“The day I was born I was born free and that is my Privilege.”

The Ship sank vis-à-vis the Society.
July 7, 2008, 9:30 am
Filed under: Tabloid

“Sulpicio to pay victims P200-T

Cebu Daily News
First Posted 10:24:00 06/28/2008

“TO MAKE compensation claims easier, owners of the MV Princess of the Stars said it would waive a one-year claim period for families of victims in the ill-fated ship voyage.

“Sulpicio Lines Inc., in a statement, said it would pay legal heirs P200,000 whether or not the bodies of the passengers have been found or identified.

“As long as the name of the passenger is listed in the ship’s manifest, legal heirs can file a claim and submit identification papers to collect the amount.

“Legal heirs include children, parents and spouses.

“‘Sulpicio Lines Inc. has decided to cast aside legal technicalities and waive the waiting period of one year within which missing passengers will be compensated,’ the company announced in an ‘ex-gratia’ statement.

“Ex-gratia is a Latin phrase for “out of goodwill”.

“‘Instead, the legal heirs of all victims listed in the passenger manifest (724 persons) will be paid the amount of P200,000 regardless of whether the bodies have been recovered or are still missing, and regardless of whether the bodies have been identified or not up to this time.'”


The last time I remember that I was on a bus hitting EDSA beyond the speed limit and constantly changing lanes, or what I termed as the rollercoaster bus, was when my friends and I went home from our CAT class in college. The bus driver decided to hit the road with the highest km/h as he could get because his gas gauge is low. And our more than an hour trip was reduced to roughly a half hour.

Going home after meeting with friends, I hit again on a rollercoaster bus. Enraged with the bus driver, I almost yelled, hey, slow down. I gripped on the hand rail tightly as the driver changed lanes avoiding other buses and cars. Nearing Ayala, he slowed down a bit. As the bus was on a stop in an intersection, two men got in the bus. They were street vendors, one dragged his huge bag of feather dusters towards his seat, which was parallel to my seat, while his confidante was holding roses and strings of sampaguita flowers on his two hands. The feather duster man put down his bag near my seat, which he did haphazardly. A woman then got in the bus and eyed for a vacant seat. The feather duster man yelled, “Dito sa dulo may upuan pa.”

After the woman walked past him and got herself a place to sit, the feather duster man got into a conversation with his confidant.

Here is a part of their conversation, as far as I can remember:

“FDM: Pare, ang suwerte naman ng mga biktima nung lumubog na barko, Sulpicio. Biruin mo may 200k na sila. Sana may kamag-anak akong napasama dun. Kahit sampu lang mayaman na ako.

“C: [Laughter] Putang-ina mo. Ayusin mo nga ‘yang dala mo, nakaharang.

“FDM: Hindi nga, pare. Kung may kamag-anak akong napasama dun malamang milyonaryo na ako ngayon. Sayang at di ko nasama dun yung mga magulang ko, yung nanay ko. Eh ‘di sana maganda na ang buhay ko ngayon. [Shrill laughter]

“C: Teka, pare, isabit ko lang dito sa taas yung sampaguita ko baka masira, di ko pa mabenta. Sayang”

And aren’t you quite ready to mourn for having a friend who sell flowers, huh?

I was a bit irritated with their conversation, to the man who will exchange his parents’ lives for a small amount of money, to his confidant who laughs at his comrade’s thoughts, ideas, frustrations and not doing anything to debunk it until I realized they are the same. And I pitied them for thinking that way.

And I think we are all to blame. We created him. We created them. I created them.


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