Monday, October 1, 2012

Difference Between Being Professional and Being Personal.

Before anything else, I am forewarning you that this is not any form of libelous article nor it is a complimentary article. It was made entirely for being an analytic opinion only.

I am sure that many of the folks swarming around the internet are aware of Sen. Tito Sotto's plagiarism act, where he translated an American President's speech into Tagalog / Filipino and delivered it during a hearing of the RH Bill. Many netizens weren't happy, and as of course, grammar Nazi's and the like. And in fact, he had more internet memes than Lito Lapid or Mayor Alfredo Lim combined. This is really...creeping me out.

My point is: what is wrong with translating?
Don't we clap our hands and sing along songs on the radio like "Turuan mo ako n'yan" or similar foreign-to-Tagalog songs? No one complains about that. No one complains about many students cheating on exams and cheating on relationships. No one complains about commercials obviously 'copying' whatever famous song there is and making a similar jingle for their advertisement. I tell you, no one.

May I quote Filipino alternative rock artist Rico Blanco from his interview at a recently publushed PULP magazine issue: 
"It's no longer about originality: Diyos lang ang original pare...lahat tayo scientists standing at the shoulder of giants." (It's no longer about originality: only God is original dude...we're all scientists standing at the shoulder of giants.)
So clearly as he said (and as I believe), we have no right to bash people just because they have technically copied something, because we are ALL copycats of something. You can't learn how to sing without listening from an idol or artist. You can't write an article without reading from another writer. Everything in this world has basis, and it just so happened that Sen. Sotto especially chose that said speech because he probably wants people to understand in his ideals, just the same reason why I quote Rico Blanco in this article.

An image I 'sottoed' from (TV5). Again, forgive me in advance.
But there was a second issue. The recently-passed Cyber Crime Law, which was signed by the President himself, included a 'very controversial' act called Online Libel Act. In this part of the law, anyone who throws in bad stuff towards another person or any entity shall be put into jail, and those who share / like / retweet / favorite such posts will end up the same way. Most people today are calling it the 'E-Martial Law' because of its nature of oppressing freedom of speech.

And here is the catch: it was said in most news articles and mass media that it was Sen. Tito Sotto himself who inserted this part of the law.

Most people might be thinking that the senator had his feelings hurt by people who bash him because of his 'copying' act, and that he wanted revenge and wanted people to shut up. But I don't think that's the real reason.

For example, you were copying from another classmate during the exams, and everyone else was copying too. But YOU were the one who got caught by the teacher, and your classmates (by some weird circumstance) actually sided with your teacher and call you a copycat, and want you to be expelled from school. HOW WOULD YOU FEEL?

You'd probably say things to them like, "So does that mean you guys can copy while I can't? Why don't you just shut up!"

And thus, Online Libel was inserted into the Cyber Crime Law, in my honest opinion.

Again, I am not a pro or anti of anything, but my stand is that we shouldn't take our criticism to a personal level. We can just simply tell the senator kind but constructive words like:

"Mr. Senator, I believe that translating a speech from another source is quite wrong, but we understand that you also wanted people to understand your side. It would have been better if you cited the source and quoted him in a speech instead of grabbing the whole speech."


And thus, this war is waging on, both online and offline. 

Who is to blame? Us. Because we do now know the right way of criticizing people.

So, for the benefit of those who want to say something to someone without getting jailed for libel, we should practice speaking our mind in the right, correct and professional way, that even the person you are criticizing might actually praise you for making constructive comments for him or her.

That's it for now, and I truly believe that I have spoken my soul out, while keeping in mind not to step on anyone or anything. Again, good day and thanks for reading. c:

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