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I'll let you in a little revelation about my favorite usernames in my virtual sites. First is about my Mikimoto Angel pen name. Mikimoto is a famous brand of pearl accessories in America. I first saw that brand in Vogue Magazine. I got mesmerized by that label, and I thought of using it. I just added Angel from my name "Angela". Thus, the formation of Mikimoto Angel.

For my other pen name Mystic Nymph, the word mystic really came from the show Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog. I used to be so hooked to that show. I am also obsessed with mythologies, and nymphs are mythical creatures depicted as beautiful young women who are considered as guardians of objects and places in nature. Thus, the evolution of Mystic Nymph.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tragical Disco Shindig (Groupthink)

Ozone Disco Location (Google Image)

There are mainly four groups who were at stake for the haunting catastrophe that happened in Ozone Disco more than a decade ago: The Quezon City Local Government Unit Business Bureau, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the City Engineer’s Office and owners and managers of Westwood Entertainment. The Business Bureau of Quezon City LGU allowed Ozone Disco a certificate of annual inspection back in 1996 although the owners submitted inadequate and improper legal documents. The Bureau of Fire Protection claimed that they haven’t done any building inspection to the said club because according to them, Ozone Disco’s building permit has been expired and hasn’t been renewed. The City Engineers Office, specifically the one responsible for the construction of Ozone Disco, Engr. Alfredo Macapugay, was also sued for not doing proper floor plan and structure for the said building. Engr. Macapugay was also one of those condemned with the same fault for the Manor Hotel tragedy. The last group with the most blame is the owners and managers of Ozone Disco. Investigation showed that the corporation’s president and treasurer, Hermilo Ocampo and Roberto Ng failed to provide proper fire exits and extinguishers inside the establishment. The high courts concluded that the structure has not passed the building code standards.

These groups have clearly proves some symptoms of groupthink. Since we were not there in the actual tragedy, we can’t really say what has happened behind our eyes. But we can assume that these groups have, in some way, committed illusion of invulnerability, collective rationalization, and self-appointed ‘mindguards’. Ozone Disco was actually once a jazz club named “Birdland”. Pictures show that the establishment was just meant for a few number of people only. For a specific number, it can be occupied by 35 guests only. There are a lot of possible factors why the owners tolerated having ten times more than the expected. One could be they couldn’t say no to the good luck. In businesses like bars and restaurants, more people mean more money. It was one of the peak seasons when the incident happened. It was March, and everyone was immensely enjoying the end of classes. Maybe, at that moment they thought that nothing would happen if they accommodate 350 people in a very small area even though they probably knew that overloading can really cause harm. They have also overlooked many things in their building, for an instance, they overloaded it with neon lights and there were many receipts found placed on the Ozone Disco’s ceiling, which they say possibly caused the fire to spread fast.

It’s impossible that nobody has ever warned the operators of Ozone Disco about their faulty decisions from the beginning. With just one look, one can really say their building is not meant to be constructed in that location in Timog Avenue corner Tomas Morato. People who visited the club may have suggested some things that can be further improved by the management. The offices involved have also surely given them notices and precautions to prevent future damage. Perhaps, the owners themselves knew that they really had to do something to develop the improprieties of the Ozone Disco.

Some members of the management may also knew about the mistakes they’ve committed but maybe, they just didn’t want other members to know about some ideas or information that may eventually lead to some contradictions. Maybe they didn’t want their plans and most importantly, their cohesiveness to be ruined by what they might think as minor drawbacks. Overlooking even the tiniest of details about the Ozone Disco may or may not be deliberate. But one thing’s for sure, no matter how hard they tried to blame one another and neglecting some particulars. Their words are not enough to give back the life of the poor young people. The fiasco has already passed. That tragical disco shindig will haunt them…for life.

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