Thursday, August 8, 2013


This week’s media log is about an article by Teodoro C. Benigno entitled “Culture: the real culprit”. Please note that the article was written 11 years ago, so the views of the author might be different then to the present time now. Because of this, the author’s views at the time might also differ from that of mine in the present.

In his article, Teodoro Benigno gets straight to the point by criticizing American correspondent James Fallow when he (Fallow) suggested that the Philippines and its culture has degenerated to that of a dog-eats-dog kind of level, in short, a ‘damaged culture’. Instead of refuting this allegation, Teodoro agrees with the concept completely (since upon reading the article, I thought that Teodoro would think of this observation otherwise and that he would rebut this out of feeling from a nationalistic sense of duty). He supported this by citing examples and quotes from different social icons like Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino, Claro Recto, Ferdinand Marcos and Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore who had the same message: that the Philippines is ‘sitting on a social minefield’ meaning that if Philippine culture continues to deteriorate at such a rate, we would be left with nothing that could be considered as culture since everyone only thinks for his/herself and not for the benefit of the whole people, which is essential is if a country is to progress.

A logical fallacy that could be found throughout the article was that Teodoro Benigno tries to convince the reader that the cause of this ‘damaged culture’ in the recent years was because of Former President (and now Mayor of Manila) Joseph Estrada’s corruption that led to him being ousted from power through an impeachment case. He found Estrada the perfect example as he stole from the very people who believed in his catchy campaign slogan: “Erap para sa mahirap! (Erap for the poor!)” What is ironic is that the poor masses believed that they could be lifted from poverty if they put Erap in office, but in return Erap stole from them through sheer use of corruption. And because of this revelation, people now have this mindset that “If the President did all of these corrupt things from under our noses and got away with most of it, why can’t we also?” This leads to people having a selfish mindset/mentality, and as mentioned in the previous paragraph, this leads to the deterioration of a nation’s culture.

Fallows highlights some good things about our culture like how “
Individual Filipinos are at least as brave, kind and noble-spirited as individual Japanese…”Beyond the term individual it only extends to family then the good aspects stops there. Beyond that, if you’re not family then people don’t give crap about you. Because of this, people don’t feel inclined to help their countrymen and this results to a collapse in nationalism, and with citizens that are not nationalistic, a nation cannot progress. In the article, Fallows mostly attributes this problem at the fact that the Philippines was colonized way more times than it should. His message is that it was bad enough that we were under 400 years of Spanish rule the Americans came along and made the country their lapdogs without the country knowing about it. It’s almost as if the Philippines would rather please the Americans instead of her own people.

Culture: The real culprit | Opinion, News, The Philippine Star | (n.d.). Retrieved from

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Freedom but not really freedom (lolwhut).. XD

This week’s media log is all about media and religion. The picture above shows Former First Lady viewing an art piece by Mideo Cruz on the controversial art exhibit “Poleteismo” (polytheism, or the worship of one or more god/s in English) at the CCP 1(Cultural Center of the Philippines). The art exhibit was controversial because the Church and its supporters were disgusted on some of the works portrayed at the exhibit (one showed Jesus Christ as the Disney character Mickey Mouse while another would be the the picture above; the crucifix with a male sexual organ attached at the bottom along with condoms strung around the crucifix). the Church claims that the exhibit should be out down (which it was a few weeks later) because it was sacrilegious in a way that it defaced sacred icons of the Christian religion. Charges have been filed against the artist, the Church accusing him of violating Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code on obscene exhibitions and indecent shows. Mideo Cruz however, defended himself by stating that his works were under legal grounds and that this is enough reason to be published as it his under his right to free expression.

The media played an important role in this controversy as it allowed the people of the Philippines to give their sides on the controversy. People watched the news on TV as the media covered it. Netizens offered their opinions, support criticisms through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Those netizens who offered their support to the Church say that the artist has “gone too far” while Mideo Cruz’s supporters insist that what he was doing was within the boundaries of his right, so there is nothing really wrong about his exhibit and that people are just “over-reacting”. Personally, I am neither for nor against his work because for one, I believe that anybody has the right to display whatever is in their mind in an artistic way while my religion compels me to say that this is a perverse and sacrilegious way of presenting a form of art. To think that putting in a male sexual organ in an icon of one of the most sensitive and dominant religion in the country and not expect criticism for it still baffles me. While stating that I am neither pro nor con on this issue, I will agree to the fact that the artist has gone too far in putting some elements that are frowned upon by the Church in its religious icons.

A fallacy that I saw in those who defended the artist and his exhibit was the age old “it is fine because it’s under the freedom of speech, and if it’s under freedom of free speech, he can post what he wants”. This type of thinking is wrong. This is textbook example of Stage One thinking wherein an idea is considered correct only because there are others who are more experienced on the subject say so. Another thing that makes the statement into a fallacy (and I learned this in my RVLC class) is that just because it is freedom of speech does not make it total freedom. Freedom in this case is not total because it is still has limitations and governed by constitutional law. This freedom is limited to prevent others from using it as just as an excuse (like in this case where the otherwise sacrilegious and otherwise offending artworks are being defended under the guise if this ‘freedom).