Wrapped up in my own world: ignoring the China milk scare & others too

There was a time when I was appalled by other young people’s apathy. I vividly remember hearing, back when I was a junior in college, hearing this senior girl so worried about because she was not going to get the – was that a condo or a car? – that her dad had promised her. When I heard that, I felt disgusted- how could she worry about such trivial things when there were so many other important things to worry about? When there were so many issues plaguing the country at the time?

In time, I realized I was wrong to trivialize what she felt were her issues. I was wrong to judge.

But at that time in my life, as was years earlier and years since, I was a social activist – particularly on children’s issues. Having been raised by parents who were in the thick of action in the upheaval that was the Martial Law years, I was brought up aware of what’s happening to my surroundings. It also helped that I went to highschool where there was some of that too.

So what I’ve become now, is a little unimaginable for myself.

I used to think it was impossible, but I have become wrapped up in my own little world. I care less now. And I’m not sure that is all very good.

I do not wish to judge others, believe me, because we all write about what we want to, what we feel, what affects us. But I am judging myself, in a way. Because, as I said, I have become another a slightly different version of the person I thought I would grow up to be.

I’d like to think that this has nothing to do with the career change that I did more than three years ago. That switching careers wasn’t a complete change in lifestyle. I cringe to think of myself as a total sellout. Though I don’t doubt that there are others who may think that way.

But look at my blog, notice how I almost never post about other people, about social issues, anymore? I never really thought about it until now. I blog about most things, I only keep my deepest secrets to myself really. The rest I share.

I realized this because, well, the China milk scare has been in the headlines for some time now. And then there’s the tragedy in the mines of Benguet. Yet none of those two newsmakers have found their way through here. The worst part is that I was only vaguely aware of the Benguet mine disaster – I thought it was in some other country.

I had not picked up the papers, and I have not been paying attention to the news on TV apparently. Shame on me.

Enough with the ranting.

Going back to the China milk scare. How could businessmen do that, really? I get it, they are after profit. How could the Chemists (or whatever they’re called) in their employ allow such a thing to happen? They played with the lives of children. I don’t think they thought about that at all. Apparently, mixing melamine isn’t just a practice in China. How did it ever become a practice at all?

Aside from the death toll, and the hundreds of babies hospitalized because of melamine-tainted milk, this scandal has an economic impact too.

Today in the news, they showed sellers of re-packed candies in Divisoria ranting about how their sales have dropped. They’ve had their customers coming back returning boxes of their goods. The candies aren’t even from China.

The other day there were milk and flour sellers who have also lost money over this scare – even after they’ve stopped selling merchandise they imported from China. Even when they’ve never really sold milk and flour from China.

Now there are reports that melamine tainted Cadbury chocolates have been recalled somewhere.

Ugh. There could be more.

The Philippines has been hit by one storm after another. That’s no news. Year after year, those storms claim lives and this year is no exception.

In September 22, miners went down as usual in the mines at Itogon, Benguet. Because of the storm though, there were floods, and they were soon trapped.  Bodies of two miners were retrieved on Thursday. It was believed that those were the ones who could swim and that was how they were found near where the rescuers were working. But because the flood water was contaminated with gas from inside the mines, they had not survived. Finding them had dimmed hopes that there would be survivors. People had thought that the rest of the fourteen miners believed to still be in there, would not be able to survive the gas fumes.

Last night, there was happy news – first two survivors were found, and then one more followed. Rescuers are now saying that they were hearing voices along some shafts. Despite the still rising water level in the mines, they will continue to search.

At least now, there is hope there.

Apart from being able to rescue more miners, I sure hope they learn enough to be able to institute measures that will prevent disasters like this in the future.