Sunday, July 6, 2008

Philippine Journalism

In my daily perusals of Fiipino newspapers on the net, I read somewhere that since the 1980s, more than 50 journalists have been killed in the Philippines. Yet these deaths have all been hush-hush in the media nor were there criminal cases filed in court for any of these killlings. Why? It seems journalists have been muffled with fear. Reading various papers nowadays is different from reading newspapers when I was in high school in the 70s. Back then, news reports were more daring. Journalists were not cowed to bow before the powers that be. Fast-forward to 2008, no one would dare write about the real story on the various kidnap-for-ransom incidents, no one would dare type one word about the real story behind the festering boil of corruption entrnched in government. Isn't it puzzling that in the 70's the Marcoses were in power but there seemed to be braver journalists? It must be because it was easier to know who to be afraid of then than now. In the 70s there was one over-arching source of greed and corruption. Nowadays, this source of greed and corruption is a Medusa-like entity with inumerable tentacles.

I actually enjoy reading blogs nowadays more than reading the on-line Filipino newspapers because these blog writers provide me with the real picture....unlike the actual newspapers which seem to be "sanitized". There seems to be no such thing as press freedom anymore in the Philippines.

Here in North America, press freedom is alive and well. The problem is, North American journalists tend to be so nit-picky that even issues that to a discerning eye would be a trivial matter is blown-out of proportion and discussed to death. It must be the lack of "real" desperate issues like starvation or poverty that drives these journalists to be shallow.

No contentment for me? Yes, it seems that way....voracious reader that I am, I've been getting picky about what I read lately.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July 1 and June 12

Today is Canada Day. Every 1st of July, Canada celebrates this day which is the anniversary of the formation of the union of a number of provinces here. People enjoy it with so much zest and a feeling of love for the country. Being a Canadian, I join in the festivities together with my kin and kith. However, being a Filipino by birth (and by heart), I can't help but be highly cognizant of how the celebration of June 12, the Philippines' Independence Day has more substance than Canada Day. This is in view of the fact that the June 12 celebration is all about a hard-fought independence earned through blood, sweat and tears. In counterpoint, the July 1 celebration is merely a commemoration of a day when it was declared that this and this and that province is now officially one country. There were no brave "Katipuneros" fighting the Spanish colonizers in the 18th Century, brandishing their swords, shouting their revolutionary cries. There was just a "declaration" by some officials, a stamp and a couple of signatures.

I want to make it clear that it is not my intention to minimize the greatness of this adopted country of mine. I am just being factual. I do recognize though that it seems like Canadians really show such intense love for their country, as opposed to a somewhat ingrained "colonial mentality" in the Philippines. One cannot judge a country by its history, and I for one am one person who definitely cannot lecture about nationalism as I am living overseas. Who am I to judge right?

I'm just typing out my thoughts...sharing it with anyone who has parallel concepts....So there...