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Home Columns Op-Ed Page The Filipino Wailing-and-Whining Gasbags of San Diego
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Columns - Op-Ed Page
Tuesday, 06 November 2007 03:02

The News Upfront (TOP STORY) as of Tuesday, 6 November 2007

A pen and a notebook make a powerful combination. So powerful that a group of wailing, grumbling "concerned citizens" in the Filipino community cringes in fear and cries for help -- well, that's how they portray themselves. Can one journalist be that lethal or are these whiners just furiously trying to stop being exposed for their debaucheries?

PREROGATIVE

The Wailing and Whining Gasbags

Mediocre minds generally condemn everything which passes their understanding. - La Rochefoucauld, Maximes

By ROMEO P. MARQUEZ

Editor's Note: Mr. Marquez is a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and National Press Club of the Philippines-USA.

 

"We have been oppressed long enough," they wailed in unison, sounding like helpless hogs being readied for the slaughterhouse.

"Please help us - now!" they implored, their collective whimper reverberating within the small confines of their own circle of sulking sympathizers.

Sounds like these entreaties are a throwback to the days of empire, specifically during the era when Spanish conquistadores ravished and abused their colonized islands for nearly four centuries.

"Oppress" implies subjugation or to be ruled with an iron hand. Poor me, all I've got are hands, no iron or steel of any sort, and those hands are practically tied to my old computer keyboard typing stories like this one now.

I don't know whether to laugh at or pity whoever wrote those lines not only because they are so absurd but also they seemed to come from mindless wannabes out to impress us with a beginner's tale of alleged torment.

I'm still trying to suppress a laughter and I will laugh good-naturedly without meaning to mock. I believe that once in a while we deserve a good laugh and this is just one happy occasion to do that.

Frankly, I am flattered by this purported show of indignation by this group calling themselves "journalists and concerned citizens" which has petitioned immigration authorities in San Diego "to exterminate" me for my writings.

The call for my extermination follows the death wish of the newspaper-pious, bible-preaching, fake woman "Dr." who prays: "May he rest in hell!'. The morbid desire brightened a little bit when the poet Fred Burce Bunao quickly suggested "ladies first".

The only journalists so-called in that group are the wicked practitioners of the trade whose "journalistic experiences" were limited to passing neighborhood rumors in a gossip sheet that one had misappropriated from trusting friends and the other, in filching thousands of copies of a newspaper that had exposed him for his petty thievery.

The two could be the perfect fit for the now-defunct tabloid I renamed as "Kupitbahay" for they share a commonality in what psychologists call kleptomania. Until now, they have not recovered from the shock of being unmasked as impostors so they try to fight back by being at the forefront of this latest assault.

Some of the signatories are established crooks in the community; some are "concerned citizens" only to the extent that they are frightened by the prospect of being written about because of their deceptions; some are simply clueless about what they're doing.

For me, their point of view enunciated in the letter is both flattering and amusing and certainly not worth losing a sleep over. That's being honest about it.

Perhaps, they failed to realize that they have just elevated my humble person to dizzying heights of adoration. I am so speechless to be made worthy of such high esteem.

But I'm not one to glorify in that. I am writing about it now from the perspective of one who is supposed to be scorned. In the process, however, the unintended consequence smiled at me with great favor! Who am I to refuse that?

I am one person, a minute component of a community more than 200,000-strong. I'm not even president or chairman of any association or community organization where $27,000 could vanish in a blink, or where almost half-a-million dollars in grants could be used for a fattening program called "palusugan".

Yet by their claims, I'm able to sow "unfounded intrigues and fallacious allegations" and "discredit and destroy respectable community leaders". Please take note of the adjective "respectable".

Wow! I must be very powerful to have that ability. I am impressed. I must be heard and seen all over San Diego to ever cause so much trouble! Isn't that a compliment? Who am I to reject that?

I am only a journalist. And to highlight the fact that I am one, I decided to put in my membership in at least three professional organizations based in the United States right after my byline at the top. That's not bragging, that's setting the record straight!

Since my adult life, I have been a media person, starting from print (newspapers), to wire communications, to broadcast (stints with radio and television) to webcasts. The longest I stayed on was in print, and I'm still there doing newspapers and magazines.

In the early years, my work necessitated a pencil or ballpen, a notebook, a tape recorder and a typewriter. Lately, it's the computer that's now the workhorse of any reporter.

Those are the tools of the trade, hardly life-threatening, hardly intimidating compared to a firearm or any lethal weapon. But to these "concerned citizens" crying out ever so deafeningly loud, I am a "scourge to people" possessed of a "poison-laden pen". Am I now a weapon of mass desperation?

I'm supposed to have tried "to tarnish the reputation of Congressman Bob Filner" and even, they claimed, "attempted to derail the Filipino Veterans Equity Bill".

Can any one imagine doing all those single-handedly by yours truly? I'm not even a member of the US Congress (the House has 435 members and the Senate 100), much less a holder of any public office, and they're talking about me derailing a bill?

Holy molly! Have I got so much power in my hands?

I am so overwhelmed by this, to think that I have no army, no foot soldiers, no human robots, no money to pay them, nothing at all, and still be able to lay waste on such a hapless community.

I can't believe that is possible . . . unless the Filipino community in San Diego is no more than these grieving gasbags. One man with a pen and notebook and they're all terrified? Who am I to side step that approbation?

I'm also a publisher, a small-time publisher with no deep pocket to speak of.

I published my newspapers with money borrowed from my family and a little help from caring friends. My current paper comes out once a month. When money is hard to come by, the paper simply stops. I make no pretense of being big.

But to our "concerned citizens", it's an infraction. They expect me to grab the opportunities and trade my principles for some greenbacks. Probably because money is so easy to come their way through their magical charms and sleigh of hand. Not me. I'm old fashioned. I prefer to earn it by the sweat of my brows.

They're practically nudging me to steal, which I won't do under any circumstances, so they can run after me for allegedly "writing blatantly libelous material" and collect monetary damages.

If they were so sure I'm committing libel then they should come out with the non-libelous materials and have them published instead of suing me. That way, everything will be clarified.

Of course, they're not going to do that because they are afraid to admit their own misdeeds. It's that simple. You see, it's not going to cost me a penny to tell the truth and write it. But to them, it's going to cost them their MaxFactored-reputations and tons of money to contest. So they weep.

The "concerned citizens" also call me a "terrorist" for writing about three well-known and proven liars -- all women -- who are supposedly, according to them, "the favored targets of his terrorism". But they don't say that each of the three had big issues concerning their morals, or lack of them.

One liar, a notorious name-dropper, had just been recently unraveled in court. Another pretender had been exposed for her amorous escapades and still another had been published for her kleptomanic tendencies. And they called these people "aggrieved"?

"We have been oppressed long enough. Please help us -- now!" they howled and howled.

Pathetic.

PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE - Redefining Community News
BREAKING NEWS - Commentary
Issue No. 87 / News Without Fear or Favor /

. . . . . A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice (PhilVoiceNews@aol.com or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public. . . . . .



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 November 2007 03:05
 

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