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Yoly and Leah: Evil in our midst

What has made us endure as a nation is the fact that when a disaster does strike, we all consider ourselves as victims and try, to the nest of our abilities, to help those in need of humanitarian assistance.

Harry Roque



Twitter is the social media of choice of the elite. This is because, unlike Facebook that offers free data to access the app, one would require 24-hour connectivity to the Net to express one’s thoughts in less than 140 characters. And because of the character of the medium that requires immediate reaction to issues, messages posted on Twitter oftentimes really express the true nature and thinking of its writers.

Both Facebook and Twitter were awash with indignation over two tweets of notorious yellows, both of which relate to Mindanao.

First to be lambasted by the public was a tweet from Yoly Ong, the chief propaganda officer of the yellows. While I do not agree with her on almost all issues, I used to respect her nonetheless. Not anymore. Reacting to the series of earthquakes that hit Mindanao, Yoly tweeted this: “DDS: DAVAO DISASTER SURVIVORS. Hindi pa ba NYO ma gets? Gusto na kayo lamunin ng lupa. Magdasal na kayo at humingi ng patawad (Don’t you get it? The earth wants to swallow you up. Start praying and ask for forgiveness). Quiboloy can’t stop earthquakes. He can only stop Kapa. Duts should seriously prepare for the afterlife. It’s getting hot, hotter, hottest!”

The other tweet was from a singing personality from a century ago. Answering Teddy Te’s query on “What’s with all the earthquakes in Mindanao,” the laos (has-been) singer replied: “Retribution?”

While the public understandably were aghast at such remarks, coming as they did at the peak of the suffering of our kabayans in Mindanao, I was, quite frankly, not surprised at these yellows’ remarks. Remember that their ideal leader is Mar Roxas. Have we forgotten what their revered leader did in devastated Leyte after “Yolanda?” He basically said that the Warays cannot be assisted because their local leaders, the Romualdezes, were opponents of the Aquino administration. Truth to tell, that was the breaking point for me. Like PRRD, I supported Cory. I wanted PNoy to succeed if only to safeguard the legacies of his parents. But that video of Mar invoking politics as a reason for depriving the needy of humanitarian assistance was just too much.

But even if I expected this kind of remarks from the yellows, I’m surprised at least that it came from the likes of Yoly Ong. Never mind the laos singer who never went beyond high school. No amount of pedigree can compensate for being heartless. And what do you expect anyway from one who did not even win the top prize in a singing contest? But Yoly Ong was college educated.
She may even have been from UP, although I’m praying that she is from Ateneo instead. She is respected in her field of public relations and advertising. For one who has made a business out of influencing people’s perceptions and market habits, how could she be so insensitive to the needs and feeling of the victims of a humanitarian disaster?

The fact that the Philippines is at the center of the so-called Ring of Fire is a given. We are among the most ravaged countries worldwide as a result of natural disasters. It’s not just earthquakes. It’s also tsunamis, typhoons and volcanic eruptions These have become part of our way of life, What has made us endure as a nation is the fact that when a disaster does strike, we all consider ourselves as victims and try, to the nest of our abilities, to help those in need of humanitarian assistance. This has become a Filipino trait borne of our common experience arising from the many natural calamities that we have had to endure. This has made us stronger and has given us a sense of being a nation despite our differences in dialects, local cultures and the sheer determination of our colonial masters to wipe out our indigenous way of life. In other words, our sheer determination to go on with our lives by helping one another in times of need, the bayanihan spirit, is what ultimately defines us as Filipinos.

How could a so-called educated Filipino like Yoly interject politics right in the midst of suffering? Is she even human or an imposter from hell disguised as a person? The point Yoly is this: if you can’t help victims of disasters, shut up. No need to trivialize the sufferings of those who cannot even have the peace of mind that the tremors have finally stopped. If I were evil, I would wish that Yoly Ong be the one swallowed by the earth and burn in hell until kingdom come. But as a Christian, I will not wish her to suffer the same fate that she wished for the victims of the recent earthquakes.

And what of Leah, well, she should know why she is today a has-been. It’s her illiteracy in dealing with the sufferings of everyday Filipinos. Buti na lang, si Leah Navarro lang siya (It’s good that she’s just Leah Navarro). And how I wish she just sang “Isang Mundo, Isang Awit.”

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