Monday, January 16, 2012

Fun or Pun

"It's more fun in the Philippines!" It was supposed to become a big bang. It was meant to be a slam. But sad to say, it immediately caused bad jokes, laughter and ridicule even. The word "fun" was instantly converted into pun. What was envisioned to stand for joy and delight underwent fast conversion into gloom and tedium. This is not to mention the fact that the supposedly new local tourism sales pitch is nothing more than a poor copy of something the like said of another country in another time. What a pity! And it is precisely intended to sell the Philippines to foreigners over the world. The more cogent questions thus rose so far:

Is it really fun to see a country where fatal criminality regularly happens not only in the streets but also in homes? How could fun be identified with frequent murders and regular robberies, with summary executions accompanied with gross mutilations? Where is the fun in seeing ingrained poverty and misery among the citizens, in witnessing the regular abuse of women and children? What could fun be in a country where terrorism is ingrained and which precisely causes frequent contrary travel advisories to foreigners? Are these some of the reasons why Filipinos prefer to travel abroad for visits, instead of seeing their own country?

Is it fun to be in a country where democracy is being slowly eroded by the juvenile tantrums of high profile public officials, being gradually demolished by the ego-trips of certain prominent individuals? Where is the fun when witnessing the dynastic, wealthy and powerful politicians acting as if they were modern day royalties? What fun in there knowing that thousands of laws have been enacted and more are still being debated upon, when their implementation remains but a dream? What fun is there in a place where rivers overflow, where mountains crumble and lives are wiped out?

Is it fun to visit a country where there is the infamous KKK that breeds selective justice that manipulates government and favors but collaborators and subservient constituents? Where is the fun in a place where political leadership wallows in incompetence, where economic potentates dictate their profits, and where the common people are looked down upon as chattels for sale in foreign markets for their foreign remittances? But wait! There is more fun in the Philippines for those engaging in the prohibited drug business, for those making money from the ignorance and hopelessness of millions of Filipinos and for those exempted from walking the "Matuwid na daan" who are becoming more day by day.

It is then better to change the declaration "It's more fun in the Philippines!" to the question "Is it more fun in the Philippines?" While the answer is obvious, at least it is entertaining.