Manila, Philippines – What made the social media headlines on August 28, 2017 was not the celebration of National Heroes’ Day, but the viral photos and videos of Zark’s burger’s P8 promo (usually P149) to the first 80 dine-in customers on their 8th anniversary.

Hunger Games, Train to Busan Pinoy Style, #WinterIsHere, Zombie Apocalypse, and many other captions and funny memes proliferated social media posts resulted from this crazy burger bedlam.  

These chaotic turn of events teach us three really timely lessons.

  1. Social validation – Am I good enough?

This could mean two things. The first could be related to Zark’s Burgers desire to create more buzz to have more business. For the society not only to validate its existence, but also to be talked about. And with what happened, they surely got more than what they wished for.

The second meaning was demonstrated by the people’s response to this promo. It’s that psychological phenomenon where one or more passive individuals follow or conform to the actions of others within a group. The people that got affected by this stampede mostly flocked in groups.

Out of the three social media accounts of Zark’s Burger that I looked at, it was on Facebook where their promo post reigned supreme at 3,000 shares on its first day of posting alone.

Interestingly, it’s a fact that some people just follow what their friends and relatives do, without even considering their actions consequences. 

2. The Folly of Youth – Is it worth it?

If you’ll watch the online videos related to this chaos, you’ll see that majority of the people who went there ages from millennials to centennials (of Generation Z). Despite the rampage, you’ll observe that some of these youths are still laughing at what’s happening.

While their adult counterparts refused to even go there, these people went there anyway. I suspect, because it’s also a fun new adventure for them. And also because they have the time and energy for it.

One netizen even related this to love in his Facebook post:

But was this really worth all the suffering? Are we really going to hurt each other for the sake of an P8 burger?

3. Poverty Mentality – It’s never enough!

This kind of mindset influences behaviors consistent with beliefs that money shouldn’t be spent and opportunities are limited.

One Facebook comment says this scenario “only means that the Philippines is not yet ready to move on from being a third world country.” Another social media comment says: “MGA PATAY GUTOM KAYO!” which had hundreds of likes and bashers as well.

Sad but true that many of us have this kind of mentality, partly because they’re not aware that this actually wreaks havoc to relationships. That sense of hoarding something and wanting it badly is also rooted in greed. We need to learn how to be content in what we have and where we are.

We may be poor now, but we don’t have to “think poor.” Let’s not become slaves of this kind of mindset.

While the authorities reported no casualties, we should all learn from this and not just become observers to the signs of the times.

We must rise up to the challenge of becoming game-changers…to be the heroes of our nation in this generation.  

Adrian is a professional Events Host, Writer, Teacher, and Change Catalyst. He's a world-class emcee creating fun, memorable, and meaningful events. As a change catalyst, his mission is to inspire personal development so people could have better lives with brighter future, against all odds. An IELTS- and TESOL-certified English Trainer, he's also a prolific Tagalog Tutor.