How the Miriam Santiago vs Ping Lacson circus mirrors the Philippines’ bakla culture
Funny that just as soon as Senator Miriam Santiago threatened to reveal the “truth” about Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson’s sexual orientation, the latter senator in a way kind of validated what many people have been speculating by going on a rampaging counter-attack himself.
For one thing, this all supposedly started after Lacson was accused by Santiago of being one of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s attack dogs. Then, for another, Lacson would follow suit and go on an equally public attack on the lady senator. In both cases he seems to be exhibiting the very behaviours symptomatic of the conditions Santiago says afflicts him — being an attack dog and being, well, a bit on the Pinky side. After all, what real gentleman would see no issue with making big public stink about his ill feelings towards a woman.
To be fair to Lacson, Santiago’s attacks are quite crude. The best of threats are best kept veiled in favour of real actions. What was that old Nike slogan again? Just do it. Trouble is Lacson does the same — stoops down to the level of his adversary. Both now are making good use of the Media to further their tirades against one another. Guess who comes out of this laughing all the way to the bank?
Since when has Philippine Media become the sumbungan of choice of powerful Philippine senators?
Veteran journalist Ramon Tulfo, as a matter of fact, is known for his hit show Isumbong mo kay Tulfo where he facilitates getting the issues that affect ordinary powerless citizens to the fore before a mass audience. But that is a concept that suits ordinary people who do not enjoy the clout of Philippine senators.
You really gotta wonder then about the sort of men who obssessively tattletale to any bozo who cares to listen about the women they’ve had confrontations with. Filipinos of all people should understand. There is no English translation for the old observation when beholding such characters: Kalalaking tao pinatulan ang babae. Where I come from, the most admired men are stolid and stoic even in the face of a woman’s wrath — one, I am constantly told, that hell itself hath no fury to match. Indeed, a man resorting to rude behaviour on a one-on-one confrontation with a woman is bad enough, but to be constantly tattling about said confrontation loudly in a public forum of mutual back-patters is another.
Where I grew up such guys are easily told off: Bakla ka pala e.
Philippine senators, any powerful public official for that matter, whether male or female are expected to man up — specifically, settle disputes amongst themselves like men. After all, they serve as models to a citizenry who lack a tradition of doing the same. The sight and sound of senators clawing each other’s eyes out in catfights in living colour and surround sound simply highlights the sort of politics that reflect the character of the Filipino vote.
Why do Filipinos vote for such politicians?
Well, spectacle is king in Philippine elections. No surprise there. Indeed, our most esteemed “activists” for “social change” routinely denounce politicians for acting like clowns while on the campaign trail but are themselves blind to the banal clownery with which folk in their own ranks deliver their “activist” messages.
We can’t continue to reserve our most vitriolic criticism for Filipino politicians and ignore the character of the people who routinely vote for the same bozos year in and year out.
As Raquel Welch was said to have said:
Insanity is expecting different results while doing the same thing again and again.
Ms Welch is quite the woman indeed.