Christopher Lao - a simple Chinoy guy who appears to be in his mid 20's - is currently trending on Twitter Worldwide and getting thousands upon thousands on Facebook fans by the hour.
How many Pinoys can claim to have achieved that?
What more could Christopher ask for, you ask? Well, if I were in his shoes, I'd wish for these online achievements to be all for the right reasons.
You see, a lot of Pinoys in social networking sites are slamming Christopher for what he did yesterday, following the heavy rains and flooding brought by Typhoon Kabayan:
In an act that baffled and perhaps shocked everyone who witnessed it, Christopher bravely drove his car to what appeared to be waist-high floods. And as the laws of Physics - specifically those related to Bouyancy and Properties of Water - would have it, his sedan (which turned out to be not amphibious after all) fell victim to the waters.
But it isn't so much this misfortune that got everyone talking about Christopher. It's the things he said as soon as he got out of his flood-soaked car that made him the online-sensation he now is. GMA News' 24 Oras got everything on video:
Courtesy of GMA News (edited by Youtube Uploader, not TP)
Apparently (or at least, as how GMA reported it to be), Christopher blames MMDA and everyone in sight during the incident for his own mistake. He even said at one point that he 'wasn't informed' of the floods -- even if the water level was already too high not to be obvious.
Here's what some Tweeps have to say about 'Christopher Lao':
Meanwhile, a lot of Christopher's fans on Facebook seem to be having no second thoughts calling him downright 'Bobo' (stupid).
UPDATE as of 12:00 AM, August 4, 2011 --
As it turned out, Christopher Lao is actually a UP Law Student. And as a reaction to this incident, UP Law School Dean, Marvic Leonen, posted this message on his Facebook Wall:
You may be amused by the mistakes or misfortunes of others. But, this does not entitle you to degrade their entire character or make conclusions about their whole person. Christopher Lao does not deserve the treatment he is getting from others in facebook and twitter. And yes, he is from UP College of Law and we are still proud of him.
To put it simply, everyone makes mistakes, so -
1. There's nothing wrong with admitting your mistakes and being light-hearted about them.
2. Noone has the right to degrade another person on the merit of his mistakes.
Watching this video, it appeared as if Christopher didn't want people to think he was 'stupid' for braving the floods, so he tried to put the blame on other people (which I personally think isn't the wisest thing to do). Or maybe he was thinking it's just another of those casual debates on politics that he could win by making himself appear like an actual victim of the system. Or perhaps he simply has a false sense of entitlement. I don't know. Not saying I would have done better if I were in his shoes, but I think he could have just said, "Nagmamadali kasi ako at talagang nagkamali ako sa pagtantsa sa taas ng baha." [I was in a rush and I completely failed to notice that the flood was already that high.] and everyone would have been fine with it. There's nothing wrong with admitting a mistake.
However, I also completely agree with Dean Leonen that Christopher doesn't deserve the maltreatment he's now getting in social networking sites and in the blogosphere. Noone has the right to degrade another human being just because of his mistakes -- more so, when we don't even personally know the man we're judging.
I must admit I laughed really hard when I first heard about this incident from a friend and even got tempted to mock the guy, but you know what, after really thinking about it, I say, whoever hasn't committed a mistake be the first person to cast the stone on Christopher.