Top 12 Things I Could Have Learned In the Last Three Weeks
1. A brain drain in the fields of psychiatry and psychology is something this country will never suffer from. It is a great relief to know that there exist so many experts in these fields of specialization and I have been truly blessed to have been the subject of so much analysis - my motivational factors, the state of my mental state, my IQ, and even the state of my sex life have all been sufficiently analyzed. Dra. Margie Holmes and Dr. Randy Dellosa need not have to worry about having me as their patient ever, I have had enough analysis to last me a lifetime.
2. When people disagree with you, they do not necessarily just have a different perspective. They are 101% absolutely right. Therefore, you are automatically stupid and a moron. But when they actually call you those things, they refuse to see it as being judgmental either. They call it freedom of expression. They think their opinions are bible truth - as if they have a 24-hour hotline to God.
3. The Darth Vader principle is alive and well in this country: if you are for them, you are a friend. If you are against them, you are their enemy. Forget that crap about "just being for yourself" or about "simply expressing yourself" there are no such things. It is all a matter of being on the same side.
4. Despite the preponderance of evidence, despite the open admission of Bro. Eddie Villanueva and Senator Ping Lacson that they were offered a seat in the proposed junta, there was no conspiracy to overthrow the government through extra-constitutional processes last February. When Cory Aquino went to Fort Bonifacio to "pray" at the height of a military struggle it is was still consistent with her avowed stand that she will always support constitutional processses. A military takeover is not sufficient reason to feel threatened.
5. Even if you are the author of something (e.g., a letter, a blog entry), you are not necessarily the best source of what you intended to say in what you wrote. There will always be other people who are in a better position to interpret for you what you meant in what you wrote. Therefore, to other people, it doesn't matter what you write, what is important is what they see in what you write. Therefore, writing is about pampering to other people's wishes.
6. Freedoms and rights are absolute concepts. These concepts have no limits, no boundaries, no responsibilities attached to them. They are privileges and they do not have to be earned at all. They are there to be wantonly abused by anyone and everyone. Anyone can stand in the middle of EDSA and cause a major traffic jam for two hours to express his or her right. Anyone can say anything anywhere. There are no rules of libel, oral defamation, or basic rules of civility and courtesy.
7. The real state of the country is not measured in terms of what is really happening "out there." It doesn't matter that there are millions of Filipinos out there who are doggedly trying to make things work by working their asses off to build a nation. It is all about what media "sees." Therefore, the only things that Filipinos are preoccupied with on a day to day basis is demonstrating and ranting about the government, bludgeoning each other, taking shabu, watching celebrities inside a glass house, etc. There are no good things happening in this country. We are in a state of anarchy.
8. Just because people do not wear black while taking coffee at Starbucks or do not feel like extending their thumbs in a downward gesture, they are apathetic. Just because we do not feel like linking arms with Imee Marcos and Dinky Soliman, we are unpatriotic. Just because we are not out in the streets, we are reactionary fools who have no principles, no morals, no values.
9. Having feelings is a crime if what you are feeling happens to be different from those of others. Ergo, never say you are angry, you run the risk of being called stupid, egocentric, reactionary, weak, unpatriotic. You are not entitled to your feelings.
10. Grammatical mistakes, bad sentence construction, mixed metaphors are indicative of what kind of person you are. If you make a grammatical slip, the whole weight of your ideas automatically becomes suspect. And it doesn't matter that they themselves commit grammatical hara kiri every other sentence, it is not about them, it is about you.
11. Just because there are dumb people in the cabinet - government officials who overreact and make martyrs out of other people who are masters at the game called "how to gain media mileage and elicit public sympathy," many Filipinos do not reach for the remote switch everytime the handsome countenance of Chiz Escudero, or the pretty face of Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, or the rainbow-streaked hair of Dinky Soliman appear on television. Yeah, we loooooooooove these people to bits, we prefer watching them over some Korean actors. Thus, Koreanovellas rate lower than the news.
12. Everyone can be bought. Everyone is a paid hack. When a group of people pool money to be able to publish that letter in some newspapers, when people forward that letter because they agreed with it, when people print copies of that letter to distribute to others who have no access to the net, they are paid hacks of Malacanang.
Fortunately, and despite what others would like to think and believe, I am really not that stupid. Well, maybe just a little. After all, I persist in writing about these things instead of watching pirated DVDs (which by the way, is not cheating according to many people).
And oh, there is one thing I did learn in the last few weeks.
I am not alone. That was one lesson that struck me many times.
And oh, there is a 14th lesson that I am sure I am bound to learn after this entry is posted: there will be people who will insist that the personal lessons I have learned are wrong and would insist that I apologize for them.
If they hate me so much, I wonder why they keep on reading me?