In a long list of tragedies in the Philippines that have claimed human lives, many are the same exact tragedies of the past. It almost seems people in the Philippines fail to learn from past human errors. The sinking of ferry boats during Typhoons and the loss of life can be found in Philippine headlines of the past on numerous occasions.
Call it the nature of the beast that The Philippines is a cluster of islands and the only way around is with water under your feet. However to set out into the teeth of a Typhoon one has to wonder if Darwin is at work in the head office of the ferry companies, and the passengers that end up paying with there lives are sheep that can’t think for themselves.
In the case of natural disaster compared to human disasters, one has to draw the line that one is caused by nature and the other by human error. This most recent ferry disaster can be completely contributed to human error and perhaps greed for money.
Typhoons in the Philippines are very common, so it is easy to become more complacent if one can ever do that with one of natures biggest storms. Forgetting just how dangerous Typhoon’s Hurricanes, and Cyclones can be, seems to be what is going on.
To see vehicles and ships overloaded is a common sight in Asia, and living in Asia it becomes to accepted norm. however that does not make it less dangerous simply because people see it accepted. Many don’t understand the limits designers put in place are there for a reason. There is a certain margin of safety built in to the capacity numbers. For a vehicle that has a capacity of 100 people may still be safe at 125 people in normal conditions, but at risk in adverse conditions. However to see that same vehicle with 150 or more people packed in, it all comes down to money and profit for the operator. It is almost unavoidable to get on public transportation in Asia and not experience overloading. In some cases it can be like an Irish pub on Saint Patrick’s day.
There are other repeated disasters in the Philippines that are not at sea. Mud slides from over harvesting natural resources is just another example. These are all mistakes that seem to be from nature, but the fact is they are from man. The list goes on and on.
Life in Asia is uniquely different than the west when it comes to just about everything including staying alive. The west is over protected with influence from over zealous insurance company regulations tied together with being sue crazy. Although life in Asia is a bit of an adventure, one does have to use common sense. If it means taking a taxi and paying more to increase the chance of self preservation, then that is what should be done. Heading out to sea into a typhoon is foolish as best, and fatal at the worst. Waiting out the storm on land also beats being seasick in high seas.
One cant help but wonder when the Philippines will learn from past mistakes.