Finally, someone with something else between his ears other than a cute face pointed it out: these are blog entries and people should stop reading too much into them. If I wanted to indulge in intellectual swash-buckling, I would write a piece on the Gloria Presidency and the Prices of Swamp Cabbages, and write my full name on it - all three first names, mind. Which is not to say I am telling people to shut up, merely telling people to stop hyperventilating and losing sleep tyring to analyze if I want to run for Senator or if I had sex last night simply because I wrote a letter for this blog, and then ask if I deserve the attention.
The link has resulted in a barrage of comments, three of which I will answer here.
1. Who is this Bong Austero?
This question has been asked many times in many discussion groups - sometimes in a fit of exasperation, sometimes in a condescending way as if I somehow breathed oxygen that had someone else's name on it, and every once in a while, in a nice way. The manner in which this question is asked determines the kind of answers I give.
MLQ does not remember me and I do not fault him for that, our interactions have been very casual and I was probably starstruck during those few times we actually got to talk. But we have a lot of common friends. The point I am making is this -there are people out there who actually knows who I am and who will easily tell you one thing: I can not be bought by anyone. Not even for sex (ehem), so definitely, not to peddle someone else's ideas. I may be dumb and reckless and impudent. But I can not be bought.
If a person's best shot is to accuse me of being a paid hack, or of being part of a Malacanang campaign, all I can say is this - that is a reflection of the character of the person who is making that accusation, not of mine.
I have said this before, and I will repeat it because it is true and I am proud of it: I am not even middle class. I am a child of a farmer and a public schoolteacher. I grew up in a third-class municipality in Leyte. I am a product of the public school system from Elementary, to High School, to College - all in Leyte. I was a student activist in College. I have a full-time job in the financial services sector, I teach in the evenings four times a week, and I sit in the board of some NGOs. My main advocacies are on HIV/AIDS, gender and sexual rights. I worked my way up from the bottom and I continue to do more than my share in nation building.
But then again, this whole sino ba itong Bong Austero na ito bit, is actually irrelevant to that letter. If we truly believe in democracy and freedom of expression, why should that matter?
2. Why comments to this blog have been on "moderated mode" since yesterday.
There are those who, in their haste to judge and pontificate, automatically assume the worst in people. Just because they have to undergo a minor process before they can exercise their so-called freedom to bash me in my own turf, they automatically cry suppression! Isn't that symptomatic of the way things are in this country?
This blog does not edit, ban, or reject comments from anyone. You can check. However, someone is trying to fix the template of this blog so that postings can be made more systematic and all that techno gobbledygook that I do not understand. That required putting the blog on moderated mode.
As MLQ puts it, blogs have their own "constituencies" so do not strain yourself analyzing the ratio of positive to negative comments in any blog. There are more worthwhile things to do.
3. Is this Bong Austero deserving of your time?
This question actually floored me down, threw me up the wall, and well, you get the drift.
Hello!!! I have been saying this many times: you guys are giving me more credit than I deserve. I wrote a letter, I posted it in my blog and sent to 20 of my closest friends, and it got forwarded to the world. I am not running for office, any office! I have a full time job and career. I have my hands full of papers and tests to check and grade. I never asked for your approval and have no need for it anyway. (But I do need a love life).
MLQ said it well and I quote: "people could tell they weren’t crafted for any other purpose than to express the author’s feelings."