“BANG” is colloquial for display of enthusiasm or vigor, or sudden force or effectiveness and is slang for thrill or excitement.

“Wang-wang” is the sound of car siren along with flash of blinker light for other motorists to give way to the vehicle supposedly in distress.

Click here for Election 2010 updates

All of a sudden, after President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s inaugural speech Wednesday, people are gaga over, or appalled by, the attack against “wang-wang.”

Law enforcers, displaying excessive willingness to serve and obey the new president, are all over, stopping and searching vehicles, not for contraband or weapons but for sirens.

TV newscasts have used more prime time on those devices than on stories on how P.Noy has begun to tackle corruption and poverty and how everyone else can help.

OK, the bang is symbolism, a starter on how the people can be mobilized for public good. Yet one sees disproportion between effort and target, how the fuss can be better applied to more weighty and urgent problems.

Nation of squealers

How about P.Noy rallying citizens against graft by getting them excited over whistle-blowing, on multimillion-peso deals or small-time acts of dishonesty, by bureaucrats or street cops?

A nation of squealers might change the culture of corruption.

What’s dismaying is that P.Noy is himself shunning the use of sirens. He doesn’t see that his precious life and his valuable time are protected by “wang-wang” as his entourage hurdles chaotic traffic.

He wants to lead by example? One way is to stop smoking. He might even save the lives of millions of cigarette smokers who worship him.