Wednesday, August 23, 2006


What a sad day for Philippine commentary. The blogsphere is full of hate these days. You can witness all the mudslinging here, here, and here (Note: will provide the links tomorrow). Just reading the banters can give you a headache.

I want to blame Isagani Cruz’s (URL) article for this but I wouldn’t. I believe that some ideas and beliefs, no matter how vile or sick they are, will just live as long as their believers liveth. After that, the current ideas – which cannot be said to be better, either - simply take over. This is hardly a case of not being able to teach old dogs new tricks, mind you. It’s his belief, for chrissakes. Why should we hate the man for his beliefs? And what does the broadsheet which published it have anything to do with the whole thing? Newspapers are simply venues for exchange of ideas (don’t shoot the messenger, ‘ika nga).

Let it be told, however, that despite what Justice Cruz’s beliefs are, his article has taught us lessons. That is, to look at issues in the proper perspective which is to discuss these, not on a personal level, but on a level that allows everyone to have a say on things and NOT feel rejected or hated.

While it is virtually impossible to detach oneself from the issue especially if you are concerned, must there be a need to lambast each other over each other’s beliefs? If Cruz believed that the pink community has its faults (after all, he said he doesn’t frown on all its members), so does the “straight” community.

The “straight” community has, many times over, made a linchpin of the pinks. This is pretty obvious in the way they have been portrayed on television (Diego of Bubble Gang is currently the best example), in the movies, and on advertisements. But the straights cannot be completely faulted for this either because the pinks –until now – are almost always never united on anything in the first place. Every year, the rainbow parades are held several times in several locations instead of just one grand Mardi Gras like those in Sydney or LA. This is because the local LGBT organizations do not agree on logistics and funding. While the rest of the world celebrates Pride Month in June, we find other local organizations celebrating it in August. And hear me out here (and don’t heckle me, please), if it REALLY is important to have these so-called gay rights recognized, why isn’t there a concerted effort, from the parlorista up to those who are on the level of privilege, to bring these issues to the right venues to be heard and discussed?

On a personal note, I must admit I find myself at always at odds with a very active member whenever we discuss the gay movement in the Philippines. Our constant misunderstandings have strained our friendship many times. I would like to see this now as a reflection of what is currently happening in the blogsphere. Because no side would want to budge, a major clash is inevitable. My friend has branded my ideas as being “high hat…which won’t contribute to the movement”, while I have accused him of being “insistent that the rest of society see things his way”.

And who are the losers in this word war? The pink community itself.

It’s not anymore about what the pundits think and/or feel (you’ve all expressed yourselves well enough), but what the ENTIRE community – both gay and straight - feels about it. I wish I had the opportunity to ask every gay person I know if they have read the article(s) at all. It would be interesting to know what their answers would have been, if they really care at all. Life is hard enough to even bother, I suppose. Otherwise, I would have seen large groups stoning Justice Cruz’s house by now.

For once I thought, finally, a chance to publicly discuss the issues long raised by the community for public discourse! The opportunity could have been used to debate on issues such as “equal” rights, access to jobs, discrimination, access to healthcare (this one most especially) but what did we get?

Utterly useless mudslinging. Another opportunity wasted.

For as long as we insist on taking vital issues on a personal level, we can never advance into finding solutions to our problems because we are all too busy protecting ourselves, instead of advancing the interests of the aggrieved party.


Jules said...

I can't believe how rudimentary your understanding towards the basic tenets of civil rights.

1. "Why should we hate the man for his beliefs?" Because there is no place in our current society for intolerance and bigotry. His arguments of hate-incitement is enough to make me want to censor him. Being a columnist has its responsibilites, so bashing a sector of society has its dire consequences.

2. "And what does the broadsheet which published it have anything to do with the whole thing? Newspapers are simply venues for exchange of ideas (don’t shoot the messenger, ‘ika nga)."
Duh! PDI is equally culpable in allowing such a stupid and insipid article to be published. That's what an editor should do: edit articles. Clearly they did not. In malpractice, the fault of the intern is the fault of the resident. It is applicable also with the media: the fault of the author is also the fault of the publisher.

Character malfunction said...

For once I thought, finally, a chance to publicly discuss the issues long raised by the community for public discourse! <---How is this possible when the instigator of this tirade refuses to comment publicly and just retaliated against his fellow columnist?

Furthermore, there are concerted efforts within the LGBT community, but nothing grandiose in the scale. This is not disparaging, the seemingly lack of a massive effort, this is just a way to work around mainstream culture that has members like Isagani A. Cruz who has a venue for his ignorance, whereas homosexuals are just marginalized by Cruz and his ilk.

There are hatred in responses in the net, true. But moreso a disbelief that somebody as educated as Cruz could be so ignorant and something of a massive and "respected" publication like inquirer to allow a thrashing of journalistic ethics that clearly state not to disparage a group of people.

