Asia's Titanic -- a documentary on the MV Doña Paz

A. Gabriel

Jun 13, 2018
It's been thirty years... plus three days shy of six months.

Apparently back in 2009 the Philippines managed to produce precisely one documentary on the notorious MV Doña Paz, the massively overcrowded passenger ferry that went up in flames after an oil tanker collided with it on 20 December 1987. With over 4000 dead and only 24 survivors (plus 2 from the tanker), comparisons with the Titanic were inevitable, hence the title of said documentary: Asia's Titanic.

One can't help but wonder if there was an attempt at trying to one-up the much more famous incident by calling it that -- but you know now that I think on it the Doña Paz is quite possibly the Titanic's near-polar opposite, so the moniker isn't too far off the mark. While Titanic was carrying fewer passengers than capacity, the Doña Paz was exceeding capacity. While Titanic met her demise by ice, Doña Paz met hers by fire. While Titanic managed to launch all her lifeboats, Doña Paz launched none. And like Titanic, Doña Paz had a sister ship that soon met disaster herself: MV Doña Marilyn, which sank in a typhoon a mere ten months after Doña Paz's fiery end.

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