Saturday, January 23, 2010
There is this news item in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (January 18, 2010, page A17)where reporters Jhunnex Napallacan and Chito Aragon quoted the police who said that the grand parade during the Sinulog Festival was witnessed by an estimated six to eight million people despite the incessant rain.
Six to Eight million? Even if it is just an estimate, the number is too big as to reflect an iota of truth. Consider the following: The whole of Cebu Province had a population of a little over 3.8 million in 2007, according to the National Statiscal Coordinating Board. Since this is 2010, perhaps the total population has already breached the 4 million mark.
Okay, let us take the lower estimate of 6 million. If this figure is to reflect reality, all the people of Cebu must have gone to watch the parade - that is including non-catholics, babies and old people from the remotest barangays (IMPOSSIBILITY NO. 1). Then another two million tourists must have travelled to Cebu from other provinces and countries. Aha, imagine how many ships, boats, and airplanes used to ferry these number of people. Imagine also how many rooms (hotel or otherwise) were used by 2,000,000 bodies? (IMPOSSIBILITY NO. 2).
Sabihin natin, hindi naman lahat naghotel eh. Mayroon dyan dumating umaga tapos umuwi pagkatapos ng parade. Eh mayroong bang enough hotel rooms within Metro Cebu for 500,000 people? Masyadong Malaki pa rin.
You see 6 million doesn't hold water. How much more for 8 million?
So what if the estimate is bloated? Anong issue? Well the proper question should be: Why can't the police give a better estimate? Also, why did the journalists who are supposed to give us balanced news did not bother to question or correct the police estimate?
Why is there a need to exaggerate? Just asking...