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August 18, 2005

第29話 フィリピン人は噂好き(3)

 ついでと言っては何だが、噂に踊ってしまう国民性でもうひとつ思い出した。今年の1月にセブを訪問した時のこと。現地の日本料理屋で日刊マニラ新聞を読んでいたら、こんな記事があったのを記憶している。掻い摘むと、こんなことだ。
 場所はミンダナオのどこだったか?携帯のテキストメールで首謀者は「津波が来るぞー」と噂を流す。真に受けた受信者はこれは一大事と周囲を巻き込んで大騒ぎとなる(彼は一味ではない)。周辺住民は命からがら高台に避難する。待てど暮らせど津波は来もせず、住民が家に帰った時は、家財道具は一切なく、それこそ津波が襲ったかのごとく蛻の殻、ということだ。年末のスマトラ沖地震はフィリピン人にも大きな衝撃だったそうで、地方の海沿いの集落がセンシティブだったであろう事は推察がつく。
 この記事を見た日に、知り合いのビジネスマンに日系の新聞にこんな記事が載ってるよ、と話したら、彼は笑いながら
「Oh, yes, It’s our new business!」。

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