When the nail sticks out

rants, raves and randomness

OA is for Overacting

The Filipinos are emotional.But we are not only emotional, we are over-emotional. We are drama queens. We like to dwell on things, make a mountain of a molehill, over-analyze things. We embellish, we exaggerate, we think a joke’s always half meant (or that half-joke is meant?), we over-react.We are so OA. Sometimes I really wonder if Shakespeare dedicated his work, Much Ado About Nothing, to Pinoys.

It’s no news. It’s why celebrities get to become politicians. It’s why we forgive Kris Aquino for being herself. It’s why plunderers are pardoned. Or why they get to do time in the comfort of a hospital. We feel for them. We don’t only sympathize, we empathize. We try to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. Sometimes it’s too much, it’s overwhelming. When we talk about things, there is always the emotional aspect.  Because in PI, emotions trump everything. Why does everything have to be about how someone feels? Or how someone made you feel? Who cares about your feelings when we’re talking about poverty or artificial birth control? Arguments are measured on how it affects people, not the content, not the logic, not if it makes sense.  I feel offended by your argument, so you must be wrong. If you watch how showbiz interviews go, it’s usual to see actresses crying their eyes out. Case in point:

How many times do you see  actresses sobbing on national tv in Japan? Not everyday.

OA is for Overacting : AKB member shaves her head

OA is for Overacting : AKB member shaves her head. Image from BBC.

This happened last year.  And as you can see, she shaved her head as an act of repentance. Still,this was pretty rare. See. This incident even made it to the BBC. Has Kris Aquino’s crying ever made it to the BBC?

Oh yes, a politician tried doing it, but ended up being the laughing stock of the nation:

OA is for Overacting : Politician Nonomura weeps and the world laughs

OA is for Overacting : Politician Nonomura weeps and the world laughs

Image from the internet.

Because Japan, unlike the PI, is a country where being OA doesn’t really pay. The people were not moved by his tears. They found it ridiculous that he resorted to tears instead of answering questions head-on. What about in the PI? Even Lee Kuan Yew was said to distrust Pinoys for being “too emotional”.  Remember this appeal-to-emotions episode (which would have been usual to ask a Filipino politician)?

Anyway.. too much emotion at the face of crisis isn’t good. We feel too much.We’re too sensitive. It’s not always about us. Sometimes, it’s nothing personal.  Besides,seeing folks crying all the time desensitizes you. It gets boring after a while. Isn’t an intelligent conversation more interesting? I want to know what you think,not how you feel. That’s how we get to finding solutions to our problems, to getting sh*t done. I believe our minds, and not our emotions, are what makes us us. A sexy mind is a big turn-on.  Aristotle once said that  it is using our capacity to reason –  not our capacity to feel- that makes humans so distinctive.

But not in the Philippines, where people feel more and think less. The country of the overacting and overreacting

OA Case #1 : Napoles and her vest…

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #1 : Napoles and her vest...

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #1 : Napoles and her vest…

Image from Yahoo.ph

This is an old issue. I know. Forgive me for dwelling on the past. But her wearing the vest at all times during the hearing was just  soooooooo absurd.

…her helmet

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #1 : ...her helmet

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #1 : …her helmet

Image from Philstar

Because wearing a vest is just not enough. She just had to wear a helmet. We just have to protect this scumbag’s life.

…and her convoy

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #1 : ...her convoy

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #1 : …her convoy

Prof Carljoe Javier writes :

As part of this we are paying for jailing Napoles (I mean, really, hasn’t she lived off us enough?), and we have to pay for the convoy that transports her to and from the hearings. The kind of security that is necessitated by these trips is massive, and it’s been reported that one trip costs something in the neighborhood of P150,000.

Javier, Carljoe. GMA News. Napoles and her bullet proof vest. November 9, 2013. Web. November 5, 2013. < gmanetwork.com/news/story/334735/opinion/napoles-and-her-bulletproof-vest >

Case #2: The Bureau of Immigration on Marc Sueselbeck

OA is for Overacting : Case #2: The Bureau of Immigration on Marc Sueselbeck

OA is for Overacting : Case #2: The Bureau of Immigration on Marc Sueselbeck

I know, he has already departed the PI, but I find how the country handled his departure distasteful. First, the grieving man is decried as an undesirable alien for “assaulting” a soldier. Next, the man tries to leave the country – but he is barred from doing so. Ali Sotto compared this to waking up a sleeping patient  in order to make him take sleeping pills.

