I read a very disturbing article from one of Rappler’s writers. It’s disturbing because, firstly, it was published by a media outlet read by thousands of impressionable young Filipinos. And, two, it is disturbing because it is proof that a lot of Filipinos do not have the right principles that can steer them in the right direction.
The writer, Ana P. Santos used erotic-styled prose to express her own disappointment with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s foul language and bravado. She was trying to prove that she can be as “dirty” as Duterte. Santos seems to be quite knowledgeable in the sex department. She even suggested that Duterte try getting it from behind with another male. One wonders what kind of upbringing someone like Santos had that would compel her to write something like that. Here are excerpts from her article:
Whenever you display your manhood like that, it makes me bite my lower lip in anticipation. I know you won’t stop. You will just keep it coming and coming.
You always need to be the man on top. Wolf-whistling a female journalist (would you do it to a male one, I wonder? C’mon, haven’t you ever wondered what it’s like to get it from behind?)
Santos began her article by blaming Duterte for her own actions. She wrote: “Oooh, Digong, what have you done to me?” It seems Filipinos like Santos — a journalist at that — don’t know how to be accountable for their own actions anymore. I know that her point is to highlight that some people could emulate Duterte’s bad habits and lifestyle. But the way she wrote her article highlights her own flawed reasoning.
I do not swear. Okay, maybe I do on occasions such as when I stub a toe, but that does not happen very often. My exposure to Duterte’s swearing hasn’t increased my need to swear. I still prefer not to have conversations with other folks who pepper their words with p*t@ng#n@! or f*ck y@u! I still consider it a turn-off. That’s just how I was brought up. Duterte as the next President of the Philippines will not make me change my whole attitude towards swearing and vulgarity. Unfortunately, Filipinos like Santos seem to think that now that Duterte is President, she can be as vulgar as Duterte too. That’s very disappointing. I do hope that people can see through the shallowness of her arguments.
Those who easily get swayed by the actions of others do not have strong convictions. They are the type of people who did not have a good role model at home. They are the type of people who copy what their classmates, colleagues and friends are doing. And they are the type of people who blame others for their own actions. When their classmates get into smoking, drinking, drugs or sex, they feel pressured to indulge themselves too. A lot of them suffer from low self-esteem and think that by doing what others are doing, they will be accepted. Sadly, people who have strong convictions – those who have their own set of principles – are very rare nowadays.
Yes, I don’t like Duterte’s swearing and vulgarity. I wish he would tone it down. He did say that he will be more Presidential after he gets sworn in (no pun intended), so I am looking forward to that. Duterte obviously had a different upbringing to most of us. Unfortunately, his mother is not around to caution him anymore. But parents can still teach their own kids polite manners anytime. Duterte hasn’t outlawed teaching diplomacy yet.
Besides, from what I understand, Duterte swears because he is pissed off at corruption, the high crime-rate and overall stupidity evident in the current government and Philippine society in general. Some members of Philippine media recently pissed him off too when they asked what he thought were silly questions during his press conferences. They also made a big deal when he wolf-whistled one female reporter and branded it sexual harassment. While I personally would get annoyed when my train of thought gets interrupted by someone wolf-whistling me while I was speaking, I wouldn’t call it sexual harassment. I’m not trying to defend Duterte. I’m simply calling out some people’s hypocrisy. On one hand, you wonder why on earth Duterte would do it in front of everyone; on the other hand, doing it in front of everyone made it not sexual but more of a joke. It turns out, Duterte and the female reporter Mariz Umali are already familiar with each other. Umali had been in Duterte’s vehicle along with some other people touring Davao City.
What is another disturbing realisation as pointed out by Get Real Post writer benign0 is the fact that a lot of members of Philippine media engaged in what I would consider sexual harassment against two prominent individuals on social networking site Twitter at the height of the campaign period for the recently concluded Presidential Elections:
Bad behaviour and unethical practices abound in Philippine media! Another example of behaviour inconsistent with principles and “decency” is the social media initiative #RP69FanFic reportedly launched by “film critic” and ABS-CBN lifestyle contributor Philbert Dy (and promoted by corporate media sites) which rallied Netizens to post lewd stories and memes about Sandro Marcos (son of vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos) and Baste Duterte (son of President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte). The hashtag (warning: link leads to a Twitter profile that serves content not fit for minors) became a “trending topic” on Twitter and was fanned by a who’s-who of hipster media personalities and Jesuit-educated chi-chi folk many of whom, today, lead chatter surrounding the “indecent” soundbytes issued by Duterte in what was once routine (now defunct) meetings with the press.
If only writers from Rappler like Santos also wrote about their disgust over indecency some Netizens committed against Sandro and Baste, their outrage over Duterte’s wolf-whisling would have more credibility. Members of the media cannot cry-foul over Duterte’s “lewd” conduct and then enjoy harassing innocent people on the Net at the same time without being called hypocrites. This just goes to show that Duterte doesn’t bring out the worst in people. He’s just calling it out. There are already Filipinos who behave badly underneath that veneer of civility.