Monday, September 10, 2012

social commentary ala issy: of tito sotto and our forgotten originality

I would tend to agree to the point that the internet age makes everything overblown. Sotto's plagiarism, though undeniably wrong, and his attitude, and our general reaction to it is, overblown. Yes what he did was wrong, we've embarrassed him already, he's shown his true colors about the situation, and in the process we discovered (or rediscovered) a lot of things about his past. I am sure because of what happened, most of us with our brains still working would decide to skip his name in the future polls.

But enough of kicking an already dead horse and let's move on....after this post, that is..:)

I am writing about this blog post that addresses Tito Sotto's lack of originality and why we Filipinos make a big deal out of it considering that we ourselves lack originality. I'm not sure if the blogger would care, considering how jaded he feels about Filipinos in general, but other people including myself would beg to disagree to his observation that we are a people that lack originality. How could we Filipinos lack originality when we are the ones who first invented a form of martial art?

Perhaps the reason why we seem unoriginal lately is because for the longest time we've been intellectually, physically and mentally hungry. If you bother to look, we used to have a rich culture teeming with originality, we used to have inventions that are 100% originals...hear about our Filipino inventors who would invent something but then would sell it to someone else because our government can't support our inventors? Hear about artists who would create really cool characters in comic books, cartoons, and art? How about when once upon a time, OPM truly stood for ORIGINAL Pilipino Music?

From Wikipedia:
"Anak" became a finalist in the first MetroPop Song Festival.
It went on to become very popular in the Philippines and eventually abroad.
The song generated a hundred cover versions, was released in 56 countries and in 27 different foreign languages, and it has sold 30 million copies. 
Anyway, regarding Tito Sotto and how he is connected: he does reflect the majority of the Filipinos that elected him. Consciously or not, our government reflects which stage our people is in, and one of that is of forgetfulness. We forget that we used to be original, we forget that we used to be a great nation. We used to have an original and colorful past but in the last fifty or so years our nagging hunger diluted it out of memory and out of our current mindset.

Majority of us are intellectually hungry, that's why this generation can settle to imitation, plagiarism, and of remakes of music. We don't have the luxury to care and crave for our original past, we only care about the present. It's not okay at all, but since we're too hungry emotionally, physically and intellectually, this will do.

That's also another state we're in. We settle for PWEDE NA. People like Tito Sotto and PNOY are pwede na. Majority of us tolerate it, so it won't change. That is, until the rest of us speak up and say that we deserve more than pwede na.

To think that we used to be so FULL. What's left of us who can manage to be full and not hunger and settle for less? Are we enough to pull everyone up? Or are we just going to pull ourselves down to hopelessness?

As what's left of those who are not intellectually hungry, we have a responsibility and a choice. How do we use our capabilities? Do we tell everyone that the Philippines is hopeless? Or do we roll up our sleeves and help fix the country?

The choice is really up to us individually, but I am encouraged by yesterday's preaching in church about having hope for our country, and being movers for positive change. My church has preached so many times about being responsible citizens, and part of its' thrust of "honoring God" is of being a catalyst of change in our country. So much so that the church has invested so much on equipping the youth to address problems that beleaguer us today so that they will be strong in their faith and in values tomorrow. My church addresses my personal, moral and spiritual needs in order for me to start within myself first to change, and to spread the change like ripples to water. I have so many things to deal with myself, but adding my country's future benefit for my positive change creates additional pressure that I need in order to feel the urgent need to change NOW.

Its time to get back to that phase where I was idealistic, of thinking that everything I do still matter, and of acting with purpose. It's time to channel that self back again.

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