A Sad Aftermath…

Ketsana reportedly killed 250 people in Metro Manila and I have a feeling that the body count is going to go up. Tens of thousands of families were stuck in roofs for days with nothing to eat or drink. Floods reached as high as ten feet and it wasn’t just those who lived in the slum areas who were affected, but even those who lived in what was once called plush subdivisions. Rains still continue and there still are a few flooded areas.

About 80 percent of electricity is back and all may seem normal unless you go to an area where the flood is no more but you smell the stink as you walk through mud, garbage, dead dogs and cats and even bodies. It is a sad site, considering that those affected were generally middle class suburbian houses.

But then again, Ketsana, may have been destructive but she did prove that she was a mean equalizer. In a country where there is an almost horrendous gap between the rich and the poor, perhaps, there is a lesson to be learned here.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo — contrary to other reports — surged through the flooded streets on the first dawn after the floods gobbled the houses and was visibly shocked at what she saw. Only hours after the flood, Mrs. Arroyo tried (along with her bodyguards and cabinet members) to try and find a way to get to the flooded areas. She rode an army truck at about 2 am Sunday to make damn sure that rescue operations go smoothly and orderly. Her Defense Secretary, Gilbert Teodoro, also wasn’t sleeping because he was with his president figuring out how to rescue thousands of people who were stranded on the roofs. One can hardly say that the Armed Forces of the Philippines didn’t TRY, because five of them lost their lives in the first two days of the rescue operations. They were heroes, of course, but it is always better to have live heroes than dead ones. What went wrong?

CNN reports that it was because water from a dam was released, a report that was denied by the local governments. What went wrong is simply that people were too used to typhoons and Ketsana wasn’t even a huge storm, so most never thought that it could bring so much rain. The local weather bureau had no idea either. It was a Saturday liek no other, when people went out to the malls (and got stranded there) or stayed at home with the hope of enjoying a peaceful weekend, not expecting a deluge.


Another thing that was wrong was that these so-called “grassroots leaders” called the barangays were useless. Go to any barangay chief and ask them what they’ve dome for their community and they’ll show you a basketball court. They should have gone for rubber boats instead. Mayors of the cities were too busy wanting to become the next president to even think that a disaster of this magnitude could occur. On the day the rain started so-called “presidential candidates” were bickering, politicking or “out on a campaign” outside of Metro Manila.If they weren’t, they were too busy attacking Gloria Arroyo who was riding in an army truck trying to pick up people stranded in the flooded streets. President Arroyo wasn’t to blame for anything either, because she didn’t cause the rains. Instead, for the FIRST time since Ferdinand Marcos, she opened the gates of the Presidential Palace to give out food and shelter to those who were hungry and wet and yet unsheltered. Perhaps, the only thing she should have done which she failed to do was to call up Israeli President Bibi Netanyahu for a change and ask for Israeli-made rubber boats.

Later.. very much later.. politicians have emerged again to “invite people” who were unaffected to donate goods, money, or “old clothes” so that they can distribute it to the people who were affected by this disaster. Perhaps, the biggest disaster is that there are politicians who care for NOTHING but their image.

The biggest problem is that the people do not see a working INTELLIGENT president when they see one — instead they only listen to what the media says. Sadly, the biggest media is owned by the “kingmakers” who obviously have their own “pet candidates”. Thus, the biggest disaster than Ketsana is the system. The kind of system which Gloria Arroyo doesn’t belong to because she’s too decent to be in that same league.


Filed under Busted, Calling out lying politicians, Cynthia's 360 Reviews, Flooding 2009, Journalists and Reporters around the world, Natural Disasters, Phillipines

37 responses to “A Sad Aftermath…

  1. Indeed this news Article is rightfully true that even in the course of the disaster, some politicians are even saying that President GMA has spend the emergency funds for typhoons, and thats how the opposition system function.

    • debugs1

      @Eterio – yup, they play games a lot and do nothing.Yet they want to pretend that they can do better than Philippine President Arroyo… I say they should put their money where their mouth is and donate their own money instead of asking “the public” for donations.

