plagiarism and, uh, krip yuson? is that you?

update 4 : Krip Yuson: A portrait of the Filipino as a plagiarist

update 3 : are we forgiving plagiarism?

update 2 : Ruins and monuments: A collective statement on the plagiarism of Krip Yuson

update 1 : plagiarism apology as can of worms

i sent the following two links to my brother butch after a conversation re editors & authors.   he doesn’t know krip personally but has heard me speak of him and he has seen krip’s books in bookstores and has even read an essay or two, i think.

Hall of Fame writer Krip Yuson plagiarizes for Rogue Magazine PBA article
Famed writer Krip Yuson apologizes for plagiarism

his response:

I read the Yuson blogs.
It’s a whole different world.
Brutal, cruel.

And his response, an amusing attempt at damage control.
Like he consulted a boardroom of colleagues and friends for advice and used everything that was tossed on his plate.

(1) I was pressed for time
(2) I wasn’t thinking right.
(3) I feel like a heel.
(4) I will just have to bear the blows.
(5) Thank you for reminding me of my responsibilities.
(6) Maybe, I’ve gotten old and jaded.
(7) Maybe I’m overworked.
(8) [Again]. . . Maybe the deadline pressure got to me [same as (1)]
(9) [I think there was also this] I think having edited it, I considered myself a co-author.

How about. . .
(10) I didn’t think I would get caught.
(11) Maybe, I was caught in a black hole of some extended reality.

All in all, a sorry ass attempt at damage control.



  1. unintentional plagiarism is possible. we all do it all the time. but as to krip’s paragraph-level plagiarism, well, your brother seems right. i didnt see that. my evil radar malfunctioned this time

  2. Nah, there has never been a confirmed unintentional plagiarism in the history of writing. It’s a weak excuse.

    And it wasn’t actually intentional as he himself admitted. He said he sort of thought he had the right since he edited the original.

    I’m telling you many gets away with plagiarism or near plagiarism in our country because many like to pretend they have read but actually haven’t. Too lazy to actually critique, we just admire the name based on reputation and the first few sentences.

  3. I’d rather be ungrammaticals and sounds so baduy and jologs and jejemon than do what he did, gets nyo?

    We’re still so indio it’s so pathetic, cowardly and stupid. Praising people who are unoriginal, pagayagaya post modernist kuno because of their vocabulary and fondness for the semi-colon.

    When will we realize that our two best writers are Bautista and Jose, and the rest are just pretentious social-climbing hypocrites who probably have done enough damage to our young talents that it can be compared to the Chinese massacre of artists and writers under Mao?

  4. I have worked on thousands of student essays, and ive routinely seen unintended plagiarism, like misplacement of references, missing references cited earlier, missing commas and page numbers, and so on. what r u talking about?

  5. Misplacement of references? What R U Talking about?

    I’m talking about plagiarism. If a student thinks what he’s quoting is the same as what he thinks then he’s a plagiarist. Does this clarify things for you?

  6. ang ganda ng sinabi jaemark. sabi nya, hard worker daw si joble, and it shows. hard work should be encouraged.sayang.

    the good news is, dapat si joble na lang ang pinasulat nila in the future.

  7. as student can sometimes borrow entire paragraphs or sentences here and there then forgets the reference or place the reference at the end of a particular sentence when he or she meant to use it for an entire paragraph. this gives the impression (to the reader) that the writer borrowed only the last sentence when in fact he borrowed an entire paragraphs. i have seen many variations of this. and since i also write i also have seen how i sometimes forget to attribute little ideas that i in fact i first heard from my friends or people around or things ive read earlier, only to realize it after publication. i repair the ‘plagiarism’ (unintended, see?) the soonest i can. these are cases of unintended plagiarism

  8. manuelbuencamino

    Of course plagiarism can happen. Sometimes we read things that capture exactly what we think that in time we actually we believe it is ours. Still I wonder how many other times Yuson has consciously, intentionally plagiarized.

    With internet search engines It would be easy to catch him by running his written works to see if they match other works. But I don’t read him. His fans should do it though

  9. Manuel,

    Even if a prominent writer consciously plagiarizes, he won’t be easily caught using search engines. He would be smart enough to change every word or at least the word order in every sentence. Ang kokopyahin lang idea, thought process, yung istilo, yung technique, mga turns of phrase. Baka isang reason to na hindi sila napapublish sa abroad.

    Basta alam ko walang orihinal sa kanila and that is very suspect. A Filipino has a lot to say about his way of thinking, and if he says it in an authentic way he cannot help but be an original. Napaka weird nga nang consciousness natin kung kumpara mo sa mga Western peoples. So natural lang sana na marami tayong orihinal na manunulat. Pero saan at kelan lang?

  10. brianb ;)interesting your thoughts on originality, or lack of it, which has to do with creativity and the books one reads and other influences on one’s thinking, pero ibang usapin itong plagiarism which is pure copying, and passing off someone else’s work as one’s own…

  11. Hi Angela: It’s a thin line between someone has only a marginal thing to offer, and “skates off” on others’ work without the scarlet letter P on his/her forehead, on one hand; and out-and-out plagiarism on the other. The first is worse because that “author” could even get the honorifics, while the latter is easily “outed.”

    My problem is I think there are many more of the former than the latter. And they pontificate as though they were in the A-list of the literary world.

  12. Angela, a good writer tends to be counter-intuitive (a marginal individual as one writer puts it) and yes, even if he isn’t an original by intuition he would strive hard to shed the influences of other books. He will allow influences only selectively, never, I believe, innocently. Hindi batang maliit ang writer. He should be self-aware and conscious of his influences.

  13. orlando ;) but when it comes to plagiarism, even “marginal” writers are most offended, affected, bec THEY are trying so hard to be like him, and HE’s ripping off other people’s works (marginal writers works?) pala?

  14. A “marginal” writer imitating a plagiarist is a wannabe plagiarist.

    A supposedly good writer plagiarizing a marginal one is, for lack of a better word, simply pathetic. And those who condone him are in the same boat.

    And a lame apology is, well, a horse with no name or perhaps no legs. (That’s partly from a song, so there.)

  15. Felix Fojas

    Everybody is a plagiarist because there is nothing new under the sun. All writers are scavengers and recyclers of ideas. If, in your case, you think that your ideas are unique, Sir Stuart Santiago-Shakespeare, think again! Krip Yuson has just evolved into a mystic and tapped into the so-called Akashic Records where all possible and impossible notions have been existing in eternity’s whorled eye. Ergo, there are no original ideas–only ideas. For as long as a writer plagiarizes with art and flair in his or her own words, there is no cause for serious concern. Even monkeys are prone to the 100th Monkey Effect and mind you, Sir Stuart, simians are more highly evolved than vampire-critics who suck the blood of writers who have produced a solid, enviable body of work and not a mere literary corpus delicti. To plagiarize Rene Descartes, “I think therefore I plagiarize!” If there is one thing Alfred Yuson is guilty of, it is the fine art of playing on words–this past master of the unwritten word.