Getting personal

When I wrote the Grace Poe article, I didn’t have the faintest inkling that it would attract so much attention, or generate a hailstorm of activity in my small corner of the cyber universe. I posted it on my not-even-one-month-old blog and bam! The next thing I know, it was inundated with comments and “shares” beyond even my wildest nightmares.

The article was not meant in any way to malign the person of the senator but only to ask legitimate questions. Questions whose answers every voter has a right to know for them to be able to choose wisely. The style and construction may be different from the usual, but I do not do bashing and unnecessary use of offensive language which seems to be prevalent in social media these days. If the senator’s followers took it that way – my apologies. Your point of view is just different from mine, and in the normal world, having different points of view is perfectly normal.

The remarks that our netizens dish out can be both uplifting and disheartening. They praise you and they curse you. Thankfully, the positive ones outnumber the negative 9 to 1. They are there on the blog for all to see, uncensored as it were. Many of them post using their real names, or so it seems; others hide behind aliases, and they are the ones who utter expletives and insults. They are called trolls, aren’t they? No, I don’t stress myself answering their rants and tirades. I let them be, but not without a biting rejoinder or two where I see fit. The blog is not called Taray Chronicles for nothing, ahem.  My character is not diminished by the verbal abuse coming from persons who don’t show their true identities; they only succeed in exposing their own flaws as human beings.

Obviously, the negative “commenters” are adherents of the good senator and I don’t really blame them. But by using foul language, they turn off prospective voters of their candidate. One can ‘defend’ an ‘idol’ by highlighting their qualities, not by impugning on the person of someone they don’t even know.  I find it funny that they accuse me of being a Binay lackey. Just because I haven’t written about him YET does not mean that I am for him. As I have said before, I write at my own pace and on whatever topic that sticks to my mind like glue at the moment. The Vice President hasn’t ‘inspired’ me yet, so? Again, I don’t have a deadline to beat nor a “quota” to fill. Nobody pays me to write what I want to write in my spare time. I mean, I earn my livelihood making sense of words and sentences, but writing at my leisure – i.e. blogging and Facebook-ing – is another matter. Eventually, I’ll get around to doing the Binay article, but I am not in a big hurry to do so. Sa tamang panahon, folks.

Some took me to task, albeit gently, for writing in English. I am advocating nationalism but I use a foreign tongue? I explained that I can express myself better in English than I can in Filipino, or Tagalog, or Waray for that matter. If I force myself to write in a language that I am not comfortable in, the message will get lost somewhere somehow and the purpose is defeated. I understand what they say about a wider audience being reached if the article is in the vernacular, but I don’t have the skill to do that. To use an analogy: Rizal was a linguist but he chose to write Noli and Fili in Spanish and yet his being Filipino was indubitable.

As I said, the compliments far outweigh the opposite and I thank all who took the time to read the article in its entirety. (I make it a point not to read the comments in all the Facebook shares – 10,000+ of them! – as it will be very stressful indeed. I only read and reply to those that are on the blog and my FB page.) Some people can be so mean, but it is also comforting to know that there are many THINKING Filipinos out there who do not swallow hook, line and sinker the things that are being fed to them by propagandists.  It encourages me to write more, but I’m not sure I would still want to do politics. I’d rather go back to the stuff that I used to do, the kind that people don’t actually read. Or pick up only good vibes from watching AlDub and laughing out loud with my nieces. Yes, I am shallow that way, so what. Besides, anonymity does have its own rewards.

For now, I am happy doing other people’s life stories – i.e. biographies of personalities that I believe in, and snippets of what Filipinos living abroad are going through in their quest for a better life; the former to earn my keep, the latter to feed my soul. That is my small contribution to nation-building, if I may say so, and in answer to those who, not without a tinge of sarcasm, ask me what I have done for my country. Every so often I do what are invariably called “strategic plans” to exercise my brain cells a little and stay abreast with the changing times. Sometimes I get paid, sometimes I don’t, nonetheless it’s fine by me. But sure as night goes into day, I don’t live off the billions of imagined benefactors. Man doesn’t exist by bread alone.

To the few of you who don’t know a thing about me and yet assault me with unprintables, now you know a little bit. God bless.

playing fields

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7 thoughts on “Getting personal

  1. binasa ko ang article mo 3 times just to be sure. I also read the comments and as can be expected some are from hearts sincerely asking to be helped to understand while at least one is snarky. I hope Ms Grace takes the time (her PR crew reads your blog, I’m sure) to answer your questions. A fair-minded observer sees your article as a-political in its color and the questions are necessary for voters to make up their mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for articulating so profoundly what we would have wanted asked. I am a former HR Manager too and I completely agree with you on all that you wrote.

    Like

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