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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:21 pm 
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Philippine TV game shows: exploiting the poor or helping some out of poverty?
Source : AFP

In the Philippines, where over 40 percent of the population live on less than two dollars a day, the opportunity to win cash prizes on television game shows offers hope or some and gives the networks rich rewards in ratings and advertising revenues.

Saturday's tragic stampede in Manila, which claimed 73 lives of mainly poor Filipino women, should have been a mega event for the local television network ABS-CBN as it celebrated the anniversary of popular noontime show "Wowowee".

With cash prizes in the offering of up to one million pesos (a little over 19,000 dollars) it drew tens of thousands of the poor from provinces surrounding Manila.

Instead it turned into a nightmare for the organizers as questions begin to be asked about the morality of such shows that appear to exploit people's poverty.

Asked why ABS-CBN produced shows that encouraged mendicancy and dependency on dole outs, ABS-CBN vice president for entertainment Charo Santos-Concio said that the show was meant to entertain and to give hope to the people.

"The reality today is that there are plenty among our countrymen who are poor," she said.

"We only want to give them hope. We're all human, and I think most of us have tried our luck in games of chance. But we are not encouraging mendicancy."

Columnist Federico Pascual, writing in The Philippine Star, said the stampede was a "tragic rebuke on society and those who dare to exploit the desperation of the poor".

The victims were among the thousands who had camped for days outside the ULTRA stadium to assure themselves of early entry into the "Wowowee" first anniversary program.

"One does not have to be a super analyst to see the obvious, that many of those pushing to gain entrance came from the lower strata of society lured by the hosts' extravagant handing out of cash (some in US dollars!) And other gifts to those called to the stage to answer easy questions."

Paraphrasing remarks by left-wing congressman Crispin Beltran, he added: "It is profoundly tragic that things have come to this point. The 'Wowowee' tragedy is not only due to the lack of disaster-preparedness and crowd control systems of the event organizers and the local government.

"It is partly poverty-induced. The big cash prizes up at stake in the show added to the entertainment show's crowd-drawing power, especially at this time when millions of Filipinos are unemployed and desperate over sinking wages and rising costs of commodities, rates, and services due to the VAT and oil price hikes.

"It is unfortunate that our country has reached this point of desperation, where the only way for the masses to uplift themselves out of poverty is to win in the Lotto sweepstakes or in cash-and-entertainment shows."

An editorial in The Daily Tribune said: "The program has always invited mayhem, helped along by the pretensions of those who stage it that the program is meant to help the poor, while at the same time raking in fat revenues from advertisers.

"The program is an expensive lotto draw... At the most, three people out of tens of thousands walk away richer than before."


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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:05 am 
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It's very sad indeed. Imagine what all of them need was only a seat during the celebration ... 'nagbabakasakali' to try their luck to win a million only to wake up in another state of life. Let's just include them in our prayers. And, "May God pardon their sins and may they rest in peace. Amen."

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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:36 am 
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:evil: :evil: :evil: :( :( I don't know if it's EXPLOITATION or HELPING the POOR. I don't know. :evil: :evil: IT IS PATHETIC..:evil: :evil: And I keep asking myself this question: WHY THE POOR PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS THE VICTIMS? WHY?:( :( Makapopongot gayod. I'm :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:... PERIOD.

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 Post subject: wowowee
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:28 pm 
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i dont watch tv...at some point in my life i thought it is evil( hehehe! ) and it isn't until recently that the tv at home came back to life, thanks to pispanero, but i heard that at some point (and this could just be gossip because i didn't hear it first hand) wowowee was claiming to be the hope of the poor. i think that is sooo wrong.

when people begin to look up to other sources apart from God as their hope, something happens to get our attention. i am NOT saying God is the culprit. NO! God is not insecure that he should use disaster for people to go to him. however we cant deny it that human as we are, we tend to get closer to him in times like this.

I am glad HE is able to turn things including a disaster around, for our good because HE loves us and he has called us according to his purpose.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:01 am 
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Below article caught my eye last night. Would like to share it with you. ... Editorial from Philippine Daily Inquirer


"WHEN you come down to it, poverty was the root cause of the “Wowowee” stampede that resulted in the death of 74 people last Saturday. It was hopeless, grinding poverty that made people line up at the PhilSports Arena as early as Monday, sleeping in their places and leaving only to answer the call of nature. It was poverty that made the people rush forward and knock down the gates that stood between them and a chance to win a house or P1 million in cash or two taxis or a jeepney and other prizes.

We already know what happened: 74 of them died and about 500 others were injured in the stampede. These were people who were so poor, so hopeless in life that they were ready to make “kapit sa patalim" (loosely translated, to risk even death itself to reach their goal). And ultimately and tragically, for many of them, their dreams of a better life did end in death.

Some people say that those who died may now be in a better state than those who survived. They may have a point there: the poorest of the poor have to suffer a living death every day.

