We see people like Mary Jane Veloso everyday and routinely FAIL to act

This is literally the eleventh hour. Does dead woman walking Filipina Mary Jane Veloso stand a chance of living to see the dawn of the 29th of April 2015? We don’t know at this point. As netizens covered by my personal radar have been tweeting over the last couple of days, as long as there is life, there is hope.

But do Filipinos really care? The thing with being immersed in social media is we sometimes forget how small our network is in the scheme of things. The good thing about modern technology, however, is that it is easy to take stock of the bigger picture. The image below is a data representation of that bigger picture.

trending_2015_04_28That confronting picture — a stocktake of “trending” topics as of the 11th hour of Mary Jane Veloso’s countdown to lights out — pretty much answers that earlier question.

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So, though my timelines on some of the social networking apps I use may be flooded with Mary Jane Veloso stuff, other Filipinos’ timelines are likely filled with things more “relevant” to their daily lives (and nightly fantasies).

We can’t judge them, of course. After all, even the who’s-who of social media “activists” churning out motherhood statements about Veloso tonight were, themselves, just as oblivious to Veloso’s plight when it most mattered — over the several years she was detained in an Indonesian prison on charges of drug trafficking.

To be fair to Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, he had made several high-level appeals on behalf of Veloso’s life starting as far back as 2011. As someone who closely monitors public responses to every public movement exhibited and every public statement issued by the president, it is quite notable that I don’t recall much of a social media buzz from the clique of characters I follow in the wake of those presidential appeals at the time.

To repeat what I earlier tweeted, it is hard to be impressed by a society that consistently protests injustice loudly only at the 11th hour.

The interesting thing about the Mary Jane Veloso case is that it is merely the most recent of many many cases where Filipinos suddenly gave a shit with much fanfare — like the way they routinely go about stomping their feet about the bad traffic on their highways and the crooked politicians they had subjected themselves to as if they had rudely awakened to their wretchedness after having been sound asleep over the many many years that the problems they “suddenly” face today slowly festered.

Indeed, as the eminent Teddy Casino say, perhaps it is “better to protest injustice even at the 11th hour than not protest at all.”

Sure. But it is better to anticipate what could be foreseen on the first hour than habitually see and not act.

Godspeed Ms Mary Jane Veloso. You are the quintessential Filipino woman.

11 Replies to “We see people like Mary Jane Veloso everyday and routinely FAIL to act”

  1. Maybe, its about time we hit the numbers. # of detained filipinos aboard/country. Rootcause of detention. Probability of Outcome? % Pardoned? % Condemned. # of Silicitor generals per accused. Demographics of imprisoned OFW’s. Afterall, they provide $ to the country. They deserve to be appropriated, not only with repatriation funds, but psychosocial studies as well.

  2. The sad thing is that many of us would only know about these things through social media. To be very honest, I didn’t even know about Mary Jane’s case until a few days ago when it finally showed up in my newsfeed. But, as you said, social media only gave a shit about it during the eleventh hour. Why should media care about it when it’s got Pacquiao vs Mayweather, Kris Aquino’s daily routine, showbiz and the other “realities” seen in our local media? The ones that our people seem to enjoy indulging themselves in? Very sad indeed. :'(

    You know what’s even sadder? If it was a celebrity or a politician, then there’d be high media coverage in an instant, and I have a feeling the case would be solved 10x faster than the duration given to the poor OFW.

  3. tv news program earlier devoted a HUGE amount of airtime to the pacquiao fight. that’s how media in this place set the tone on what people’s priorities ought to be. good if the general population is intelligent enough to know their priorities and what issues need their immediate attention. unfortunately that’s not the case here.

  4. If you become a Drug Mule, and take your chances to earn a lot of money. It is your choice. However, if you get caught: you must pay for it…I sympathize with Filipinos, who are being executed in foreign countries.

    As an OFW (I, myself is an OFW); you must observe the laws, culture and traditions of your host country. You are there to earn a living; not to make fast buck…

    1. Agreed.
      Unfortunately in the homefront most of the people do not abide by the laws, even the simple ones (eg, “bawal umihi dito, etc). Filipinos tend to push their luck (as they believe a whole lot more in swerte over their “revered” deity). They also tend to forget that other nations have a different culture, and may not take offenses as lightly.

    1. A welcome respite! Now it remains to be seen whether or not Filipinos can sustain an effort to work towards her acquittal and release now that the clock’s stopped ticking.

  5. Hand to mouth. Kapit sa patalim like they say.

    Vorsicht ist besser als Nachsicht, German for foresight is better than hindsight..

    I recommend Dr. Phil Zimbardos books on time attitudes. The Philippine attitude is present-oriented, advanced cultures future-oriented.

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