Filipinos cannot tell the difference between ‘fake news’ and literary fiction

Can we really blame Filipinos’ addiction to “fake news”? For that matter, are Filipinos really in any position to pontificate on the subtle differences between the art of producing “fake news” and the art of producing good fiction?

We are, after all, talking about a people who see no difference between the persona that actor Bong Revilla takes when he plays those agimat-wielding superhero characters in Tagalog movies and Bong Revilla taking his seat as a Philippine Senator in Congress. Filipinos could not tell that Lito Lapid the action star on film is not much of an action man in public service, or that being hapless heroes’ widows of yore does not necessarily translate to leadership chops.

There is also the fiction Filipinos embrace that one president or another sitting in Malacanang actually matters to their day-to-day personal lives. The current fiction raging at the moment is that the Philippine police has become a crooked armed force under the watch of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his man in the force Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa. This is, of course, not true (ergo the fiction Filipinos today hopelessly confuse with reality). The criminality of the Philippine police is, in reality, a decades-long tradition transcending many presidencies. As recently as the administration of former President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, monumental crimes had been perpetrated not just by individual Filipino police officers but by entire precincts.

Indeed, the Philippine police joins Congress (the “biggest criminal syndicate” in the land) in competing with traditional organised crime groups in the Philippines.

The problem with Filipinos is that their small minds are hopelessly imprisoned by the petty partisanism within which they habitually frame their quaint arguments. Take this whole “fake news” versus literary fiction “debate”. The fact is, “fake news” is as old as the print industry itself and, as such, ultimately cannot be categorically set apart from fiction. The Internet is just the latest technology used to propagate various narratives. The whole idea that the Aquinos and Cojuangcos own the 1986 EDSA “revolution”, for example, is an epic tale that infested the Filipino memetic pool for decades. Its authors, even back then, used fake news as a tool for its effective propagation. For that matter, perhaps now is also an opportune time to think about whether the idea that there was a “revolution” back in 1986 to begin with is even true — or whether this idea was, itself, an outcome of an astoundingly successful “fake news” campaign spanning the 1980s and 1990s.

Rather than taking partisan sides in this whole moronic “debate” about who (or which government) corrupted the police or, for that matter, whether “fake news” is the same as literary fiction or not, Filipinos should, instead, sharpen their thinking faculties. People who are able to step back and really think things through will soon realise that the battle raging today is not between Dutertards and Yellowtards — or even the oligarchs and the masa. The real battle is between Filipinos who think and Filipinos who merely believe.

Seen in that light, it becomes obvious that no one president can save the Philippines. Only a collective will to step up to modern human-level intelligence will save the Filipino.


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22 Comments on "Filipinos cannot tell the difference between ‘fake news’ and literary fiction"

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Patricio Camaquin

Majority of the Filipinos would rather watch showtime, eat bulaga, koreanovela than open their minds to think. They easily believe the person they saw on TV and hears on the radio. Given a small sum and bag of grocery they become an avid supporter.

Fake news is non other than what we call CHISMIS in our neighborhood, and those heard it take it as a gospel truth.


as long as the mainstream media feeds the filipino people with junk shows, our people will not change.

i would watch westworld for the 2nd time now.

Sancho Alconce

Fake news of today? Those holy books of the abrahamic religions? Is there really a difference?

Only a collective will to step up to modern human-level intelligence will save the Filipino. I made a similar comment somewhere. Why do Filipinos deliberately choose to stick their fingers in their ears and sing “lalala I can’t hear you”? Why do they pretend to be more stupid than they actually are? I know it’s pretense – I’ve seen the mask slip occasionally. My conclusion so far is that they seem to think there’s some advantage in acting helpless and useless. Perhaps it means that the Big Boys will leave them alone? Perhaps it’s a way to avoid work? I… Read more »
Fake News Dude

Philippine Independence = fake news eversince

Chris Espiritu

Blame it on the mainstream media that continually feed the people with stupid TV shows that made the Philippine Hoi Polloi as stupid sa they are now.The only solution is to read GRP and other blog sites that has the balls to tell the truth.

Amir Al Bahr

“If you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.”

Perhaps this inability to distinguish the fiction and “fake news” stems from a reptilian need to romanticize things. Filipinos want the things they see on media to be exactly the same in real life, and are horribly inept at adopting to reality, especially when it doesn’t suit their fantasies.

salagintong bukid

president duterte should declare martial law NOW. the senate is under attack by the yellows. it’s a ground to declaration of martial law ‘cuz it’s the voice of the people for a better Philippines.


Anything to please their sensations and escape the pain of life, the usual pursuit of such australopithecal-level culture. And, of course, that primal desire to cover up uncomfortable truths with comfortable lies.

Aphetsky Lasa

The truth hurts.There are just people who cannot handle the truth. Fake news becomes entertainment to them and in the long run this fake news is all that matters.

It’s not just a Filipino thing. People will believe what they want to believe and choose to dismiss things they don’t want to believe as “fake”. They’ll happily devour anything that makes their candidate look good or bashes their opposition and then choose to ignore and deny anything that makes their candidate look bad. A Korean businessman was killed in the PNP headquarters. Where is the condemnation and criticism of those responsible? This was under Duterte’s presidency and under Bato’s watch. Are Pnoy and Leni at fault again this time? Where is the call for responsible governance? I guess your… Read more »
The Aquinos were the large sources of Fake News. EDSA I was a Fake News, concocted by the U.S./C.I.A.; the Aquino Cojuangco political axis; Ramos/ Enrile coup d’ etat participants… It is now in our history books; as Fake History. The Aquinos put their faces in our currencies, named: airports, stadiums , buildings, etc…for themselves. to substantiate that , they are heroes and saints. Most Filipinos do not use their common senses in believing news: fake news; fake claims; fake stories; fake people; fake leaders; etc… Most Filipinos are used to viewing: telenovelas; wowoowee shows; etc…so they believe the :… Read more »

I was supposed to ask what to do with the people who deliver fake news but yeah, the people must learn to inquire first, “Is it true?” and should at least know who and what the reliable sources are.


Honesty whispers, “Don’t get pricked by the thorns of lies.”


Another idea occurred to me recently: some willingly believe fake news because it is a form of protest. They realize that someone believing “fake news” will make other people uncomfortable. So they believe in such news hoping that the people they make uncomfortable are the ones who they believe make their own lives uncomfortable. Sad truth about the world, that many believe other people are the cause of their lives being miserable. So they look for ways to piss the others off.