Ambulansyang de Paa

by Nathan Chua

I recently heard news about a phenomenon somewhere in the farflung areas of the Philippines.  It talked about how some of our people were improvising by having villagers carry their sick to the hospitals in the city.  If I remember correctly, it took them about six hours to carry someone from the mountain down to the towns below where adequate facilities for care were available. 

I have no beef against talking about such an occurrence, but to talk about this with pride is for me difficult to understand.  How can we be happy about such a thing happening in our midst?  I think to have “ambulansyang de paa” at this day and age is the epitome of the injustice that continues to mire us as a people.  To be proud of this is equivalent to saying that Filipinos should all be happy and contented with what goes on in the wake of their grinding poverty.  This goes on while many of us here in the cities are living lives of luxury and debauchery. 

I wonder what the producers of this featured documentary will feel if it were their relative or close friend that had to carry someone in their village on their backs just to see a doctor? 

This is the sad plight of our country wherein even the media is controlled by the few powerful people who only want to perpetuate their hegemony.  I truly hope that one day our media will begin to tell us what is in the interest of the many who suffer rather than what is in the interest of those that employ them.