Let Them Eat Cake: A Slices of Life Full Pager

Let’s be honest, folks: slices are not enough to even encapsulate the number of talk-worthy current events that deserve a thought or two from yours truly. As such, I’ve opted for a full blown, full pager– something that’s less reminiscent of a piece of cake, but rather several cake slices, sold separately, yet put together (excuse the restaurant parlance). Here. We. Go!!!

1. Dastardly Duggar (s)

[I was going to put “Dirty Duggar” as a section title, but I felt even that seemed a bit too.. .dirty.]

The eldest child of  TLC mega clan the Duggars recently admitted to having sexually abused his younger sisters, opting to resign from a major position in a highly conservative group  (the name eludes me). News of this startling revelation was followed by TLC’s decision to pull reruns of the Duggar show 19 and Counting from the air.

An even more dastardly development in this story is the emergence of an excerpt from the home schooling module followed by the Duggar family, which depicted a very traditionalist solution to dealing with sexual abuse in the household.

Verdict: This story creeped me out big time, and reminded me a lot about that headline a few years back that talked about one of those ‘cults’ in the southern part of the US. It also made me feel quite bad for the rest of the nice people south of the US, who are most likely not this way, but are negatively stereotyped thanks to popular headlines about people like them [think how Muslims are discriminated against because of 9/11].

I’ve decided to split the next few paragraphs into sections, titled based on the subtopic I wish to talk about.

Victim Blaming.  Culture is no bargaining chip- abuse is, and will forever be, morally wrong. Another thing that will forever stay wrong no matter what is blaming the victim for being victimized. Victim blaming is so much worse in this context because it involves the culprit’s own family members, and the reasoning utilized here just seems so irrational. Diaper changing? Walking around nude as a child? SERIOUSLY?

Damage Control. Another disturbing subtopic here is how the family dealt with the problem. Keeping sexual abuse as an internal issue just because it happened to be within the family just does not make sense! The trauma that follows sexual abuse can scar a person for life, and yet here this family was, choosing not to take the situation seriously… opting for a solution that would have probably been employed for a less grievous offense.

At the end of the day though, who am I to comment on this situation? I feel as though my lack of parental experience robs me of the credibility to present a sensible opinion as to how the Duggars should have handled this situation. Instead, I present this challenge to actual parents. How would you deal with a situation wherein your own child sexually abused another? Would you turn your child in, or would you deal with it yourself? Feel free to sound off.

Beliefs. The Duggars are one issue, that notorious module on the other hand, is a whole other story. It’s sad to think that somewhere in the world, people still choose to think a certain way, and have amassed enough clout and financial power to actually spread their sometimes negative beliefs to other people.

This is disturbingly similar to how colonization and religion in society work. Influence and power play a big part in one’s capability to impose their ideas on less able individuals, who are pushed to accept certain things because they sometimes don’t have the power or the freedom to diverge.

2. Bye Bye Binay

As you all may know by now, Vice President Jejomar Binay recently resigned from his positions on the Aquino cabinet, citing a number of reasons that led him to become ‘fed up’. He’s going extra viral post-resignation, thanks to a screenshot of the one sentence resignation letter he sent President Aquino, and the subsequent ‘breakup’ jokes that have followed Jejemar’s exit from the troubled camp.

Verdict: It comes as no surprise to me that most of his words angered a lot of people, myself included. To be honest, he’s become more and more annoying in recent months, and he sure as hell is no candidate for president.

But let’s all be realistic here: we can do something about this.

Our Facebook rants and hashtags won’t suffice– 2016 is a clarion call to take action against people like Binay. You don’t like him? don’t just tweet about it! If you’re old enough, register to vote NOW and make yourself heard! Not old enough yet? Use social media to present accurate and fact-checked information that will convince people NOT to vote for Binay! Old enough but have no time to register? Look for information, research, and compile information you believe can convince voters Binay is NOT OUR NEXT PRESIDENT. Better yet, find someone your age who does have the time to register to vote, and encourage him/her to make that happen!

ACTION people– action is the key to change. We have the tools, the brains, and the outspoken nature to make our country go in the right direction. If there’s one thing this discord between Aquino and Binay should teach us, it’s making more rational decisions when selecting the people that will lead us. We have less than a year left to turn things around, and to find out how. Let’s do this.

3. Beep Beep Be……?

As if the transport sector hasn’t failed the Philippines enough, Inquirer is reporting that the LRT 2 plans for tap cards has been INDEFINITELY DELAYED. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, then you’ll probably recall that I did write an open letter to the DOTC a couple of months (or was it a year?) back that detailed my personal frustrations with the transport system. I also did a recent update that discussed the implementation of the fare hike, which greeted commuters after their holiday breaks.

