I’ve spent two much time (and blog space) reasoning out my constant hiatuses from the world of cyberspeak. All you need to know is that I miss this space, and I’m back.
1. Irrelevance On Display
When did “Bimby gets bitten by a dog” become such a relevant news item that it deserved an article of its own? I honestly don’t know. But then, I have greater faith in true Philippine journalists (and the practice of journalism, alike), that I have come to believe those news articles posted by ******* (you know who I’m talking about), are not written by legitimate practitioners.
So you would believe my surprise when Rappler posted an article about the same issue (albeit written in a much, much better manner…ish?). Needless to say, I was disappointed. For an online site that boasts of outspoken regulars like the very fun and personable Doc Margie Holmes and very interesting works from a number of colorful individuals, Rappler’s decision to do a piece on the Bimby article was just… a bad decision. Plain and simple.
Verdict: Dear Rappler, please think twice about going with the flow of the online journalistic world. You possess qualities that are able to make you stand out from other online news outlets (and I’m not talking about your constant typographical errors). You can definitely do better.
2. Heb-No, no no no no no: France Under Siege
I could not have been more caught off guard by the string of terrorist related tragedies that befell France weeks ago. First, the attack on Charlie Hebdo– next, a string of hostage situations that left several (including a policewoman, dead). Thankfully, the situation has been controlled and things are relatively better in the City of Lights (as of late, that is).
Verdict: My Thoughts on the debate regarding the Hebdo cartoons versus the unfortunate fate of their artists
They said in the sixties, and I’ll say it again: make love, not war. Let’s give peace a chance. Death is never the option. Although the Hebdo cartoons were very, very offensive, the path that the perpetrators of the Hebdo attacks chose to take was simply, morally wrong. As much as it pains or annoys most of us, everyone is entitled to an opinion. We are not pushed to agree or disagree, but we are pushed to respect the existence of contrasting thoughts and beliefs.
Personally, I was very offended by those cartoons. Even if I’m not Muslim, I found them horribly offensive. But then, weren’t they made in satire? Or, could they have crossed the line beyond what is considered ‘acceptable satire’? Either way, they were offensive.
3. Higher.. higher… HIGHER: On the LRT/MRT fare hike
Besides being welcomed by the presence of unruly holiday weight, commuters like myself received a most unpleasant post-holiday gift from the DOTC. The much-talked about fare hikes finally took effect last January 5, 2015, prompting a string of protests that involved hashtags, selfies, and a TRO that never really came into effect (thanks a lot, Supreme Court!).
Either way, everyone riding the LRT/MRT had more than one reason to tighten their belts this January 2015… and not everyone was pleased.
My Verdict: About a year ago, I recall writing a scathing open letter to the DOTC that detailed my grievances regarding the LRT 2 (broken turnstiles, lousy toilets, long lines..). In fairness, I’ve seen some improvements materialize even before the fare hike was implemented this January (i.e. building of bathrooms..). BUT THAT’S ABOUT IT #sorrynotsorry. Those turnstiles are still broken, the bathrooms aren’t even OPERATIONAL! My patience is wearing thin, and honestly I have no faith left to give the DOTC. But I’ll give them time.. a few months, perhaps? If improvements continue to come, then well and good. But if things stay the same.. you’ll hear it from me first.
4. Pope Francis in Manila!!!!
The country is currently at a five day standstill as the most powerful lolo in the world has come to the Philippines. Pope Francis is only on his second day here, and he’s already managed to leave a lasting impact on the people that had the opportunity to see him.
My Favorite Highlights, so far:
* The Pope steps out of his plane. Just when I thought that papal hat was taped to his head somehow, it decided to fly off just when he got out of the plane to encounter quite the welcoming committee. Some would call it a relatively insignificant moment, but for me it was something special.
* The get-out game. Unfortunately Pope Francis isn’t as sprightly as President Obama, so his exit from the Sri Lanka Airlines flight that took him to Manila took longer than usual. But then, who couldn’t resist his glimpses from the window of the plane before his exit? Simply adorable.
*The [right] words, the right place, the right time. Pope Francis’s call to end corruption could not have come at a better moment. He was, after all, in a room full of individuals that aren’t the cleanest people in politics. He also happens to be the perfect person to tell it like it his, and he knocked it out of the park!
What’s to Come:
* The Youth Encounter at UST: Another Pope selfie, perhaps?
* Mass at Luneta: I wonder what the environment will be like?
Verdict: Let’s be honest. Despite being known as one of the more religious Asian countries, we haven’t exactly had a clean [moral] record. Here’s to hoping (and praying) that the Pope’s visit changes some perspectives. Although, realistically even that may be a pipe dream in itself.