I am a Filipino and proud of it!

Posted: August 24, 2010 in government, mission, news, tv
Tags: , , ,

A very bad thing happened in Manila, Philippines today.  A disgruntled cop who was fired from his job has taken a tourist bus hostage today.  There were at least 5 dead including the hostage taker himself.  The news was all over – local TV stations, international news networks, twitter, facebook, AM radio and I am sure in a lot more venues.  It has been sensationalized so much everyone all around the world is probably talking about it.  It has been such a big deal, it may even become the topic for the question and answer portion in Miss Universe which I heard is happening sometime this week.

It is a big deal.  Lives were put at stake.  Actually, several innocent lives have ended as a result.  My first thought when I heard of the situation was “No to guns.  No to violence.  No to weapons.”  And I still stand by it.  There should be no exceptions.  If we really want peace, then we should not encourage things that are designed for violence.  Anyway, guns and violence are points of debate for another time.

I understand how appalled everyone is of what happened.  Some are even saying they are embarrassed to be called Filipinos because of it.  Why?  Why should we be embarrassed to be called Filipinos?  Why are we so defensive about what happened?  Do we think so lowly of other nations we immediately conclude that they will generalize that all Filipinos are like that hostage taker?  Do we think so lowly of ourselves, our nation, that we immediately conclude that this ONE incident will define our country?

Yes, I do recognize that it is a big deal.  Whenever lives are wasted like that, no matter how many, it is a BIG deal.  But do we let it define us?  No.  We should rise to the occasion and deal with the situation as best as we possibly could and let THAT define who we are as Filipinos.

The other thing that’s bugging me is how popular this hostage taker has become.  People have been mentioning his name in tweets, in facebook statuses, in blogs, etc.  His name and his loathsome act is all over the news and it should not have been.  The media coverage that he got may have kept viewers “up to date” with what’s happening.  Too updated if I may say so because everything has been broadcasted – every move of the police, of the SWAT team was broadcasted live via satellite and transmitted to every home, talked about by everyone in all social networks.  Do we even realize what this huge coverage brought us?  More of the same really – hostage takings and the like.  The amount of media coverage and talk that resulted with today’s situation only encouraged other deluded hooligans who are craving for such fame and power to do the same.  As of right now, more organized terrorists are planning their stint as I write this, taking into consideration how the media did not restrict itself of taking videos of the strategies the SWAT team are doing, how the media brought the attention of the whole world to this one person.

I hope and pray that I am wrong.  I hope and pray too that we learn something from what happened today.  I hope and pray that the media become more responsible with what they report in the news.  It is one thing to inform the people but it is another thing to endanger lives just to get higher ratings.  I hope and pray that the government will deal with everything the best possible way.  I hope and pray that we still stay proud to call ourselves Filipinos because there are a lot of reasons to be proud.  This hostage taker is just one among 90 million, will we really let this one person define who we are?

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