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Opinion

JESSICA ZAFRA | Giant sea monster takes a dump on Manila!

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

In the above screen grab from a news broadcast, a mountain of dung has landed in the middle of a place identified as Manila. Apparently a giant sea monster has taken a dump on our fair city, and the result is at least as bad as an asteroid hit. The report does not say whether the excreta landed on any living creatures - if it did, we can only hope that their death was instantaneous. There are probably more painful ways to die, but none so embarrassing. Yes, we have to take a lot of crap in our daily lives, but this is a bit much.

We're a little surprised to find that this isn’t real; it's a still from a forthcoming science-fiction movie by Guillermo Del Toro. "It sure looks like Manila," said our snarky friend who actually lives in the area code. "They probably didn't need CGI."

Now before some overeager defender of our national honor protests this slur ("Are you saying we're full of shit?"), we must point out that this is science-fiction, and that the concept of a pile of waste material in the heart of the city is not alien to us. Smokey Mountain? Payatas? We may have given the filmmakers the idea - in which case, cough up the royalties.

This being election campaign season, we began to speculate on how the various candidates would react if something like this happened in their cities. Here are some probabilities.

1. Ignore the problem and hope that it goes away. Yes, the classic approach. Muster your public relations troops to keep the monstrous poop out of the news. Maybe other people will do your work for you and haul it away as souvenirs or building material.

If the stench is unbearable, give away cans of air freshener with your name and picture on them. Hey, maybe the air freshener manufacturers will donate them for free, just to get on your good side. It would make a great promotional gimmick. Not only would you have more campaign materials, but the voters might actually associate you with pleasant odors.

2. Deny that there is a problem. "Gawa-gawa lang yan ng media." Just wait it out, you know that in a few days everyone will get tired of hearing about shit and go back to Kris Aquino vs James Yap or Chiz Escudero vs. Heart Evangelista's parents. (Incidentally, the solution to those two problems is so obvious, we're shocked it hasn't occurred to the protagonists. Kris Aquino and Chiz Escudero should get married.)

3. Blame global warming. If it hadn’t been for global warming, those monsters might have stayed in the bottom of the ocean forever. But since the seas are heating up, they have to surface and wreak havoc on the neighboring islands.

Then invite scientists to study the instant mountain and hold symposia on meteorological phenomena and the digestive systems of sea monsters. Let it be their problem. When people complain that the poop is still there, stinking up the city, explain to them that scientific investigation is ongoing and point out that nerd research takes years and years. Imply that it's all the scientists' fault.

4. Accuse political opponents of creating the problem. Declare that they're exaggerating the seriousness of the issue, viz. making a crap mountain out of a crap molehill.

5. Accuse political opponents of creating the problem, literally. Accuse them of being in cahoots with garbage collection, sewage disposal and indoor plumbing syndicates. They built that pile of doo-doo in order to make your campaign smell bad.

6. Denounce bureaucratic ineptitude and corruption. Announce that there are no sea monsters—it’s all a cover-up for the very poor garbage collection system. That's not monster feces, that’s just a week’s worth of uncollected garbage from several barangays.

7.  Use Stinky Mountain to appeal for sympathy, then delay solving the problem in order to get as much media airtime as possible. The longer the mountain pollutes the atmosphere, the more times you will be seen on television handing out relief goods to the victims who were rendered homeless when the poop went splat.

8. Benefit concert! Call on popular entertainers to hold a pro-environment concert right there. The media coverage will be massive and global.

9. Determine whether there are people who have taken up residence in the mountain of poop and register them as voters immediately.

10.  Turn the monster dung heap into a tourist attraction. It's more fun in the Philippines! The sea monsters may do number two in other countries, but do those countries have song-and-dance contests and reality shows on their dung heaps? Can their people smile like this?

Sell cans of monster matter for souvenirs. Before long you will have disposed of the whole mountain.

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