One of last week’s bigger news is a popular comic strip artist resigning from his daily after a successful 25-year run at the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), one of the widest read dailies in the Philippines. Since 1988, “Pugad Baboy” was enjoyed by millions of Filipinos but a Pugad Baboy strip printed last June 4, 2013 placed an end to this.
St. Scholastica’s College (St. Scho) sent an angry, livid statement protesting to one of Pol Medina Jr.’s (the comic artist) strips where one of the characters was taking to a lesbian named MeiMei. On the above strip, Meimei asked on why Christians were so angry about having homosexuals in society but kept quiet on lesbian relationships inside exclusive all-girls Catholic schools in the Philippines. Tiny then agreed saying that it’s hard to find a pretty girl in St. Scho without a girlfriend. You can find a summary of the entire episode here.
Pol Medina Jr.’s resignation came after the Philippine Daily Inquirer suspended his comic strip from running three days after. Here was the official announcement:
“The Pugad Baboy comic strip will not appear in Comic Relief Section starting Friday, June 7. Pending investigation by the Reader’s Advocate on the controversial June 4 comic strip, the Inquirer is pulling out Pugad Baboy by P.M.Jr. The controversial June 4 Pugad Baboy comic strip was removed from the comics section of inquirer.net on June 5 (10PM).”
And herein lies the hypocrisy and the PDI’s attempt to wash its hands clean.
For one, nobody placed a gun to their head to run that strip.
Before a comic strip is run, the daily’s editors would have to review and approve to prevent scandals from erupting. I don’t think that any writer or comic artist is allowed such liberal freedom to run whichever they please without the go signal of at least the section’s editor.
According to the paper, the comic strip was submitted last April 2013 but was rejected. But due to a “mix-up,” the strip was picked up for publication.
This is just bullshit.
Yes, it was indeed a mistake to run that strip, but a writer can submit whichever he wants for the editor to review. The writer, given free press and all, should not be condoned for doing so.
Controversially hilarious or not, Medina was just doing his job — to present satirical pieces that semi-accurately reflects the Philippine society in the hopes of bringing joy and comic relief to the hearts and minds of the people.
It is the paper’s sole mistake to have run it, regardless of how profoundly apologetic they can be. Placing the blame almost entirely on the writer is careless stupidity, and shows how hard they’re trying to wash themselves off the blame.
Two, a paper is supposed to be independent.
It’s the paper’s job is to reveal and revel the truth, and to report things as they see it. They should NOT allow themselves to be swayed by ultra-sensitive groups who indignantly protest what is in fact, true.
To be honest, can anyone honestly say that there are no cases of homosexuality in St. Scho and other all-exclusive Catholic schools? Like seriously?
Whereas it may indeed unfair to brand a school as having all homosexual students, I don’t think St. Scho or other similar schools can deny that there are no lesbians in their school.
Medina was just highlighting a stereotype that exists and whispered by society — that in an all-girls school here in the Philippines, lesbianism DOES happen. There are some females who do date each other. It is discouraged, but the likelihood of one exploring his/her homo- or bi-sexuality is higher in an exclusive boy or girl’s school than in a coed educational institution.
I went to a co-ed school — you would be seriously ostracized if you were gay or lesbian. Guys would beat you up. Girls would stay away from you. Unlike in an exclusive school where you will indeed be more likely to be approached and propositioned by some to “try” homosexuality out.
And it doesn’t mean that homosexuality is bad. Some may even think that it’s this spirit of openness which gives people the confidence to actually not be afraid to reveal who they truly are.
And lastly, where is your sense of humor?
Guys, it’s a comic strip, relax.
It’s supposed to be funny. If it wasn’t that strip wouldn’t last 25 years.
And if the strip talks about you, be a good sport and laugh with it. Not raise up your hands in protest and make a ruckus.
There’s a saying here in the Philippines, “Bato bato sa langit, ang natamaan, ‘wag magagalit!”
Literally in English, it means, “If you get hit by rocks falling from the sky, don’t get mad.”
In actuality, it means that if you hear something being said and is done against you personally, please don’t get mad if in fact what is being cited against you is true.
And here is the sickness of the Filipino people: We try our best to be holier than though, but us ourselves falling in the trap of not acting holy in the midst of being holier than though.
Yes, read that statement again. It can be quite confusing.
In other words, when it is other people, we laugh and make fun of them at their expense. But when it comes to our own weaknesses, our own faults, when other people point it to us, we become so emotionally defensive protesting to the world.
It’s the same as my future sister-in-law becoming angry once we tell her that she is once again late for work. She gets irritated when we tell her that when in fact, if she wasn’t late, nobody would tell her off.
It’s the same as a man who sues a newspaper for actually reporting something that he himself has actually done.
Or the husband who gets mad at the wife for inquiring on his whereabouts because she called him at work and he wasn’t there, when in fact he was actually with his hot mistress at a local motel.
It’s the same hypocrisy as a person who demands the best service to an event which is free.
And it’s the same as someone who tells other people to behave and act like good Christians, but when push comes to shove, he himself swears and acts un-Christianly himself.
Guys, one shouldn’t maintain a double standard. Rules should apply to everyone, not to everyone but us.
If one makes a joke on our expense, reflect on the joke and ask yourself if this is indeed true. Jokes anyway are usually half meant, and the jokes would’ve been made or appreciated if there is no truth to it. And if there was some truth to it, try to see if you can stop and solve the problem.
Hence, for St. Scho, instead of protesting and bullying a comic strip artist, why not reflect about their own student body and see if this claim is in fact true.
If it is true and it bothers you, do something about it.
If it is false, then the rumor/joke would remain unappreciated and die a natural death. No stereotype would remain if it was completely untrue.
Is this just a Philippine or global phenomenon? You let me know.
Happy independence day!