It is said that among their distinct traits, Filipinos love music, food and fiestas, in particular, they enjoy making and telling jokes. And it is no secret that most of the jokes they think, write and send are rather good. In fact, very good. The jokes are not only funny but also incisive and revealing of both ridiculous and sad realities.
The truth is that jokes about the previous Malacaňang occupant were so many and varied that certain individuals found it fun and profitable to gather them and have them printed in book forms. The joke books sold only but a little less than the Da Vinci Code. The joke books published locally even reached many Filipinos living abroad to their delight.
Something however has to be said about the jokes on the previous national leadership. The fun and pun were mostly intended for good laughs, for innocent diversion. The jokes ranged from speaking and understanding English to the matter of table manners and social graces. The jokes were by and large innocent ones such that there were times that even their target made fun of himself as a sign of good humor.
Once again especially since year 2004, one joke after another has been coming to fore. It seems that the country is hearing much more jokes now than before. There seems to be no day when a new joke about the present Malacaňang occupant is not thought of and told. Furthermore, thanks to the country as texting capital, the jokes travel fast and wide. They are not only repeated but also remade and present here and there.
The sad and pitiful about the present on ongoing jokes circulating all over the country and elsewhere is that they are mostly disrespectful, painful and insulting at times. But since the jokes are premised on actualities or perceptions, the jokes have in fact become great editorials.
When a national leadership is perceived as but big jokes, this is not good either for the effectivity of governance or for the respect thereto by the governed. The over-all result of this serious social malady is already well known and much felt. There is political impasse. There is public disdain. There is no moving on. Hence, there is socio-political deterioration.
Even joke can be fatal.
11 July 2006