chuvaness
Disorganized mess
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Years before the Azkals became popular, their Dutch uncle Victor dreamed for our boys to become football players.
With no intervention from either me or Jeroen, the boys just naturally picked up basketball and became fans. Maybe because basketball courts are all over the place.
So when I heard Kobe Bryant was coming to town, I begged for tickets and got them through the kindness of Ogilvy & Mather Philippines, who handles PR for Nike.
They gave us 4 Patron tickets and 8 Upper Box tickets. Because Jeroen’s best friend Joris wanted to take his two kids and we wanted to take Yaya Bhing, I gave away the 4 Patron tickets to my friend Tina’s kids.
Because the kids could only come after school, we arrived at Araneta Coliseum exactly 5 PM and saw this humongous line.

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We had to go to the end of the line. A couple of pictures taken once inside, we made a quick stop to the restroom (which is in DIRE need of renovation by the way, much worse than NAIA), bought food, before we could enter the venue.
Only to discover as soon as the door opened that it was PACKED with people in a very scary way. Think sardinas and mackerel style—all the aisles were full and nowhere to pass. No ushers, no flashlights, nobody helping us find our way.
We were struggling in the dark. I was scared for my children.
I begged a guard to help us, he wouldn’t budge and I offered him money to help us. He refused the money and refused to move. I had to reason with him (read: tinarayan ko) to help us find our seats. He moved.
But he led us to the wrong section. We ended up outside where we first started. He left us.
I asked the door person to help us. He was confused with people shoving tickets to him. He was frozen stiff. He couldn’t move, didn’t know what to do.
So we found another guard. He led us to a section and left us, so I led our group of eight in half darkness until we reached Section 318 of Upper Box A and counted seats 1-8 (which was on our tickets).
At this time I was already upset because people were sitting everywhere and obviously on our seats. I motioned for the people (not in a friendly way, mind you) to get up and they did. Two people refused to budge. I heard them say, “Hindi tayo aalis.”
I called the guard for help. He looked at all our tickets. We were all in the wrong section—us and them.
#Award. I wanted to DIE. I asked everyone in our group to get up.
The guard led us to the correct section just a few steps away, and the people I shooed away grumbled as they claimed their seats back.
Once again I had to shoo eight people from our seats—the right seats. Some of them refused to budge, but we had tickets.
Finally we secured our seats and the children were safe from the possibility of a stampede.

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Kobe played to a responsive crowd. Ben lost his voice shouting. Less than 30 minutes later, it was over.
People following me on Twitter were shocked how fast it was—reason being half the time we were looking for our seats.
We headed over to Max’s at Scout Tuazon, where the kids had sinigang and fried chicken.

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I had fish.

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And then we went home.
It was my first time to sit at Upper Box and I would never do it again.
As a mom, I felt like a failure because I put my kids’ safety in jeopardy. I should’ve kept the Patron seats (well, next time, if there is a next time).
When I got home, tired from a day of trying to be a good mom, I got a very nasty tweet from a girl who witnessed my shooing away people—not knowing what hell we went through, the fear I felt for my kids, all because some people allowed this mess to happen, that people were allowed to sit and stand anywhere against the safety of the general public.

Just now my husband saw this at the Philmug forum. Somebody who was there posted:
“Anyone have an idea why at around 4:30 PM, people from Upper B started going down to Upper A section? Who started it coz it was really chaotic? I’m not sure why they were allowed to do that.”
“I’ve heard that security themselves allowed it. Same goes with General Admission to Upper box,” went one reply.
True enough, when we arrived and showed our tickets, the usher said it was already “free seating” everywhere.
I’m writing this to let people know Kobe Bryant is huge, literally and figuratively. When he comes over you have to consider security, safety, and fire codes seriously.
Araneta Coliseum also needs to get their act together and it’s about time they renovated.

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Guest

I think the scenario also applies come the UAAP Cheerdance Competition.  You literally have to “earn” your ticket to the actual event.  And you see people sitting at the stairs, taking others’ seats, people from Upper B jumping to Upper A.  Pure commotion.

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Guest

It was you who I saw at the event! The deal was that Nike gave away Upper A tickets in front of Araneta minutes before Kobe arrived in the gym. It became free seating when people from upper B, who lined up for hours to get tickets, were advised by some of the Nike employees to do so. Given that most of the people from upper A down to patron just asked for their tickets (and I’d say are not really big fans of Kobe), it was justice to see some of the richer folks seating on the stairs. Most if… Read more »

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Anonymous

i can just imagine. same thing happens during ateneo-la salle uaap basketball games

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lover010178

Ugali ba talaga ng Pinoy ang mang-agaw ng seats or they’re just plain dumb? On an SQ flight back to Manila, a Pinoy who was seated in front of me and my mom took the seat of a Caucasian lady. Hello? There’s a seat number on your boarding pass.   

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Boo! Reply:

To answer your question… BOTH!!! 

