Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

A Party and A Tragedy

Public perception can’t be easily beaten out. A tiny act can cause a major ripple that can drown one’s reputation. Once you’re beaten by the public eye, you can’t back out.

One small tweet can cause a flurry of reactions. Who had not heard of Valerie Conception tweeting how the President enjoyed her show at his PSG’s Christmas party? At the same time, thousands of our fellow brothers and sisters in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan were savagely hit by Typhoon Sendong. It can’t be helped. No matter how she tried to apologize in her following tweets, as they said, the damage has been done. Besides, it caused the President another stone into his soup.

I understand how the President, who always wanted a time out, can’t deny the PSG’s request to be at their Christmas party. The President is no god, you see. And yet, he’s no fairy either. However, the public eye is very sensitive and critical. I guess, they should have checked out how things would have gotten out right after the party. His communications personnel tried to save his reputation but it’s too late. Another public flak thanks to a small tweet.

And yet, it is part of our culture that one’s presence can give great comfort to the multitude. This is what the former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had mastered in her 9 year presidential term. One story said on how she immediately came at Pasig right after Ondoy hit Manila. She does know political PR, after all. However, PNoy also had a point that there are already LGU’s who should look into the situation and the welfare of the people in their communities and he had made sure that the regional officers are taking charge of their people. But the battle here is public perception. No matter how PNoy wanted to change the mindset of the public, it’s not too easy. For us Pinoys, the emotional attribute cannot be attested by the physical attribute. No money or other aide can replace one’s physical presence – especially from that of a popular figure.

What can we do? The President is just too human to handle all things. But no matter how things were straightened out, people are not easy to change. He just have to do what he has to do.

So, it’s public perception over public funds. Besides, it’s not too late for him to take a visit tomorrow to symphatize with the people. On another hand, I guess it’s time for the public to learn on how to depend on themselves and to get over our public-figure worship. We have leaders other than the president, but the most important is we have all our fellowmen being sincere in their sympathy. President or no president, we can stand on our own in the aftermath of the storm.

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