Verdict: I promised then that I would give the DOTC the benefit of the doubt– that maybe, just maybe… our government wouldn’t screw things up yet again. I saw smidgens of progress (is smidgens even the right word for this?) the bathrooms were finished, the turnstiles were getting makeovers… to be honest, I was proud, relieved, happy that things were finally going right.

AND THEN, THIS COMES ALONG.

I’ve run out of chances, DOTC. Mahaba-haba na ang pasensya ko, at ngayon, ubos na. You blocked off almost 90% of the turnstiles in Katipunan alone for this Beep-Beep system, and you’re planning to postpone it? THANKS HA.

At this point I’m not even sure you put the extra money you’re taking from us to good use anymore! Commuters have, and will continue to suffer because you’re clearly NOT DOING SOMETHING RIGHT.

We’ve already done our part by shelling extra cash because you forced it down our throats. How about you do your part now?

4. #LetsGoRegina! 

[I haven’t been updated on the status of this story, and apologize if this insight may seem very much delayed].

A Filipina actress who took to funding site Indiegogo in order to gain financial aid for her education in prestigious arts college Julliard received flack from a number of netizens, who seemed to believe her intention was to take money from less fortunate entities in order to fund her goals of pursuing further education at the famed NY school.

Verdict: It seems to be a habit of ours to latch onto any half-Filipino or Filipina who makes it to reality shows like American Idol or The Voice. People like Bruno Mars, Jessica Sanchez, Vanessa Hudgens, Rob Schneider and Batista are sources of pride for us because of their Filipino heritage.

Is it wrong for us to be proud of these people? Is it wrong for us to be proud of half-Filipinos on the Azkals who didn’t even grow up in the Philippines but play for our country? Of course not.

At the end of the day, whether or not these people were born in our country or not, they are Filipinos by blood, and we have a right to be proud of that.

So my question is: why can’t we afford that same courtesy to this young lady, Regina De Vera, someone born and raised in this country just like you and me? She achieved something extraordinary in the world of high culture, and we, as Filipinos, should be proud of her, shouldn’t we?

Besides, it’s not like she was directly asking people to divert funding from these less fortunate entities just so they could help her. Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo aren’t for those kinds of things. So give this talent a break, and if you don’t have extra cash to contribute, the least you can do is be proud. The arts are far from dead in our fine country, friends.

UPDATE: It looks like she reached her goal! Yay, Regina!!

5. Prejudice Parables

Gun Violence in America, Part XXXXXX

Supremacist teenager Dylann Roof allegedly shot and killed nine African American people in a popular church in the south of the United States, citing their ‘supposed invasion’ of the Americas as the reason behind his crime.

UP Student who breaks GPA record is questioned because of her ethnicity

Biology major Tiffany Uy broke UP’s post war graduation grade record by receiving a near perfect score of 1.004. Netizens struck again, alleging that the student  is CHINESE, and not FILIPINO.

Valkyrie Gets Valkyrie-d for Anti Cross Dressing Policy

High-end nightclub Valkyrie received much flak from the Philippine LGBT community after they allegedly did not allow acclaimed Filipino fashion designer Veejay Floresca into their establishment because of what she was wearing. It was only after Floresca flashed her ‘California’ ID identifying herself as female was she allowed to enter.

Verdict: 

I lumped these three tidbits together because all three, albeit dissimilar upon first read, actually share similar themes. One way or another, they resulted from a certain type of prejudice against a particular group of people.

On Roof: The African Americans have been through enough. From slavery to segregation to cop violence? There is only so much I can say, as even I know the difficulty that comes with dealing with belief systems such as this. All I ask is that somebody in America should go do something about those dimwits who still think it’s okay to have guns lying around. Three words: MENTAL HEALTH TEST, please.

On Ms. Uy: She was born here, she got into UP, she studied hard, and she got the grade. Again, this is a matter of culture and belief system. Why is it that there are still people out there who can’t seem to realize that Chinese Filipinos are Filipinos who are of Chinese descent, and yet they seem so comfortable with the concept of mestizos, who are in essence Filipinos of Spanish descent.

On Ms. Floresca: A lot of the information on this story is still a bit hazy to me. All I believe needs to be said right now is this: fight for your rights, LGBTs!

POSTSCRIPT

I don’t know what it is about Toby Tiangco, but he just seems like a really, really unlikable person. #random

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