During these times of much destruction and big loss, days of misery, hunger and sickness brought about by nothing else than one devastating upheaval of nature after another, it is but proper to condole with those who lost their love ones, who had their homes either much damaged if not totally washed away. In other words, out of good manners and right conduct, it is the occasion to talk and write about the pitiful typhoon victims and their generous donors of clothing, food and drink. It is an appropriate occasion to think and speak of the feeling of helplessness vis-à-vis the virtue of courage, the bad news of victims and the good news of heroes. These are times that demonstrate the wonderful spirit of the Filipino “bayanihan”, “bigayan”, “tulungan” and other exemplary altruistic vetures.
It is however not downright wrong much less really vicious to consider and attend to something dubious and unpleasant but real and true – specially so if it is precisely relevant to the said angry counter-response of nature that is hurting people on account of also people’s careless and even exploitative treatment of nature itself. In fact, the matter begging for notice and attention is a big concern of long standing, and will certainly continue to have a huge bearing relatively long after the last complaint has been heard and the last tear has been shed on account of too much waters that poured and very strong winds that blew in the past few days.
For a start, it is good to say that to deodorize is not really to perfume or to make something smell good, to spread pleasant odor or the like. Deodorizing something simply means but neutralizing a stink, getting rid of a stench in the air, in a place. And a matter of deodorizing appears to be what the recent very extraordinary and much surprising recent Malacanang move is/was all about. Notwithstanding the hundred and one possible and available places to receive poor evacuees, to house homeless and helpless people, it is not only surprising but also perplexing why all of the sudden, Malacanang opened its majestic gates and gave its royal spaces for occupation and lodging of the recent miserable typhoon victims in Metro Manila.
It is not a secret nor is it already forgotten that for a great number of Filipinos, Malacanang stinks. Jose Pidal (2003). NorthTail (2003). Fertilizer Fund Scam (2004). Venable ( 2005). SouthRail (2007). Hello, Garci (2005). Jueteng (2006). Cash Handouts (2007). Transco (2007) NBN-ZTE Project (2007). World Bank Loan (2007). One Million Peso Dinner (2009). And others already too long to enumerate, too painful to mention. No wonder that Malacanang is said to stink and rightfully in great need of some deodorant.
The question is plain and clear: Is hosting some destitute typhoon victims in the palatial confines of the ever spotless and always shining, much lighted and well cooled hall, enough to deodorize the compound and complex Malacanang stink? No offense meant. Just asking. Yes or no.
October 9, 2009