- Ducky Paredes - "Obviously, the plans, whatever there might have been, failed --- absolutely. Clearly, a lot of persons ought to resign. Sadly, we are not Chinese, Thai or Japanese whose sense of shame would force them to quit. What we have, instead, is a culture of iwas-pusoy and kapalmuks. In the old days, in the days of our great-grandparents, if something like this had happened, the responsible people would have quit. They would have been expected to do so. The Philippines used to be a proud Asian nation, too, at one time, long, long ago."
- Ellen Tordesillas - "The militant women’s group Gabriela noted that many of those who died were women. 'This is a reflection of the reality that women are the ones who bear the burden of the crisis in the country today and who die working to lift the family out of the quagmire of poverty,' said Emi de Jesus, secretary-general of Gabriela."
- PDI Editorial - "WHEN you come down to it, poverty was the root cause of the "Wowowee" stampede that resulted in the death of 74 people last Saturday. It was hopeless, grinding poverty that made people line up at the PhilSports Arena as early as Monday, sleeping in their places and leaving only to answer the call of nature. It was poverty that made the people rush forward and knock down the gates that stood between them and a chance to win a house or P1 million in cash or two taxis or a jeepney and other prizes."
- Neal Cruz - "Perhaps, the mass deaths should shock the administration into doing something meaningful. Distributing free noodles to the poor while cameras click away, delivering speeches, shaking hands and promising billions of pesos for food handouts to try to regain some popularity, are not what we mean by 'something meaningful.'"
- Conrado de Quiros - "But as many Filipinos know by now-courtesy of the text messages that flew thick and fast after the event --- the real culprit in this disaster is poverty. A friend of mine put it this way, 'Grabe pare, the only things that are keeping the poor going these days are luck and alms.' That sounds even more plaintive in Tagalog. Another said the tragedy showed the true face of the economy. It is not 51 to 1, which is the conversion rate of the peso, it is 74 to 1, the conversion rate of lives to survival. What can I say? I agree completely. What differentiates the tragedy last Saturday with the ones that came before it is that people went there out of dire straits, out of desperation, out of need to make some money. And they pushed and shoved and trampled with a ferocity reserved only for their life-and-death struggles. Kapit sa patalim. Surviving by the skin of your teeth."
- Rod Kapunan - "The tragedy, with relatives of the victims also literally trampled upon by people of their own wretched class similarly eager to gamble for their exit from their economic straits, was poignant in that unlike the familiar tragedies in other countries, where stampedes and riots in soccer matches are often ignited by fanatical sports fans, here it was a stampede of the desperate and hungry people. All wanted to rush in by all means even violently because not all could be accommodated, and their desperation turned into an emotional anxiety that a slight commotion could readily erupt into a deadly stampede."
In a country where it is hard to learn life's lessons when the stomach is always empty --- no nutrition to power the thinking brain --- disasters like this will surely happen again. Mix these with people who hardly care about what happens to the poor and we have a formula for more disasters.