Humor Is Now the Opium of the Filipino People Print
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Thursday, 31 July 2008 01:49

INTRODUCTION. This writer grew up in the Province of Sorsogon, where the people are known for their satirical wit (called locally as "tuya-tuya") and their humor (called either "ti-ao" or "karao-karao"). Sorsoganons manage to cope even with poverty and misery by cracking jokes like "maski na kami pobre, natitios naman" (So what if we are poor, we suffer and bear with poverty). Or by making fun of their shanties as in "Maski saday an balay namon, mapioton naman" (Even if our house is small, it is narrow). Or "maski luho an bubong san balay namo, natuturo lang kun umuuran" (So what if the roof of our house leaks? It only leaks when it rains). Eventually I will gather the jokes, especially the political humor, of my people and publish them online. I have registered the domain name, "Abadaw" is the Sorsoganon term for "Holy sh_t" or "Holy cow" or "Holy mackerel."

Alas, there is the real but humorous version in the Philippines of the current blockbuster, “Dark Knight,” which tells the reel Batman’s latest exploits. But Filipinos joke that the First Gentleman is the “Value-Added Tax Man” (VATman) and Her Excellency, the “Value-Added Tax Woman” (VATwoman). People supposedly call some of the members of the VAT Family’s Inner Circle as “Robbin.” Yes, as in “Robbing Hoods” with a difference – they rob the public coffers to make the rich richer and continue with the Dark-Night episode of Philippine history.

Yes, some Filipinos joke that the presidential palace is known as “Cameloot,” where the knights, counts and lords of the Round Table gather not to eat pizza but to plan the next moves to enrich themselves. Counts in the palace love to count (pun intended) their loot and other blessings, which come often at the expense of the taxpayers. The lords, oops, gambling lords and war lords come in to personify their motto, “Once a knight is enough.”

Yes, in spite of their misery and growing pains and pangs of hunger, Filipinos can still laugh and crack jokes at their national leaders. Humor is now the opium of the Filipino people.

In the Preface of "One Day in the Life of a Filipino SOB", I said in 1993:

                      “I wrote with humor into both books because of a belief that I share with Simon Wiesenthal, who made a study of humor as ‘the weapon of unarmed people.’ In his book, The Sound of Polish Laughter, Alan Levy added that ‘Polish humor, like Jewish humor, is the humor of a wounded people. It helps people who are oppressed to smile at the situation that pains them . . .

                      “I continue with humor and tell the jokes currently circulating in the Philippines and among Filipinos in the United States. The belief I share with Simon Wiesenthal has been bolstered by Aly Mahmoud, who wrote: ‘. . . Once again, confronted with troublesome issues, the Egyptians have responded with a crop of jokes. They have traditionally coped with problems big and small with bitter jokes, the little man’s defense against overbearing rulers and great events beyond his control . . .’

This website has published satires about the First Family and other Filipino national leaders, as gathered from the Filipino exercises in wit and humor. Here are the hyperlinks to some of the articles:

The Arroyo Administration’s “Incredible Bulk”

PGMA’s Detractors Start New Crop of Jokes about her Planned 2009 State Visit to Korea

Defending Filipino Congressmen and Politicians Who See Manny Pacquiao’s Title Bouts in Vegas

“Gloria Dolls” Are Selling Like Hotcakes Among Overseas Filipinos

PGMA to Introduce Six New Rice Strains to Solve Food and Budgetary Crises

Koreans and Canadians Blamed for Rice Crisis? Mr. Pimentel's Comment on Direct Selling of Gov't Rice

General Ermita to Replace Willy Gaa as Filipino Envoy to the USA?

How Microchips Can Eliminate Corruption in the Philippines

A New “USSR2” Being Formed in Some Philippine Islands?

The Latest Coup Attempt Was Another Comedia, If Not Part II of a Moro-Moro

First Gentleman Arroyo to Become the First Filipino Cosmonaut?

Push for Perfect Filipino Constitution Begins July 1, 2007

Some Filipino writers have “reinvented” the dictum of American literary legend, Jessica Mitford, who said: “My writings may not be able to change the world but at least I can embarrass the guilty.” Some Filipino authors now say, “At least our writings can make fun of the guilty.”

Ok, ngarud? # # # 

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