From The Inquirer :

For “losing control” that lasted all of two seconds, Marc Sueselbeck, the fiance of slain transgender woman Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, said Tuesday that he “paid a big price” for the possibility that he could be meted a lifetime ban from the Philippines. []

For the shoving incident, Sueselbeck was declared an “undesirable alien” by the Bureau of Immigration and was barred from leaving the country last Sunday pending results of an ongoing investigation for his misbehavior last week. He faces deportation and a lifetime ban.

Santos, Matikas. Global Nation. Marc Sueselbeck: A ‘big price to pay’ for ‘losing control’ over Pemberton. October 28th, 2014. Web. November 5, 2014. < globalnation.inquirer.net/113601/marc-sueselbeck-a-big-price-to-pay-for-losing-control-over-pemberton/>

A life-time ban? Really?Why? Because he might go back to the PI and push another man?

OA Case #3 :  AFP and Technical Sergeant Mariano Pamittan’s award

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #3 :  AFP and Technical Sergeant Mariano Pamittan's award

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #3 : AFP and Technical Sergeant Mariano Pamittan’s award

Here’s the video :

Really? For a heroic act that lasted two seconds, this man got an award. He will be remembered as the Man Who Was Shoved By The Dead Transgender’s German Boyfriend (MWWSBTDTGB for short). His heroic act lasted two seconds. But what was his heroic act except being pushed? Nothing. He didn’t do anything really. He just happened to be there, at the right time, at the right place.  Don’t take my word for it, look at the headlines. They insist he was a man who was “pushed”. Passive form.

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #3 :  AFP and Technical Sergeant Mariano Pamittan's award

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #3 : AFP and Technical Sergeant Mariano Pamittan’s award

Google his name. It seems like everyone agrees as to what history-making act the sergeant has done. Or what history-making act has been done to him.

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #3 :  AFP and Technical Sergeant Mariano Pamittan's award

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #3 : AFP and Technical Sergeant Mariano Pamittan’s award

Itinulak. Shoved. Pushed.  After all, if he has done anything greater, then that should have been a more fitting word to describe him. But nope. Major newspapers describe him as the man who was pushed. No disrespect, Technical Sergeant Mariano Pamittan. Maybe you do have a potential to be a hero. But being “pushed” does not qualify one to become a hero, not in my book.

I get pushed everyday too.

OA is for Overacting : I get pushed too. Everyday

OA is for Overacting : I get pushed too. Everyday

Image from Abc.net.au.

OA Case #4 : The netizens on Trillanes’ asal-mahirap quote

From Inquirer.net :

Trillanes said: “Nakita natin yung karangyaan nitong lugar na ito at gusto ko ngang maipakita na ito, dalawang pagkatao nito ni Vice President Binay na nagpapakita siya na mahirap siya, kulay-mahirap, na asal-mahirap, pero yun pala mayroon siyang sikretong mundo na, ito nga, na karangyaan. So diyan niyo makikita yung pagbabalatkayo ng taong ito.” (We saw how lavish the place is, and I want to show here the two faces of Vice President Binay, one of which he would like to appear poor, with the color of the poor and the ways of the poor, but in truth he has this secret, which is these lavish possessions. So there you can see the pretensions of this man.)

Trillanes has low regard of ‘kulay mahirap’? Inquirer. November 3, 2014. Web. November 5, 2014. < opinion.inquirer.net/79806/trillanes-has-low-regard-of-kulay-mahirap >

If you read the quote as it is, without over-analyzing it, I think what he’s trying is to say is that VP Binay is pretending to be poor but he’s actually rich. The first time I read it, I didn’t feel offended – and I still don’t because it sounds like “kulay-mahirap” is an idiom,  a phrase with figurative meaning, not a literal one. He didn’t equate being dark-skinned to being poor. In fact, if you look at the quote by itself, there was no mention of adjectives pertaining to skin-color ( dark, brown, or kayumanggi). But some netizens reacted violently, twisting his words :

“Pag maitim ba mahirap na agad? Respeto naman Senator Trillanes.” [Does being dark mean being poor? Show some respect for dark-skinned people, please, Senator Trillanes.]

“Just because you have brown-skin kulay mahirap na? Hiyang-hiya naman sayo ang mga Pinoy [… you have the color of the poor? Filipinos are so ashamed of you], Sen. Trillanes!”

Trillanes has low regard of ‘kulay mahirap’? Inquirer. November 3, 2014. Web. November 5, 2014. < opinion.inquirer.net/79806/trillanes-has-low-regard-of-kulay-mahirap >

Aren’t the OA netizens the ones malicious enough to equate ‘dark-skinned’ to ‘poor’?