The people who promoted the ill-starred show may not know it (but how could they not have known it?), but they were actually exploiting the poor to build higher ratings. Shows like “Wowowee” promote mendicancy, the fast-buck mentality instead of honest and hard work and perseverance. They dangle before poor people visions of instant wealth. They promote games of chance, instead of hard work, true grit and self-reliance, as the answer to their poverty.

Game shows offering big prizes in highly developed countries are staged mostly for their fun and entertainment value, although, of course, there is always the profit motive. But you do not see tens of thousands of people lining up and, in some cases, stampeding, to get a chance at winning the prizes. In our country, the situation of the poor people is so bad -- and it is getting worse every year -- that they will risk anything to lift themselves out of the mire of poverty.

But given the present state of the economy, what can poor people do to improve their lot? Some in the upper-lower classes still have some property like a carabao, a small lot or a tricycle, etc. that they can sell or mortgage, or they borrow money to pay for the fees required so they can work abroad. Some set up small retail enterprises. But what about those who really have nothing but the clothes on their backs and who live a hand-to-mouth existence?

The stories of some of the survivors who were interviewed on radio were truly heartbreaking. Some of them had not eaten for days and had only drunk water. Some had money only for transportation to the PhilSports stadium; they were apparently hoping that they would be lucky and win some of the minor cash prizes for their return home.

Many of those who went to the PhilSports stadium were unemployed or underemployed. The unemployment rate now stands at 7.4 percent. We are sure that many of those who flocked to the “Wowowee” show last Saturday would want to work but there are not many jobs open in our country. Or there are jobs open, but they require certain skills and knowledge that only a higher education and training can give. The challenge to the government and the private sector is not only to create more jobs but to give the masses better education so that they can obtain higher-paying positions.

The Chinese have a saying: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Let us stop abetting a culture of gambling and mendicancy. Let us stop promoting games of chance and instead teach the virtue of hard work. Let us correct the attitude of the poor of depending on the government for doles and handouts and instead instill in them the value of self-reliance. Let us help the poor help themselves by giving them better education, creating more job opportunities and opening credit facilities to them so that they can set up small enterprises."


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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:48 pm 
abb,

i try to be neutral (is it possible?) about this wow-wow-wee thing. but i have a sketch from the idiot savant which i find very, very interesting because it runs against the grain of popular opinion. the idiot-savant blogs:


"I have a theory, but I don't think that you're going to like hearing it. Heck, I don't want to have to be the one to say it, but since no one else is saying it, I might as well be the one to voice it out.

Here goes.

All the pundits who say that the Wowowee tragedy is the result of the extreme poverty in the Philippines is wrong.

Rather, extreme poverty in the Philippines is the result of a Wowowee state of mind.

We have got the whole thing backwards. It's an ugly truth but the sooner we come to grips with this, the sooner we'll fix things.

But whatever do I mean?

Take a look at the buildup to the event itself. For three whole days, you had people camped out like refugees outside the gates of the Ultra stadium. No proper lodgings, no proper sanitation, no proper breathing space; and yet they persisted.

Alright, you may say, but isn't that a sign of how desperate people are? Kapit sa patalim, as the old Filipino saying goes.

I disagree.

The people who massed at Ultra had alternatives. To be sure, not very attractive ones, but they had alternatives nonetheless. Hungry people do not sit around for three days in a festive atmosphere waiting for a ticket to a game show; they go out looking for food.

Yet they chose to sit it out.

They were people of some means, otherwise they would not have made it there at all. They would not have lasted three days without some form of provisions. Again, I agree with you if you say they didn't have much; but I will disagree with you if you insist that they had nothing at all.

They chose to sit it out.

What kind of insane value system prompts such behavior? It is one that banks on patronage and entitlement, that thrives on false hopes and dependency, and that feeds on the simple, immature sense of good and evil in the universe at the same time disregarding the nature of actions and consequences.

This is the world of the alipin, the lowest class of the heretofore conveniently ignored caste system of the Philippines."


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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:09 pm 
abb,

here's another one from my favorite writer, manolo l. quezon III. trust manolo to do lateral thinking just to come up with something different every time.


"....But observers forget the main culprit: Imelda Romualdez Marcos, widow of Ferdinand Marcos.

Mrs. Marcos caused the construction of the Ultra complex, which was built as a kind of Olympic village for Filipino athletes within the larger grounds of what she grandly called the University of Life. A new sports center was part of the senseless redundancy of the Marcos dictatorship — there existed, at the time the complex was built, the Rizal Memorial sports complex in Manila where, indeed, Filipino athletes train up to the present.

Instead of form following function for Mrs. Marcos’ sports complex, it was the other way around: Function was handicapped from the very start by the form the former first lady’s sports complex took. Mrs. Marcos chose a picturesque location for her pet university, perched on a kind of cliff, with roads carved out of the adobe rock in the vicinity, and much of the Ultra sports complex itself nestled in a kind of depression (an enclosed stadium, near the entrance where the stampede took place, was located higher up; one has to line up on rather steep covered walkways before walking down a series of cobblestone ramps to the open air arena).

