Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pork in a Freaking Barrel (Thoughts about PDAF Scam)

Forewarning: if you are easily offended by issues pertaining to politics, mass media, mainstream manipulation, social issues, and all other things, you are hereby warned to not take this into a form of slander or bashing or whatever. You are free to express your thoughts, but please keep the nonsense talk to a minimum. Thank you.

First of all, I hate to be hipster (again after a few years of resting on social commentary), but this here is a serious issue, that might just awaken all of us.

I am no activist nor am I against anyone or anything, but things are different now because of the recent PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) or Pork Barrel becoming an issue with a contract anomaly hailing from the hands of the mastermind, Janet Lim Napoles, a filthy-rich businesswoman (much like every other filthy-rich business people in our country) dealing some serious money tactics involving certain senators of the country. 


 

While corruption is no longer a new hot topic in the Philippines, thanks to Napoles being discovered, the 'masses' are starting to finally and truly awaken.

Beyond this point, I would like to differentiate 'masses' from 'mass media', for those who don't know. The masses is the true everyday Filipino, who makes a living by every means possible (5-6, buy and sell, and ukay-ukay included) and the mass media is what most people think is the masses, which is not. The mass media is only a medium, a means of communication, which can have its flaws and anomalies, too. Surely, no one would bother to regulate whether what is being filtered and manipulated by the mass media is just or not. And surely, young teens will just use every damn hashtag on Twitter's trending list every single day, like singing to a song without knowing what it means. 

Here are topics and truths that each and every one of us should be aware when it comes to political issues and scandals (even celebrity scandals):

1. Never believe in what you see on major channels.

Just because a broadcasting company is bigtime and has a good reputation with thousands of welfare programs, doesn't make it a heavenly place. We do not know what is behind the doors of these executives and for sure we do not know what they've been talking about. We could only guess, because they are obviously hiding truths from us, so that they'll maintain their company status. 

And as we all know today, the administration is quite associated (by family relationship of course) with the most mainstream channel of all. I will not bother to mention those so you'd better research about them or ask your neighbors about it. Therefore, that is already an automatic guarantee that not everything that the media tells us from these channels is legitimate or authentic. We should keep our eyes peeled, as if every person is a suspect.

2. Never forget the importance of these issues.

Mainstream media likes to play with our minds with their dirty little tactics, like "here comes a new TV show" or "here comes a new love team / a showbiz couple broke up" or other miscellaneous stupidity that will surely lure the average Pinoy (especially the chismoso/chismosa) to getting hooked to the TV all day, not even doing something productive such as working or studying. Instead, they forget about every issue that has come and gone and start playing Candy Crush or tweeting about how they had an awesome time with their friends at Starbucks while millions of Filipinos are suffering because of poverty and corruption in the government.

We must become aware of these amnesia tactics. Never forget things like the Maguindanao Massacre or other government scandals and issues that are truly relevant and can change our country, if not right away, little by little. Because if we forgot this PDAF scam issue and moved on to getting glued to some cheesy teenage teleserye,  we've wasted the efforts of our heroes, old and new. We've wasted those who held a peaceful rally against Pork Barrel in Luneta last August 26, 2013 (Monday). We've wasted a lot of opportunities to make a change to our country. 

3. Do not be bias and do not be afraid to speak out.

No president or politician is perfect, and no political system is perfect either, but I think we should be fair and equal to every president or politician. Don't judge one by the number of issues said by the mass media, but the number of programs the person has implemented. I know this is hard, but a lot of misunderstood politicians have ended this way. 

To be honest, Former President Joseph Estrada, due to his lack of experience in politics, was caught in a web of demise that he did not expect. He was just a simple actor from Tondo. He didn't know much, but he wanted to help out and make a change. And yet here we blacklist him all because of one single little mistake - playing at a casino. Now tell me, how much is that compared to the amount that Napoles and all other corrupt government officials or business people have stolen in their entire lives and got away with it?

I know that ignorance may also be a crime, but look at him now. He's trying to shape Manila into a better place through the traffic solutions, as much as he can. How about us, are we just going to stand here and complain about trivial things in our lives such as "walang load" or "na-Friendzone ako" or "gusto kong umattend ng concert ni Daniel Padilla" or are we going to do something about our country in a non-abstract way?

4.  Make your own move for the country.

The fight to corruption starts out small. If we teach our children the importance of good governance, we are sure to raise champions and humble servants of the law. If we teach them to 'sort out what you see in mass media', then you'll have kids who will have stable identities and will not be swayed by some mainstream fad or get absorbed into the boring norms of reality. You will have kids that will shape the future, become innovative in different fields and hopefully, change our country.

But if you are lazy enough, you can just have your kids study nursing, have them work abroad, get married, get old, and die for themselves and only for their family. This is not against OFWs - I am just saying that if you really want to do something for your country, you must love it and stay with it until the end of your life. You must give yourself to it and try to think of a unique solution in making a small but significant change for the Philippines. Even a small little business idea can become a franchising deal, which might also attract tourists for our country. By maintaining our natural and urban beauty, we are putting ourselves on the spotlight for foreigners to clap their hands and throw money towards us. This is the concept that most of us have given up on, because of the fact that 'there is corruption and poverty in the country'.

If all you can do is complain without making an effort, then you are not qualified as a citizen of this country. Government officials, rich men and the common Filipinos all have the same responsibilities, but in different levels. Politicians should help the poor by giving them jobs or passing bills and laws that make the country and its people a better place. Rich men should do the same by donating their wealth to the less fortunate, even without the use of mass media to spread their good word. Commoners should work hard and cooperate with these officials to work for a common goal in uplifting the country from the ashes.

What about me? Well, me and my friends have made this community site, QZN.ME, which will be the community site of our province (Quezon Province) in which businesses can promote themselves online into one directory site that is much like Facebook for better convergence. It will also help to promote tourism for our province. After we are done with this project, we might do a similar system to other neighboring provinces like Laguna, Batangas or Cavite in the near future.

Each of us have talent and creativity. It was just shunned and taken away from us because of these mainstream norms, that we are obliged to join bandwagons otherwise we are ex-communicated from our own society. That is not necessarily true. You can survive without having a damn iPhone 5 or 6, or an Xbox 360, or daily coffee breaks at Starbucks, or watching your favorite teleserye or showbiz talk show on TV. You can be a true Filipino citizen who is law-abiding and God-fearing without these extra crap.

Conclusion

The bottom line of everything I've said so far is that, we should really wake up if we want our country to move a muscle. We should not be a slave to trends, hashtags or whatever the so-called 'pillars of truth without bias' mass media bodies tell us to or to be. This is where the Internet plays an important role. With the Internet, we can choose what we want to see and hear, and we can choose what we want to be and what we really want to change, with our own words, without promoted ads by these bigtime media companies.

My only prayer is that after this PDAF scam, we will live out Renz Verano's song lyrics:

"REMEMBER ME..."

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