Humor mongering: Antidote to our rights to be offended

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ROLLY G. REYES

I HAVE to share this with you. From Jeremy E. Sherman:
“I’ve always liked people laughing with me more than at me. Still, over the years I’ve also acquired a taste for people laughing with me at me. Not always, but I’m getting better at it. Deliberately for my health. If laughter is the best medicine, laughter at myself is a wonder drug. Self-effacing laughter is the best laxative for loosening a stuck-up sense of self, keeping oneself regular, not an exception.”

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It is quite offensive and disgusting that the majority of decisions being made in editorial desks are made by a small group of people who can shut out the views of a large portion of the population. The same is true for the survey groups who crystallize the opinion of a mere 1,500 respondents as representative of the views of 110 million Filipinos.

A biased editorial is a form of terrorism that tends to silence the majority. It is a form of hate inducer that promotes road rage emanating from entanglements in a political traffic gridlock.

Unverified facts and the humor it gets clearly portrays our penchant for laughing at ourselves. We elected a President with a convincing majority and suddenly, a group of political hecklers from displaced occupants went active after the first few days. Winners are portrayed as bullies and losers are portrayed as victims. Non-partisan media practitioners seem to take the backside, overtaken by those who shamelessly take sides in a brutal manner. And we all laugh just the same and never exert an effort to dig deeper.

Sadly, I miss the quality of reportage during my time. The in-depth research it represented, the absence of ideology, and the broad viewpoint. We all agreed then, even if we were competitors, to call it “excellent journalism.” We need truth so badly in our news today. The diminishing number of journalists with principles are attributed to the increasing tribe of bootlickers who get promotions and other fringe benefits. Easy to do—just fall in line, follow the body language of the media moguls and behold, one gets a new car plan, a housing incentive and a higher title.

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An example of two stories that came out this week:
President Rodrigo Duterte reported a net worth increase of over P3.3 million. Then the story that came after: VP Leni’s net worth down to P8.8 million. Clearly, this shows at first glance that one has amassed wealth and the other became poorer after almost a year in office. Quite intriguing as to the pattern or manner it was presented but we all know that these two personalities came from opposing parties. And it is of record that the data came from the Ombudsman as obtained by the Inquirer. It is easy to discern the purpose and you be the judge.

Another is the headline “Digong weighs martial law call.” Then if you proceed to read the body, you will find that it is about declaring martial law in six municipalities due to a series of atrocities by the Abu Sayyaf Group. The negative spin is in the headline that one is inclined to believe that this will be done on a national scale.

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“Grace Poe blames Mar Roxas for MRT woes.”

Somebody said: “Bakit poe ngayon lang. Ayaw ninyong banggitin noong kampanya dahil ayaw nyong umasim ang mukha ni Pnoy? Na baka hindi nyo makuha ang simpatiya ng ibang LP since wala ka naman talagang solid na partido? Huwag nyo poe naman kaming paglaruan. Please poe.”

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‘One Belt, One Road” strategy – One alarmist can view it as a major step towards an Asian version of EU led by China (much like Germany leading Europe). China is making sure that it will survive if there will be a sudden US or European economic pull-out, just in case. Farfetched, but we hope it will not evolve into something like a “Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere” policy of imperialist Japan during World War 2.

Some opinion shapers are always afraid and skeptical of China’s motives and behavior. Funny thing is that while they praise Uncle Sam, they seem to forget a US soldier called Pemberton.

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When asked why a few months old maintenance corporation with a capitalization of a mere P625,000 was awarded with a P50 million/month contract, Abaya said – “hindi ko po alam.”

Too frequent use of “hindi ko po alam” and “I wouldn’t know” makes one think that either he is incompetent not to know anything or that he knows too much that he chose to keep quiet.

This floored me: “bago lang po ako sa DOTC and I was orienting myself with the agency’s land, sea and air functions and checking the contracts was the least of my concerns as I assumed that the bureaucracy was functioning very well. When asked if he approved the contract, he answered “approved na po ang contract when I came in. When asked if it was his predecessor who should be blamed for approving the contract, he answered “hindi ko po alam.” Wow, this guy is lying through his teeth. And he’s roaming our streets free as a bird.

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Latest from “Lonely Planet”: The top 10 fastest-growing destinations in Asia are Niseko, Japan; Banaue, Philippines; Koh Kood, Thailand; Koh Lipe, Thailand; Koh Rong, Cambodia ; Koh Lanta, Thailand; Harbin, China; Tangalla, Sri Lanka; Siquijor Island, Philippines; and Khao Lak, Thailand.

The Department of Tourism should have this kind of news regularly in their official website and in their Facebook or Instagram account.

A nationwide photography contest should also be launched among amateur and professionals alike. Airlines, hotel associations, travel agents and resort owners can sponsor the prizes for the winning 50 top entries. Winning photos will eventually be properties of the DOT and will have the right to use them in their promotional tools.

I would also suggest that the slogan “More Fun in the Philippines” be regionalized into “More Fun in Cebu, More Fun in Sagada, More Fun in Pagudpud, More Fun in Davao, More Fun in Sorsogon, More Fun in Bohol, etc.” Just thinking.

Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.

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