We are used to stadiums being located in the midst of vast expanses of concrete. There is, after all, the need for parking; and there is the need to provide space for long lines, and for the orderly and efficient entrance and exit of crowds. The Ultra sports complex neither had extensive parking facilities (where emergency vehicles and first aid stations are usually also located), nor a particularly well-thought-out system of entrances and exits designed for large crowds. The steep, and at times, winding nature of many paths, also made for splendid scenery for people on a stroll, or joggers, but definitely not for large, potentially swiftly-moving, crowds.

Some might argue that Mrs. Marcos’ Ultra complex was never intended to deal with crowds dealing in the tens of thousands, particularly crowds that were tired, anxious, and yet in a frenzy in expectation of being not only entertained, but of winning cash prizes. That may be so, though for the past two decades since it’s been completed, the Ultra has been the site of sporting events and concerts. Even if no one thought a 17,000-person capacity open-air stadium would ever be deluged with 30,000 eager spectators, the facilities of the place alone are unsuitable for accommodating such a large number of people. I happen to have attended an international school leasing space in the complex, and during our daily activities (not to mention larger events), the place was clearly shoddily built, badly planned, and not suitable for the handling of crowds. I recall slipping down its steep paths on many occasions.

The remarkable thing isn’t that a disaster happened in Mrs. Marcos’ complex, but that it took so long for one to take place. The craggy, at times cramped, complexities of the Ultra complex points to a disastrous case of urban planning. Its individual parts might have been architecturally pleasing, and I’d even grant that the whole thing might have been motivated by muddled, good intentions. But it was the wrong complex, in the wrong place, built for mainly wrong reasons — and it has now all gone horrible wrong. In the hand wringing, finger pointing, and mourning that have followed the tragedy, this central fact is being overlooked. There should be no large events, again, ever, in the Ultra complex."



hahahahahaha. now, that's something, di ba abb?


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:48 am 
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[quote="Anonymous"]abb,

i try to be neutral (is it possible?) about this wow-wow-wee thing. but i have a sketch from the idiot savant which i find very, very interesting because it runs against the grain of popular opinion. the idiot-savant blogs:


Hi Guest,

It is impossible to be neutral these days... :lol: :lol:

Thought provoking…sorry if I sound careless and unsympathetic, but idiot-savant certainly got a valid point. Perhaps, some might say, he nailed “it” right on the head and more.

Thanks for sharing....


Last edited by Alibangbang on Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:56 am 
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[quote="guest lang taraw"]abb,

here's another one from my favorite writer, manolo l. quezon III. trust manolo to do lateral thinking just to come up with something different every time.


Hi guest lang taraw,

Uhmm....every which way I look at it, it still was an accident waiting to happen.

All the lessons to be learnt. Hope they won't go to waste.

Thanks


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:49 am 
Amen to that, Alibangbang.Accidents happen. Lessons should be learned.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:06 pm 
With only a handful of guards handing out the tickets at a gate to a crowd that camped out the night before???!! No wonder this mess happened! It's quite glaring that there is absolutely no coordiantion, planning and contingency in the part of security and crowd control. And the producer should have anticipated this, after years of broadcast events such as this.

Truly, ABS-CBN just proved to the world that they are merely a self-serving and self-centered company. All they seem to want to do is draw a big crowd and tell the whole world about the legions of followers. Well, their followers were killed today and nothing will ever bring them back.

And I saw that interview where Noli De Castro was subtly yet TASTELESSLY still promoting that Wowowee is giving away big prizes. It is to our country's SHAME as it is now published in an American newspaper.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:09 pm 
From the website of the San Francisco Chronicle (USA).

88 Killed in Stampede at Manila Game Show
By TERESA CEROJANO, Associated Press Writer

Friday, February 3, 2006

(02-03) 21:33 PST MANILA, Philippines (AP) --
A stampede broke out early Saturday outside a stadium near Manila, killing at least 88 people, and injuring 280, the Philippine Red Cross reported.

Vice President Noli de Castro arrived at the scene, giving instructions to police to clear the area of people and cars to make things easier for rescue workers.
"We did not want this to happen. It's just that there were so many people wanting to watch Wowowee because of the big prizes awaiting them," de Castro said.

-- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TRULY THE SHAME OF THE NATION!


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:31 pm 
I beg to disagree with u, amboy.

Let's stop accusing and judging others. Let's stop putting our country down. Let's, instead, reflect and ask ourselves what have we done to help our country?


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 1:17 pm 
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Anonymous wrote:
I beg to disagree with u, amboy.

Let's stop accusing and judging others. Let's stop putting our country down. Let's, instead, reflect and ask ourselves what have we done to help our country?


If I may say so...Guest is right. Blame Game is counterproductive. Let's just focus and be part of the solution. In our own little way :wink: :wink:


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