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Pinoy Reply:

Pinoy ka rin

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lover010178 Reply:

Yeah, but I don’t steal other people’s seats. Seriously, as a Pinoy I was embarrassed because of what that person did.

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Boo!

To answer your question… BOTH!!! 

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Pinoy

Pinoy ka rin

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lover010178

Yeah, but I don’t steal other people’s seats. Seriously, as a Pinoy I was embarrassed because of what that person did.

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guest

Hello SM Arena!

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Jay Lozada

I want Kobe Beef and Kobe Fried Chicken! Yum!

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Len

The originizers were irresponsible!  We all know that this event will attract a ton of people. They should have had enough security and ushers controlling the crowd and guiding people to their correct seats.  Staples center has probably 3 or 4x the capacity of Araneta but nothing like this happens as there are enough personnel watching/guarding each area.    It’s poor planning plus unruly audience makes a great recipe for disaster.  

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CVS Reply:

it is truly a tragedy waiting to happen

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Dontaskmetosmile

I don’t understand what is going on in the heads of the people who steal other people’s seats. Ibang klaseng kakapalan na talaga ng mukha ‘yun. It really is theft! And they’re the ones with the gall to be indignant and angry when you claim you seat! Ughhh! The people who run Araneta should really train their people better and maybe hire those huge security guys for big events like this. During the Kylie concert, I don’t think anything like that happened, but I think that’s because there were less people, and the people who were there had the decency… Read more »

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Mels

It’s been decades since I’ve been inside the Araneta Coliseum. As a mom, I understand how you feel. Kids’ safety (and others’) should not be taken for granted. The World Safety Organization was founded in Manila (yes, how ironic) yet places like the Araneta Coliseum remain poorly equipped and managed for safety. When will our countrymen learn? Or should we stick to our short-sighted ways and “bahala na” attitude?

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CVS Reply:

thank you.

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Guest

i know sobrang jologs ko but the first time ko napasok yang araneta was only last year, yung chinese circus.  nagulat ako na ganun pala itsura nun, disappointing.  the walls, the floor…susko ka pangit ha.  and to think that my children watch the uaap games there.  wala ba silang budget to have the place renovated? [Reply]Tezuka Seigaku Reply:July 16th, 2011 at 12:16 AMagree! chaos kapag uaap cheerdance. nakakatakot kapag nagkastampede [Reply]Susan Calayan Cuaresma Reply:July 16th, 2011 at 7:37 AMi know, yang cheerdance talagang pinipilahan nila yan.  ako i just watch it on tv.  eh pag nagkatalunan na baka magkapikunan pa. … Read more »

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Tezuka Seigaku

agree! chaos kapag uaap cheerdance. nakakatakot kapag nagkastampede

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Guest

i know, yang cheerdance talagang pinipilahan nila yan.  ako i just watch it on tv.  eh pag nagkatalunan na baka magkapikunan pa.  susmio, rambol sigurado yan.  buti na lang yung games di na nila pinapatulan, talunan kasi. UP Fight!  hahaha…

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Guest

Could SM Arena save us all?

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Guest

Kobe winked at me. True story.

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Guest

Ugh! At one of my previous jobs, everyone in the company played ushers for a benefit concert the company sponsored. The venue: Araneta Coliseum. On the day of the concert, it was pandemonium! A lot of the concert-goers complained to us that a lot of people took their seats (particularly the good seats). Apparently, the “regulars” of Araneta simply let them in, disregarding what was stated on their tickets! One pregnant woman felt stomach pains, and we pretty much circumnavigated the damn coliseum before finding the LONE ELEVATOR leading down. I’m still wondering how that went to this day. 🙁… Read more »

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Drew

Safety was a real concern here. People sitting in the stairs, standing in front of the exits, people sitting in other peoples seats. No or little light to see where the exits are. No guards or ushers helping at all. Security measures were nowhere to be found. If a stampede happens in Araneta you will have thousands of trapped people and God knows what kind of a disaster can happen.  What is the really scary part here is that it all looked like “A normal event in Araneta” Everybody was acting as if this is all normal; the ushers saying… Read more »

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Guest

True ms c but the coliseum really needs to be demolished ans have a new one in its place, we just dont know how that is going to happen.. Probably no money to do that either [Reply]Jude Lopez Mancuyas Reply:July 15th, 2011 at 7:48 PMI’d rather have the shell intact and renovate everything inside. I like the structure. [Reply]CVS Reply:July 15th, 2011 at 10:28 PMme too [Reply]KUMAGCOW Reply:July 16th, 2011 at 2:03 AMBut i think the structure had some issues in their last inspection. Ahm i think i saw that in a documentary somewhere in gma, not that i like… Read more »

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Guest

I’d rather have the shell intact and renovate everything inside. I like the structure.

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Guest

But i think the structure had some issues in their last inspection. Ahm i think i saw that in a documentary somewhere in gma, not that i like to watch their shows, i was channel surfing lol.. But i agree it SHOULD be a dome 🙂

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