COTANGENT – By Daphne Cardillo
A European national commented that our newspapers are presented differently here. What is written is who said what countered by who said what. This official said so and so, and that person said so and so. I replied back that “it’s rumor.” Well, it can amount to something like near gossip even if the words were quoted verbatim.
In their country, he said that what are written are facts. They present facts, to which I answered “well, yes, that’s supposed to be.” The newspaper must present facts and we leave it to the reader to interpret these facts. Further, he continued that in the national papers, it is GMA what, GMA where, GMA when, to which I retorted that “it’s propaganda.”
Well, it is still reminiscent of the Old World view—reporting from the above; the worldview that kept us from moving forward, the worldview that spells stagnation.
Indeed, we cannot really move forward if our perception of reality is superficial, if not downright false. We cannot make a significant step towards change if our definitions are basically defective. We cannot make the right intervention if our diagnosis is initially wrong. Like in mathematics, we cannot solve the right answer if the given premise is lacking in variables.
Dropping such platitudes as the search for truth, simple awareness of the people and events around us is our tool for survival. But even our awareness of our present realities is doctored, blinded, and muddled. We see things as others would like us to see—from the point of view of the politician, the extremist, the church, the imperialist, and even the unstable school system.
Amazingly, an ordinary foreigner can tell us better of the present rut we’re in. One neighbor cannot understand why Filipinos keep on buying fish at an exorbitant price. And why the blatant corruption in the government bureaucracies is tolerated to the point of becoming a way of life.
Our newspapers that serve widely as bearers of truth feed on the deceptions of the past, carrying them on forward in a continuous path of prejudice and bias.
Maybe the root cause of this phenomenon is our inherent insecurity and our preoccupation with image. We try to project a rosy picture in order to avoid shame. Or we try to project a grim picture to court sympathy or favor. Either ways, we deluge ourselves with plain illusions of ourselves.