In a world where pictures can be photoshopped, where memes can be easily created, where videos can be spliced and edited to show just one side of the story.. In a world where the news can be bent to serve personal interests, where surveys can easily sway the undecided, and where public opinion can be influenced by anyone with a penchant for drama, let us not be easily swayed by what we see on television, or hear on the radio, or read about in the paper, or discover through social media.
“A sense of shared destiny”
This is what I love about Miriam Defensor Santiago, and what makes her stand out from the rest of the presidential aspirants. She intends to inspire every Filipino to be part of nation-building, to be part of the solution. Not just bystanders watching from a distance, waiting for something to go wrong. Not just apathetic citizens just going about their daily lives, who couldn’t care less what happens to the nation.
When I first read on Facebook that there was a city-wide festival in China where many dogs were abducted and butchered to be served as meat dishes, I didn’t want to believe it at first. I mean, dogs are adorable pets that all people love, right? Well, okay; I know for a fact that some people here in the Philippines eat dog meat as appetizers in their drinking sessions, but I’ve always believed that there couldn’t be anything worse than that.
I realized I was wrong when I learned about the Yulin Festival.
I came across a friend’s post on Facebook one day, and the title of the video link that he shared on his Wall caught my attention. It read like this:
“20 reasons why I dislike the Philippines”
At first I was like “I wonder what’s the big deal with this video” and “Meh. Probably just another hater“. I decided back then not to watch it. At that time, I had more important things on my mind to give this video any further attention. I was not going to let any more negativity fill my already weary mind. For me, the video was probably the rantings of a dissatisfied tourist who wanted his money back. What got me more curious was the Wall Posts from my friends who have already watched it. There were some who disagreed with what he said, and one who even wanted him banned from the country. Some just shared the link as is with no comment, and some agreed that it was the truth.
A few days after, I said to myself, “All right, let’s see what the fuss is all about.“