeem himself in the eyes of the public, the helpless tourists who were like trapped mice and with nowhere to go and this country which is still struggling both economically and politically and suddenly finding itself in the radar of the international press and will now look for a back up plan in order to entice tourist to visit the islands.

People will talk about this, debate on the shoulda, coulda, wouldas, pose their theories on what really happened on Agust 23, 2010 while the media milks the incident till it bleeds dry for their so-called social responsibility to report on the events of the day. That is until another tragedy or scandal hogs the headlines and grabs the attention of the masa. Hope we do not forget this as we Pinoys are notorious for our short term memory. After a while we will all go back to watching inane dramas and live our lives like nothing happened.

There is a lesson to be learned in this tragedy, a lesson that I hope we would all learn and never forget. Till my next rant. Peace.

(Photos were taken this morning)


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