Anonymous said...

"don't shoot the messenger."

in this case, the messenger is a former justice of supreme court! how can you just ignore that fact? he is being looked up to by future lawyers and judges!

I write for the world said...

Jules, I never made any impression that I was an expert on the subject. I'm no pundit as you probably are one. I simply was thinking out loud. As I said, if we didn't have a person such as Isagani Cruz, you actually think there'd be any such discussion today?

You think PDI should have edited Cruz's article because you don't agree with this ideas. I do not, mind you, but I felt that hey, this is an opportunity! I'd rather that we make use of that chance to discuss things pero what happened? Wala. Personalan lang ang nangyari.

Malfunction, I agree with you. I didn't mean to say that the discussions must stem from Cruz himself. Obviously, his article has sparked a massive ping-pong of ideas. I really wish the community can be more aggressive.There's good news coming from the Senate, at least, but it can be derailed by the discussions on Charter Change.

Berniej said...

Well, to paraphrase (and emphasize) what I've said in my *other* blog, freedom of expression guarantees your right to say what you want to say, it also guarantees other people to say what you may not want to hear.

To prevent Isagani Cruz from saying his 2 cents is curtailing *his* freedom of expression. People must have to face that not everyone agrees (or disagrees) with what they believe in.


Anonymous, siguro naman may mga isip din ang mga young lawyers. Cruz's article is not the law.

Berniej, I honestly hate what the linking of MLQ3 has done to my personal space but I welcome dissent. And i agree with you wrote here. As for the other comments, thanks so much for visiting. Your visit is very much appreciated. I hope we can all find a topic we all can agree on.

nursing1998 said...


The Filipina immigrant was at her wit's end. She moved to Las Angeles/CA when she received her green card, and for the past 5 months, she has been looking for a job, to no avail. She feels confident of her qualifications (Univ of Philippines business-degree (plus extra courses in law); she already had supervisor-experience (10 people reporting to her in the Makati job she left); she even had her own blogsite) but the Los Angeles Times, Cedars Sinai Memorial Center and scores of other companies she applied to (for manager or assistant-manager position) had hired her. "Ganiyan ang Amerika, " her friends and cousins told her, "ang lakas ng discrimination!" On a whim, our Filipina immigrant applied for a bus-driver position. Boy, was she surprised when she got accepted.

After receiving several days of training, the day arrived for her to drive her official route. No problems for the first few stops-a few people got on, a few got off, and things went generally well.

At about the 15th stop, two Latinos got on. The first Latino was five feet nine, the other about 2 inches shorter, but both were built like wrestlers. They had muscular arms, with tatoos, too!!! The first Latino glared at the driver and said, "Big Sancho doesn't pay!", and the two Latinos walked to the back of the bus and sat down.

Our Filipina UP-grad is five feet two and less than 120 pounds. She didn't argue with Big Sancho but she was not happy about it.

The next day the same thing happened - the two Latinos got on with Big Sancho making a show of refusing to pay. It happened again the next day, and the one after that and so forth.

This grated on the UP-grad. "Do I really have to bear with THIS discrimination? Is the Filipino the lowest in the totem pole?", she lamented, and she started losing sleep over the the disrespect that she felt. At this time, she had found a boyfriend (Ateneo-de-Davao graduate). He was quite consoling and understanding of the indignation she felt, but every night they talked about it, his advice always was "turn the other cheek". One night in an outburst, she yelled "Enough! It is time to confront the situation". She also gave her Ateneo-boyfriend to choose between backing her up or for him to leave the apartment that she was paying for. Reluctantly, he agreed.

Our street-smart UP-graduate got herself a can of pepper-spray (even practiced for 3 week-ends in using it). The plan was for her boyfriend to be on the bus when she confronts Big Sancho and the other guy, but "just in case", he asked two of his kababayan's to come along (and one brought a baseball bat, also "just in case")).

Sure enough, the two Latinos once again got on the bus and Sancho said, "Big Sancho doesn't pay!," This time, our driver stood up, glared back at Sancho and screamed, "And why not?"

Sancho stopped. He had a bewildered look on his face as again he said (but a bit softer) "Sancho does not pay. No necesito pagar." The Filipina driver screamed louder, "You will not discriminate me. Everybody pays. You have to pay!!!"

The second Latino stepped forward and said


"Hey, sweetheart, we don't have to pay. Sancho and I have the bus pass."

jher said...

the problem with the column is that cruz is supposedly a well-respected former justice and a columnist. and his opinion, no matter how stupid or hateful it may or may not be, reaches millions of readers. in this regard you can not separate the message from the messenger. anyhoo, as for the disagreement, okay lang yan, we can disagree naman without being disagreeable.