  2. karmi martin

    we’re not pretending that we can do better than arroyo because we certainly can. and proof to this is the fact that for years we have known how sham she is and how she cheated her way into presidency (we don’t even call her president), and that we refuse to take any more shit from her. the media’s just doing its job reporting what’s wrong and we’re just reacting as critical-thinking people. her whole act is just revolting. and so is your post. dude, don’t ever go back here. you’re not welcome.

    • debugs1

      @Karmi, unless you own this site, which I assure you, you do NOT, then you can’t tell me that I am not welcome dudette (or whatever you are). The issue here is the storm, not anything “political”. Your reply is a classic example : another huge storm is coming and there you are banging your keyboard about Gloria Arroyo’s cheating, your not taking shit and you call that critical thinking? Obviously, you’re upset because Gloria Arroyo’s critics have done NOTHING sensibly substantial while people were hanging THERE during the deluge? I could say more but you may need more Prozac and I have decided to be merciful…

      • Yedgm

        @Debugs1 You are such denial about what a useless president she is and how she hasn’t really done much difference for the country. Of course this is a political issue. When your own countrymen’s lives and survival are at stake but your president uses up all the money for travel and you still think that’s she’s great…you’re delusional. BTW, did you see the picture of Mike Arroyo buying liquor in the middle of people scrambling to survive and avoid their death? WAKE UP!!! I’m embarrassed to know there are Filipinos like you that are this uneducated and illiterate as to the corruption that is existing during GMA’s regime. It’s sickening to hear you defend somebody who used up the money to save people’s lives for trips to the US spending $20000 on dinners and staying at Waldorf-Astoria. EVEN BUSH DIDN’T SPEND THAT MUCH TIME OUT OF THE COUNTRY…It’s your money she’s taking by the way…

  3. Romel Bagares

    Mr. Cooper, do you know what you are saying? How long have you been in the Philippines to make you an expert on politics hereabouts? I suggest you embed yourself in an evacuation center in say Marikina City and sit there through Super Typhoon Pepeng; that way you can very well listen to what people there are saying about this president you call “decent.” You should ask them about a scandal called “Hello Garci” and how she cheated her way to office in the 2004 Presidential elections with the help of her cabal of generals in the police and the military and how her family has been helping themselves with public money for their personal benefit.

  4. Louise Lizano

    Please check your facts. This article was obviously written without substantial research on how the country is run by present administration and even previous ones.

    To date, Malacanang has decided to recant on its earlier statement that they will open their doors to the victims. And no, basketball courts are not the only concern of our lowly ‘barangays’. Since 80% of our population are below poverty line, projects such as livelihood programs, educational support systems and community improvement efforts are being undertaken by local leaders who sometimes barely have food on their own table. Since higher government officials are busy with ‘other’ agendas, these projects are being undertaken by the elected barangay officials without much needed help from higher authorities.

    Definitely in this situation, survival in terms of food, education and employment come first before rubber boats. Wouldn’t you agree?

    And this last line in the article: “The kind of system which Gloria Arroyo doesn’t belong to because she’s too decent to be in that same league.” – just reeks of too much propaganda. Balance your views and check your sources. This article leaves much to be desired.

    • debugs1

      @Louise – “Definitely in this situation, survival in terms of food, education and employment come first before rubber boats. Wouldn’t you agree?”

      Nope, not during a storm. You want to educate people hanging out on roofs??? I was talking about the immediate matter of survival.

      “And no, basketball courts are not the only concern of our lowly ‘barangays’. Since 80% of our population are below poverty line, projects such as livelihood programs, educational support systems and community improvement efforts are being undertaken by local leaders who sometimes barely have food on their own table.”

      What about rubber boats. It could save lives.

  5. Manuel Mejorada

    I have held Anderson Cooper in high regard until I read this blog post. He betrays his grave ignorance about what is happening in the Philippines and anchored his views on superficial PR ploys of PGMA. Mr. Cooper fell for the President’s display of fake concern of “wading in the floods” and opening the presidential palace afterwards to turn it into a disaster relief center. The tens of millions of Filipinos who were right in the middle of the situation, however, aren’t biting the stunt. PGMA’s response to the disaster was a series of photo ops and posturing that helped little to solve the crisis. Next time, Mr. Cooper should get right down on the ground and talk to the people before making flawed judgments like this.

