Tuesday ∗ 17 Jun 2008

making bastos the flag

i was aching to write about the independence month issue of Rogue Magazine, for reasons farthest from what has made it controversial the past two days. the National Historical Institute’s historians have pointed a finger at the cover and called it “bastos”. and while i’m a flag-loving Pinay – I bought everything that had a philippine flag on it during the centennial celebrations, never mind that it had Ramos’ “Philippines 2000” as well – i didn’t think anything of that cover. in fact it was the reason why I even picked up the magazine and thought it was worth buying.

which, according to the press release of Rogue’s editors, was precisely their point. They used the flag on their cover so that their “state of the nation” issue would appeal to younger readers. so yes, this cover understandably achieved its goal:

and while i didn’t find anything offensive by the use of the flag on the woman’s body – it actually looked fantastic and was such a great idea, i wouldn’t go so far as saying that it was a statement on corruption – ang OA naman, and what a stretch. that defensive statement came from cover story writer Argee Guevarra, and if you listen to him wax activist about the criticism of NHI, you’d actually believe that his article was about corruption and the current state of the nation.

whenin fact, it isn’t. it’s far from it. what Guevarra wrote is a retrospective on Mead’s life, what she’s dreams of doing for the country (including doing one-hour workshops about going green and organic, and about relationships – how nationalistic! anuba!), and the fact that she loves Loren Legarda and ehem ehem Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – aba, anti-corruption nga.

Guevarra also made it a point to highlight the fact that Mead is in fact a del Pilar, as in Marcelo H. del Pilar, which apparently gave him enough reason to imagine Mead playing the role of Gabriela Silang – another stretch, but go figure.

so really, between Guevarra’s defense and the magazine’s admission that this was just a jab at their market’s fancies, if not their amusement with the sensational, i’m wanting tosee how far the NHI will take their charge of “kabastusan”. but then again, it would do them well to first clarify what “bastos” is.

because it is the age of “Pilipinas Kong Mahal” stamped on every Philippine flag hanging all over the metro, a violation of the law as well, but which government spent on in this time of crisis. it’s also the time of Bayan ni Juan, an ABS-CBN anniversary enterprise, of selling their notion of “giving back” to the less fortunate, and asserting their social responsibility by using the philippine flag in various renderings as backdrop (for their TV ads and website), and which begs the question: how much of this is a tax shield? and really, a Lopez company such as this talking about helping others, in this age of high Meralco rates?

that has to be kabastusan in itself, hindi ba?

Posted in: aktibismo, bayan, kapitalista, kawomenan, komentaryo, kultura, magasin


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