Commentary – Want to Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill? Learn from the Philippines.

A Mountain? A Molehill? Maybe a dwarf’s mound.

It took two weeks for someone to notice a child allegedly being abused on live television.

That sounds pretty odd. But it could be one of a few things…

Maybe no one watches the program? But it can’t be that because it is a popular program that gets decent to good ratings.

Alright, so maybe it just took a while for the alleged abuse to be distinguished as such by the public before someone made a fuss about it? That can’t be it either because the alleged abuse has been described as being so disgusting and inhumane and a huge violation of child and human rights.

Yes, so naturally, one would immediately report wait a couple of days two weeks to bring it to the attention of the proper authorities… right?

Okay, so just maybe the allegations have no merit? That no, a child actually wasn’t abused on live nationwide television. Otherwise the phone lines and inboxes of television regulatory boards, child protection services and other authorities would’ve lit up as soon as it happened on a Saturday afternoon. No? Fine, we’ll give them until the start of the work week on Monday. Nothing? Tuesday then? Wednesday? Surely a week after it happened?

No? Then, why is there so much apparent anger in the Philippine upper classes reaching a boiling point and hearings on the incident only starting almost a month after the abhorrent abuse of a six-year old child on live national television?

Well, this is what I would present as a lesson in the mob mentality of the Filipino people. It is also a lesson in how much the Filipino public makes uninformed judgments (as if the elections of years past haven’t proven that already). A lesson in how dirty Philippine entertainment and business can be. It is a lesson in how much the priorities of the Philippines are in such wonderful order (not).

And probably the biggest lesson, no, really this is a master’s course on overreaction. The very exemplification of the proverbial “mountain out of a molehill.”

From being a non-issue to at the most something that should’ve been taken care of without media hoopla has now turned into a national… well, an upperclass incident. A matter of grave national concern in the eyes of the Philippine elite/feeling-elite.

Though the big question here should be whether or not the allegations of child abuse are founded (and really, an unbiased eye and the fact that not one single person gave the episode a second thought after it aired until it was dug up for whatever agenda) has instead turned into a media frenzy that has not only taken the spotlight away from the real issue, but has probably caused even more harm to a kid that may not have been harmed in the first place.

A barrage of personal attacks from various celebrities in a society where the public holds these celebrities on the tallest pedestals, and you’ve got half a nation of brainwashed sheep who can’t think for themselves and instead get herded into the mob.

But then again, these are all regular, everyday occurrences in the Philippines.
A country that thrives on sensationalism in all aspects of life. Whether it be in the broken entertainment industry or the blurry world of politics-cum-showbiz to the halls of so-called journalistic organizations and the corner tsismis/gossip hubs.

Filipinos? Or sheep?

Was the dancing inappropriate? Sure, but it isn’t like it was the first time a kid danced inappropriately on Philippine television. Don’t deny you’ve had family parties (more likely in the Philippines) where you’ve cheered your children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren when they danced to the vaguely/overt suggestive Filipino novelty songs and chuckled at you as an adult knew what the real meaning was behind those songs and dance moves.

But no, that’s apparently not the issue here.

It isn’t hard to see that the anger expressed by the oft-mentioned “A” and “B” classes in the Philippines aren’t directed at some injustice or human rights violation, but at a long-standing personal hatred born out of various reasons and circumstances.

If only the Philippines (or the same A and B classes who hold an unfair amount of control over the rest of the country) put in as much effort into issues that actually directly affect the citizens of the country, well, who knows how well this archipelago of 7,107 islands can do.

How about beefing up education? Instilling a culture and society that looks down on corruption instead of fosters it? How about narrowing the gap between rich and poor instead of continually widening the gap until small, uninhabitable islands get sucked into it? Maybe promoting a society that votes for elected officials on their credentials and accomplishments, not on the number of their celebrity friends.

No… what’s important is getting to the bottom of who released a sex tape. Stopping congressional business to put all effort into finding out if two celebrities were dating or not. Or stopping government business to deal with an entertainment company trying one two three times to try and stick it to a competitor and losing because none of those cases had any basis in the first place.

Oh, having elected officials take time off to film movies or go abroad to have multi-million dollar boxing matches is a top priority as well.

The Philippines and the Filipino people may lack in some areas, but they certainly excel in others, not the least of which being excellent at acting like all-knowing salt of the earth.

Oh… darn.
And in writing this, I’m proving to be one of them! Argh.

Willing Willie TV5 ABS-CBN

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