    • debugs1

      It wasn’t Mr. Cooper who wrote this, it was me. I am a staff of this site. Please read the site before lest you betray the fact that you’re too jumpy when reacting to anyone who notices anything that Philippine President Arroyo does which is substantially sane and good. Also, I doubt if Mrs. Arroyo caused the typhoon and neither were there any presidential candidates who did half what she did. How do you know that she was doing all these good things simply for the sake of the photo-op? Isn’t that a nasty thing to say? My, my, you sound like Sean Hannity when he talks about Barack Obama.. you get jumpy!

    • The News Machine

      I’m very sorry for what happened in the Philippines and I grieve with you…but are you nuts? Where do you see that it is Anderson Cooper wrote this post? Just because this blog is about Anderson Cooper doesn’t mean Anderson Cooper writes everything here. Buy some glasses please, your sight is not good…where do you see this is ‘by Anderson Cooper’ ??? huh ??

      I will have you know, Miss whatever, that Anderson Cooper puts his life on the line all the time and Anderson Cooper knows full well about greedy and lying governments as he is a very intelligent and well educated man. During Katrina and about every single disaster, he stood up for the dying people in New Orleans on air.

      Have you even read his book?

      If he did make a comment about this anytime on air on CNN that I am not aware of, then you probably took it out of context. Maybe he was quoting someone or reading the teleprompter.

      Anderson’s personal opinion on the matter? You can’t know it because:

      1) This post wasn’t written by Anderson Cooper

      2) You don’t understand and know what Anderson is all about.

      3) Anderson Cooper is freaking not responsible for what’s being aired on CNN or for what’s written on a teleprompter.

      you said: “Next time, Mr. Cooper should get right down on the ground and talk to the people before making flawed judgments like this.”

      Next time ??? did you know how many times Anderson has been on the ground reporting on stories and escaping death from just one inch ?

      In his book ‘Dispatches from the Edge’, Anderson Cooper talks about all the people who have been victims of wars, disasters and bad luck and he always sided with them, not the government, he always saw things from their own perspectives.

      For someone as Anderson who is diametrically opposed to the news style of Bill O’Reilly and the likes, puts his life on the line all the time instead of playing ‘hottest anchor of the year’, and is 3/4 of the year abroad ON THE GROUND talking to people, this is a strange post coming from you.

      Anderson was recently in South Africa, just came back from Afghanistan…do you want to kill the poor man by sending him everywhere, let the man breathe…Poor man just got the freaking SWINE FLU…ok ???….and is still coughing…it’s CNN’s Heroes tonight or I am sure Anderson would now be in a plane to the Philippines.

      Why do you always need to find fault with others ? Anderson is one of the very few journalists who have a minimum of decency, compassion and unbiased views, take your anger out on Bill O’Reilly or Keith Olbermann… 🙂

      AND for the last time…this post wasn’t Anderson Cooper, and Anderson Cooper IS NOT responsible for what CNN puts on air.

      Let the man alone now…

      • debugs1

        I prefer Bill O’ Reilley to Sean Hannity. At least Bill O has nice neckties and doesn’t get MAD at everything about the democrats, gays, and Bill Clinton..

        • The News Machine

          I hate Hannity and I can’t stand Keith Olbermann…I agree at least Bill has the guts to speak up, even if I personally don’t like his style…and don’t always like what comes out of his mouth…but he did get mad at a lot of things lately though….I hated what he said about Michael Jackson….pretty mean given that Michael had just died….he was so harsh with Michael…that really was it for me and old Bill. During the 2008 presidential elections our relationship got already strained bc of some subtil racist remarks… I called it quits once and for all.

          Talking about ‘racist’, I’ve heard that Lou Dobbs from CNN is a racist and some Latinos are trying to fire him from CNN….never liked Lou…so miss whatever, take your anger out on Lou too…

      • The News Machine

        Plus even if it was Anderson who wrote this, what’s so wrong with this post? It’s well written and it is true….so what’s the big deal ???

  6. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for A Sad Aftermath… « Anderson Cooper The Journalist [acthejournalist.com] on Topsy.com

  7. Romel Bagares


    You got me on this one…and I did think this is Mr. Cooper’s blog…despite the disavowals , anyone who drops by can be readily fooled by the appearances to the contrary.

