on August 11 the presscon of the group Palayain Ang Sining became interesting to me for many reasons, least of all what was being said. and no, this wasn’t a measure of who was speaking, or what was being said, but the kind of room it became, filled with media as it was.
i’m this close to that man’s elbow because he was practically standing over the girl beside me. we were facing the front of the room where National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Karen Flores-Ocampo, Myra Beltran, etal., were making their statements about freedom of expression, which should’ve matter to all of us in the audience. except that these men weren’t interested in who was talking, nor did they want to gain a better sense of what’s actually going on here, complicit as they’ve been in the manner in which freedom of expression has been compromised given media’s treatment of the exhibit Kulo.
instead they had their sights set on the one person they had sacrificed and made into their headline, and who was refusing to speak that day, who has (thankfully) refused to speak since.
what astounded me about these members of the media, in this small conference room of the college of mass comm in UP, was not so much that they were zeroing in on mideo, but that they were ultimately bastos about it. they not only had their backs turned to the ones speaking in front, they also kept disrupting the proceedings as they reprimanded each other and talked in loud whispers among themselves. they didn’t even stop taking pictures as we sang the national anthem. they didn’t stop for the national anthem when there was a Philippine flag in that room.
that morning, and without a doubt, the media showed what it is they’re made of, and why they are so capable of irresponsibility and sensationalism. we should all just admit that in the end, when push comes to shove, all we want is to find an enemy and serve him on a silver platter to the religious and conservatives and powerful in this country, thinking that we’re gaining tickets to heaven by doing so.
in truth, we’ve built a version of hell here, and it’s pretty clear who the devils are.