[Side note : I don’t know why people keep noticing how dark the Binays are. Isn’t being dark-skinned ordinary in the PI?]

Fortunately, there are still some level-headed commenters :

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #4 : The netizens on Trillanes' asal-mahirap quote

OA is for Overacting : OA Case #4 : The netizens on Trillanes’ asal-mahirap quote

OA Case #5 : Binay’s appeal to the poor

If there is one strategy the Binays are using, it’s the rich vs. poor dichotomy. Why, it has helped Erap in his political career – who wasn’t really poor to begin with – surely, it can help the Binays too?

From the Inquirer.net :

“The only ones capable of thinking up ways to sneer at and smear [our reputations] are rich people like [Interior Secretary and presumed Liberal Party presidential candidate] Mar Roxas. You already know this. We are the same, I grew up poor. They don’t want us to be united. They don’t want me to lead the fight against poverty and joblessness in our country,” Binay said in Filipino.

Inquirer. Binay plays ‘poor card’. Monday, October 27, 2014. Web. November 5, 2014. <  opinion.inquirer.net/79631/binay-plays-poor-card >

Can I just say, ang OA ng mga Binay!!!!! Always playing the victim!

“Whoever thought of ‘nognog’ was clearly being insulting. Surely those who thought of that word are wealthy hacienderos, because ‘nognog’ is a slur against those who are dark-skinned,” he said in a statement.

Binay was reacting to an alleged black propaganda campaign by his political opponents aimed at derailing his planned presidential run in 2016.

He also blasted Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s quip about him being “kulay-mahirap, na asal-mahirap (having the skin color and the attitude of the poor).”

“This is just another proof of Mr. Trillanes’ anti-poor thinking. All of those behind the smear campaign against me think lowly of the poor and those who are dark-skinned,” Binay said.

The Vice President again accused Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II of leading the campaign.

Although he did not directly call Roxas elitist, Binay said: “He is one of the leaders behind Oplan Stop Nognog 2016. I won’t be surprised because first of all the word nognog is derogatory, your dark complexion is taken against you.”

Sabillo, Kristine Angeli. Inquirer. Binay: Elitist, anti-poor groups behind ‘Oplan Nognog’October 26, 2014. Web. November 5, 2014. < newsinfo.inquirer.net/646986/binay-elitist-anti-poor-groups-behind-oplan-nognog >

But then, who can blame them for trying? What do they have to lose?  Votes from the thinking class, sure. But as long as emotions can be manipulated and used against us, people like Binay can win, even though their strategy is too obvious and too gasgas na.

Now this (pardon the pun) is a little rich. Binay is under pressure these days because of dramatic allegations of corruption; the allegations have been fanned by two senators who have little love for him, true, but the sources of the allegations are former members of Binay’s inner circle. Instead of rebutting the allegations point for point, the Vice President has offered the lame counter-argument that the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee hearings, where the allegations have been raised, are politically motivated. Last Friday, he expanded his counter-argument to include class warfare.

Inquirer. Binay plays ‘poor card’. Monday, October 27, 2014. Web. November 5, 2014. <  opinion.inquirer.net/79631/binay-plays-poor-card >

Fortunately, most commenters don’t seem fooled by his attempts. But then, the commenters are not the majority of the voters. If the large majority are still solidly behind the Binays-can be manipulated to support the Binays- then God help us all.

OA is for Overacting : Overacting people, overacting people everywhere!

OA is for Overacting : Overacting people, overacting people everywhere!

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2 comments on “OA is for Overacting

  1. Joe America
    November 5, 2014

    Yes, and there is no study of emotions, no profession of psychology to speak of, because to go to a shrink is humiliating . . . not educational. Some of the benefits of emotionalism are joyous and fun-filled fiestas, long-lasting friendships, good tourism slogans, talented entertainers, and wonderfully superficial politicians. We never have to think when listening to them. The pains are relentless vengeance and murder, a press that needs precious little fact to go along with its mind-boggling vapid sensationalism, and wonderfully superficial politicians who are totally dysfunctional at solving problems. Some matters are explosive, an American criminal and a Filipino victim being perhaps the most intense.

    • ikalwewe
      November 7, 2014

      The media circuses surrounding certain events never fail to amaze me. There are BIGGER problems out there, but why does everyone get so wind up on certain issues only? and issues are blown out of proportion!!! It feels like someone is behind all these, pulling the strings and manipulating the emotions of the vulnerable public – in whatever way that is convenient at the moment. and when the media is focusing on one thing, we are so carried away, we drop and forget everything else!!!

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