    I think you should put the caveats on the masthead and say that this is your blog, dedicated to your journalistic idol.

    Anyhow, you might want to check this out, just so you’ll know how “decent” this government of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is:


  8. The News Machine

    Hahaha…this post is surely making ‘waves’…nice job debugs1 !!!! 🙂

  9. BiteMe

    This site is trash, riding on the popularity of Anderson Cooper. A leech of dismal credibility written by those without future in journalism.

    This piece is nothing short of propaganda, a pro-Arroyo mouthpiece written by a loser detached from the Philippine reality. Sorry, Cynthia Bugsey, if that’s even your real name. You may emulate Anderson Cooper in writing and reporting style, but you’re not a third of the dirt on his fingernails while on location if you don’t know how to fact check.

    PS: I bet you moderate comments so well because the article is so badly written, you’re afraid to post all the negative comments. Bring it on!

    • The News Machine

      Hi I am the site owner and not Cynthia here, and I will address your post:

      1 – “This site is trash, riding on the popularity of Anderson Cooper.”

      Easier to destroy other people’s work but to build something yourself. Well…the idea of this site is not to ride on Cooper’s popularity but to respect his work…you truly cannot judge about something you don’t understand. And you truly don’t understand. You are a mean spirited, negative person, and this is enough for me to know that anything you say is not credible. I don’t make a dime off this site, you punck. I started this bc I love journalism and Cooper’s reporting style. Most sites on the net focus on Cooper’s private life and not enough on his work yet he is such a brilliant journalist.
      If I make money off this site in the future, it will be to pay my current great quality writers and add other writers. I will never make a dime off this site.

      You know what is ‘trash’ ??? peres hilton, tmz, d-listed, adult friend finder,…those are trash sites… This site reports on the NEWS and we write about HUMAN RIGHTS….if you call this trash than you are trash yourself, my friend. I suggest you go get some contact lenses because I see no trash on this site.

      2-“You may emulate Anderson Cooper in writing and reporting style, but you’re not a third of the dirt on his fingernails while on location if you don’t know how to fact check.”

      Ok…a$$hole, Cynthia never pretended to be Anderson Cooper. This is her own unique perspective. Agree or not with her but you will RESPECT her you a$$hole. like I said easier to trash other people but build them up.

      3-“I bet you moderate comments so well because the article is so badly written, you’re afraid to post all the negative comments”

      Cynthia does not moderate comments, I do. and you are such a low life scum to insult someone you don’t even know. You judge someone by one post, which is her own personal opinion, you a$$hole. do you think you are perfect??? You certainly sound like a stupid dumb a$$…or else you’d be spending your time writing more productive things instead of brining other people down.

      4-…”those without future in journalism” – are you God poor ignorant clown?? who made you the one who decides who has a future in journalism and who doesn’t. Go take your hate on real bad people like murderers and rapists, they are the ones who need to be yelled at, not honest people like Cynthia who works hard and is not afraid to talk about her opinions even if she gets heat for them….
      what about YOUR future in journalism ?? I bet you have NONE whatsoever.

      BE CAREFUL LITTLE A££HOLE, you don’t know who is behind this blog and what consequences it could have on you…

      CONCLUSION = you’re an ass. bye.

  10. The News Machine

    Cynthia…your friend below…

  11. The News Machine

    Here’s your second best friend, Bill….

  12. The News Machine

    …and how could I forget the sexy Keith…

  13. The News Machine

    But ya know what? I’ll take Rachel Maddow over those three anytime…lol…

  14. You made your point and I hear you: you’re not Anderson Cooper. Glad to know that. But surely you can understand if some readers who come directly to this article mistake your blog for Cooper’s as it’s his name and photos that first catch their attention? Also, no author’s name is displayed on the post so it’s an easy mistake to make. It would be better if you treat this as feedback for general usability issues of your blog site.

    However, the core issue remains the same, and that is your article paints a distorted picture of the Ketsana story and its socio-political underpinnings. It lacks research, nuance and analysis. Whether Cooper wrote it or not, this article will get the same criticism it’s now getting. And I do hope you treat this as part of the conversation that ensues in the social web. It’s not a personal criticism of your person.

