There are a lot of hypocrites in the Philippines. I think it has something to do with the country being religious. Mind you, being religious is different from being spiritual. Being religious is easy. It’s simply following dogma or “set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true”. One doesn’t have to think much when one chooses to be religious. As a matter of fact, a lot of religious folks don’t think. They just follow whatever everyone else is doing in their religious organisation.
Being spiritual is something else. It means being in tune with yourself and other people. It has more to do with following the natural flow of things. When someone is spiritual, it means he or she is in touch with everything around him or her. I think it’s the opposite of being religious because when a person is spiritual, that person is aware of her surroundings as opposed to blocking out what is happening in real life. Religious people tend to do that with their chants and repetitive prayers that only serve to distract them from the harsh realities of life.
What’s my point? Well, I have a few. First, Filipinos who are religious are the most hypocritical of all. You can find a lot of religious Filipinos in Catholic schools like the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), for example. They are very judgmental. They think they are the best and the brightest too despite their track record of producing mediocre public servants. Former President Benigno Simeon Aquino, anyone?
A lot of ADMU students and faculty members hate the current President Rodrigo Duterte for his foul mouth and his character. But some ADMU professors who were also products of the school are now being accused of sexually harassing their students and behaving appallingly on social media.
One former professor is currently the talk of social media due to his alleged habit of inviting his students in his room for private screenings of their feet. He is said to have a foot fetish and loves taking photos of them. Another professor behaves like trailer trash on Twitter. She loves attacking people who have opposing views and those who criticise the Aquino family and the Liberal Party. You would actually be shocked to find out she is an Ateneo professor after reading her posts, which can be mistaken for something only a jolog would write. “Jolog” is a colloquial term to describe a person without class. This professor made a rape joke and thought nothing of it in the past. Ironically, she’s one of those who hate Duterte’s rape jokes.
A lot of people from ADMU hate former Assistant Secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office Mocha Uson because of her previous lifestyle choice, but a former ADMU student is now a porn star. Not that there is anything wrong with her lifestyle choice, I just find it odd the way some Ateneans act as if they are all holy and clean.
You might ask why I singled out the ADMU. Well, they epitomise hypocrisy. It is the leading Catholic school in the Philippines where a lot of the current politicians come from. The school is still “revered” and plays a big role in shaping Philippine society. This is partly because of their history founded by the Jesuits and partly because they project this image of being pious and religious. But, sadly, the school actually tolerated and still tolerates a lot of bad things that is happening in Philippine society. One can be forgiven for saying the faculty members are beholden to some members of the oligarchy especially the Aquinos. One cannot be pro-poor while supporting the very people who want to keep the status quo.
Because patronage politics is big in the Philippines, someone’s classmate from the Ateneo quite often get a position in government. This was evident especially when BS Aquino was still in power. Everyone knows how ousted never-was-Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno got her post. To be fair, this happens not just with people from the Ateneo, but also from other schools. The bottom line is, there have been a lot of Ateneans in government in the past but you can’t find anything significant that they had contributed to society. They contributed to the country’s backwardness, definitely. Former Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Andy Bautista who is an alumnus is another example. He is now in hiding in the United States after his own wife accused him of hiding illegal wealth from her and the public. Bautista could also be trying to lie low to avoid being questioned about his knowledge of alleged electoral fraud that marred the 2016 Presidential Elections. See what I mean about the Ateneans’ role in shaping Philippine society? Unfortunately, the result is not a good shape.
Well, enough about Ateneans for now. This article is about hypocrisy in society after all. Like I said, it’s not just at the Ateneo where we can find hypocrites. Any organisation that projects an image of self-righteousness will most likely have hypocrites. Just look at the way some members of the #BabaeAko movement are behaving right now. Their silence on the sexual harassment allegations made by celebrity anchor Gretchen Fullido against executives of media network ABS-CBN is deafening. It’s so surprising since these so-called “feminists” are always the first to cry foul at the first sign Duterte is perceived as acting misogynistic.
Just because the executives involved in the main case – Maricar Asprec and Cheryl Favila – are women doesn’t mean feminists should turn a blind eye. Yes, the case is still under investigation and we should all hold our judgement, but it’s hard not to see their hypocrisy. These feminists are quick to judge others especially men who they think are harassing women. That’s the main reason they were compelled to create the #BabaeAko movement in the first place – to use it as a battle cry every time they deem it necessary to go against sexual harassment cases. But now that there is a real case, they are nowhere to be found.
I read the text messages sent to Fullido by the executives of ABS-CBN and I tend to agree that they were loaded with sexual innuendoes. They wanted to make sure she knew they did her a favour in advancing her career and were subtlety telling her they want her to do raunchier stuff for them. Anyone who is vulnerable would have fallen victim to it. Their first mistake was in assuming Fullido had a weak character. She’s obviously not into lesbian and office sexual relationships. Here’s an example of the messages sent to Fullido:
“What time are you coming to work? (Fullido: On the way to [ABS-CBN] now. What’s up?) Wala naman. Miss lang kita. Masama ba? Sungit.” (Nothing. I miss you. Is that wrong? Crabby.) “Kailangan mo rin ng konting lambing sa katawan.” (You need some tenderness in your body.)
Some would say that the text messages would simply fall under flirtatious category. But I think some of the messages would fall under “trying their luck” with Fullido. There should be zero tolerance for unwanted flirtation in the office anyway, especially when executives are involved. It’s another story if the flirtation was done outside of the office and not mixed with work. Then again, it would just be too complicated because work will always get in the way. There will always be conflicts of interest especially when relationships go pear-shaped.
Outspoken celebrity Bianca Gonzalez said “women should support women” in response to Fullido’s sexual harassment allegations against two ABS-CBN executives. The problem with her statement is it is saying women should just stick to supporting women. What happened to equality? Another problem is, the alleged abusers do not consider themselves “women”. It seems so-called “feminists” are very confused about who to support. This just goes to show that some people do not understand the concept behind their own advocacies. They just want to ride on the current outrage fads.
These current talks of the town just prove that some Filipinos don’t really think. They just follow what everyone else is doing just like how some religious nuts just follow dogma. No wonder the Philippines remain host to a backward society.
In life, things are not always what they seem.