Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

Archive for August 20th, 2006

‘ Pick up the feathers, you jerk.’ 148

Posted on August 20, 2006 by jimparedes


Just found out that it was not Gerry Lirio who titled the article. It was an editor who shall be unnamend as of now who did. I thought I should take the heat off Gerry since I know now that he was not responsible. Apparently, that’s how it works in newspapers. Some guy writes and someone else edits. Why the copy editor gave such a headline and apparently edited the whole article, I do not know.

Gerry, this is my humble step in picking up the feathers of your pillow of reputation I slashed because of my hastiness. The article by itself is not bad although I still felt it already had a slant even before it was written. It was looking for a poster boy for the current hopelessness felt by many and I was chosen. But I don’t question Gerry’s right to write the way he does. That’s his prerogative just as it is mine to criticize his work. I must admit it even had some parts I liked.

The damage though is in the headline itself. I know that very few actually read the whole thing and many more just read the headline and came to their own misguided conclusions. I know because people have expressed shock and outrage towards me. But those who know the story expressed the same thing but directed their wrath at
PDI. I still believe The Philippine Daily Inquirer should correct this falsehood and apologize.

Lastly, I want to say that I felt bad not so much that people misread me as a person (that’s hurtful, yes) but more so that they may slip deeper into despair by such a false story. That’s the last thing we need.

_ _ _

Was awakened this morning with a text from my brother informing me that I am on the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The bottom banner read, ‘Finally, APO’s Jim Paredes gives up on RP.’ It was datelined Melbourne.

While APO was doing our shows in Melbourne and Sydney, Gerry Lirio from the Inquirer was interviewing me about my new life in Aus. I talked to him how we were adjusting to everything, the joys and tears experienced by all immigrants, etc. I also talked about my reasons for leaving (personal growth mostly) and my frustrations with the political situation. I said that I was tired. But not once did I ever say that I had given up on the Philippines.More correctly, I have always said I would fight another day. Everyday in Sydney, I wake up to discover the things that work well and wonder how we can do it back home.

I am not one to trash the Philippines just to feel good about migrating. In a country already reeling from so much self-inflicted wounds and pessimism, I don’t know how editors and writers can continue twisting things around. I am, to say the least very disappointed with the Inquirer. I just don’t know how they can come to such a conclusion based on the interview with me. Sure, I expressed disappointment with the politics of the country just like everyone else but to say I have given up on the Philippines is to put it mildly, a naked lie. It seems that the one who thought of this headline feels the best thing this country needs is a daily fix of despair and gloom.

I believe the truth will set us free, but sadly, there is also power in falsehood. Apparently it sells more than good news.

I remember reading an analogy about spreading falsehood and it compares it to going on top of a windy hill with a feather pillow and a knife. While there, slash the pillow and let all the feathers fly out to where the wind takes it. If a newspaper wishes to make amends about a false report later on, it becomes as futile as picking up all the feathers again to restore the reputation of anyone.

Alas, I’ve just been had. If I had a newspaper right now, I would be tempted to run a the banner which reads, “Should we all give up on the Inquirer?’

Other strange facts on the article;

-I was never a member of the MTRCB
-APO did not sing Handog Ng Pilipino sa Mundo in the concerts.

Sorry Gerry. I think you already had a headline in mind even before the interview. You ‘cherry picked’ to fit words and impressions to the headline and so missed the true story. OK Inquirer, you can headline that Jim Paredes has given up on the Philippines.just as Bush claimrd there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!

I am in my home in Manila now. This is going to be a long visit. I was planning to enter and leave without much noise but apparently fate has other plans. As I write this , the Apo tribute album by the hottest bands in Manila is the biggest selling CD in the Philippines. We are guesting today on TV where they will announce that it has reached gold record status in just 7 days. Future gigs already planned before my migration await to be fulfilled.

And since I was going to be away anyway, I have decided to accept the offer to be part of a new show on TV. I am accepting the position of headmaster, artistic director of Pinoy Dream Academy, the new abs-cbn show that will feature a number of artists and the training they will undergo. More on this on future blogs. I guess I should expect that I will be media fare for the next few months until I return once again to my quiet, simple life in Aus.

I miss my family terribly and I go through throes of loneliness thinking about them. I have not quite settled with the fact that I will be here for awhile. I get stomach pains just thinking about it. I chat with Mio, Lydia and Ala whenever I see their YM on. It’s great to see my friends and all that but I am in a Sydney state of mind and so feel displaced. I am, strangely enough, an OCW in the Philippines.

Isn’t that ironic?

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