    A few comments on some of the points you made:
    1. “The people do not see a working INTELLIGENT president when they see one — instead they only listen to what the media says.” Majority of the Filipinos have been opposing Arroyo even before Ketsana. And no, it wasn’t only about her penchant for lavish Le Cirque dinners when millions of Filipino families eat only once a day. We oppose her because of issues such as electoral fraud (among others). Google Hello Garci and you’ll find enough info on this.
    The people don’t only listen to the media. The people ARE the media. A lot of discontent were stemming from civil society and these were present already even before traditional media picked it up.

    2. To talk about baranggays only delivering basketball courts is a great generalisation. You’re reducing the problem to just one part of a flawed bureauracy where grassroots leadership is not encouraged or supported enough; where position in government is proportional to the level of corruption. I hope the underlying issue you’re trying to point out is that everyone – from individuals to baranggays and government – should be more educated and better prepared for handling disasters. No one will disagree with you on that.

    3. “Thus, the biggest disaster than Ketsana is the system. The kind of system which Gloria Arroyo doesn’t belong to because she’s too decent to be in that same league.”
    I agree on your first point, but not on the second one. I am certain Arroyo, as a human being, wanted to help the people during this time of need, and she did help. As the servant of the people, that’s the least they should expect from her. But has she done enough in her capacity as President, as the steward of this system that she herself help structure? She’s the President of a very defective system; and as President, she is accountable. Not only her of course, but she sits on top of the chain of command. This system you speak of – mainly the politicking – certainly has no place in a time of calamity. But it’s not just the ‘opposition’ who should change. Administration candidates are equally guilty. Arroyo herself engaged and engages in politicking. Again, if you want to talk about decency, then I leave you with Hello Garci and the Le Cirque events as two of the reasons why Arroyo, is in fact, in the same league with other corrupt politicians.

    The crux of the matter is that the people have survived so far, not because of government, but in spite of government. This is not to belittle the rescue and relief efforts of our brave public servants, but a criticism on the kind of system our government runs that leaves its people struggling more then they should in the face of calamities.

    • The News Machine

      Thanks Timi,

      I take your feedback very seriously and will take your suggestions to improve this site…and what you wrote is greatly appreciated…

      However, you probably don’t live in the U.S. or Europe because anyone living there and watching a minimum of CNN knows full well Anderson Cooper only has one site…www.ac360.com


      The site SPECIFIES on the top right side that: ‘this blog is not in any way affiliated with Anderson Cooper nor CNN’

      Not our fault if all you guys cannot read a site properly. You jump right into comments without even taking the time to see what the site is about.

      About the author of this post…her post’s title is RIGHT under her picture on the right hand side, if you took the time to check this blog out you’d notice. PLUS the category for this was ‘Cynthia’s 360 Reviews”

      Too bad if you can’t read more on a blog but one post and the comments. When I go on a site I look around at what is written before passing judgment.

      Everyone knows Cooper belongs to CNN and this sites SPECIFIES we are not affiliated with CNN nor Anderson Cooper. READ IT.

      But thanks though….we will add all our names at the end of every posts now for those who have a short attention span and can’t even look around when they read a post.

      • corex jose

        i agree with Timmy. this site is misleading. It’s got Cooper’s name and picture on the header so people can easily make that mistake. Is this supposed to be a tribute or fan site?

    • debugs1

      @Timi , tell me one thing I’ve written that didn’t really happen. Gloria Arroyo did wade at the floods at 2 am along with her defense minister.Now, your anger and madness over President Arroyo doesn’t erase the FACT that she did her job. She did open the Presidential Palace, ordered clinics to functions, made sure there were make shift hospitals within a day or two after the flood. She is THE Philippine President and I see no other (unless you guys have an imaginary president). The personal life of her son who allegedly purchased liquor is not relevant to the reportage. I mean, who cares? I saw the photos and I even doubt if they’re real.
      Now please give my regards to whoever is your imaginary president… You’re the same people who have tried to launch coups against this woman and she prevailed. That must tell you something you wimps 🙂

  15. gen asenjo

    Can’t believe you are licking Arroyo’s ass with this article; as if you are simply expressing your opinion to a friend or a neighbor: it lacks a degree of ‘”mindfulness” that a journalist like you must observe. Give us a sound insight or analysis.

  16. Great. Now i can say thank you!,

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