Philippine Daily Inquirer: You Got Trolled!

It was no surprise that for most of us who have been religiously following the happenings on the cyber world (half of which are journalists and the other half are bored individuals like me) – whether it be on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr – that President Aquino made it to this year’s list of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. The news came last April 18 at 7:03 PM, Manila time.

In response, President Noynoy Aquino said that he was merely the “face” of the Filipino people, that the recognition is due to his countrymen and of the whole country and that if success was achieved, it would be the success of everyone.

As most of you know, I have always been fascinated with covers and front pages of various local and international broadsheets and magazines. In fact, it is my daily habit before starting a day’s work to browse and to look at various front pages and covers whether it be in print or in digital format. I consider it as an exceptional art and as a part of history as well. So when the list came out, I eagerly waited on who would be on the cover of TIME’s special issue.

An hour past midnight earlier, while waiting for the developments on the manhunt of the marathon bombing suspect in Boston (and while waiting for my ‘Homeland’ episode download to finish), I dropped by the website of the Philippine Daily Inquirer to see if they have already uploaded their page one for today. As I looked at the digital format of the front page, aside from the photos of the two Boston bombing suspects, I saw the photo of President Aquino in an apparently, a cover of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

 

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But here’s the catch: The cover looked fake and the photo of President Aquino that was used was one of his, excuse me, unflattering photos. I immediately searched TIME magazine to verify its authenticity and lo and behold, it turned out to be fake. The cover for this year’s special issue is Jennifer Lawrence. Not President Aquino.

So what? Some trolls and pranksters probably made that “false cover’ to fool on people.  But here’s the thing, it landed on the cover of one of the most respected broadsheet in the country (and they have repeatedly said that they are the leading broadsheet in the country, which, I believe by the way). The fake TIME Magazine cover landed on the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. What a shame! (I later discovered that this fake cover came from one of the memes of Showbiz Government, a satirical Facebook page. Good job guys!)

I have a love-hate relationship with that broadsheet. Though I have repeatedly praised some of their creative front pages (like the false cover and the bloodied cover for the Philippine Independence Day celebration), I have also criticized (if not make fun of) some of them. to name a few, there was the juxtaposition failure, their tabloid-esque layout, and the headline that’s more appropriate in the entertainment section.

It has been a buzz in the social media that the Inquirer is “too yellow”,  a broadsheet that is always in favor of President Aquino. In fact, my (new) favorite blog, The Spin Busters, describe the Inquirer (or PDI) as thePresident’s Daily Inquirer. The Inquirer later apologized in a tweet saying that it was an honest mistake. But here’s the catch, they also said that they wish it was President Aquino on the cover. With that being said, I think it is evident that there is no statement “more yellow” than that.

I once worked for the publishing industry and it is a mortal sin among us to run and print non-factual information and materials. Though my previous job is not that of the news industry (I worked for a private company publishing textbooks), this broadsheet, In my opinion, with their hundreds of employees, should have exercised diligence in publishing their paper. Now that the boo-boo has been published and distributed nationwide, I think this broadsheet has lost a bit of their credibility. That’s the price you pay of falling for a troll’s trap.

Going back to President Aquino’s statement that he is the face of the Filipino people, I cannot but take a look again at his unflattering photo. The trolls have successfully used the President’s signature “nganga” image. In the local pop culture, “nganga” – or the act of leaving your mouth wide open – has a connotation of emptiness, laziness, tardiness, and stupidity.

If this is the real face of the Filipino people, then we are travelling not in a promised Daang Matuwid. We are in a Ngangang Matuwid.

Elsewhere:

Yes, this is the headline of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Today

Since the advent of my bumming in our school library and in my parents’ office library, I have been always fascinated with covers and front pages of various local and international broadsheets and magazines. In fact, it is my daily habit before starting a day’s work to browse and to look at various front pages and covers whether it be in print or in digital format. I consider it as an exceptional art and as a part of history as well. (See my blog’s archive for some of my articles written in the past regarding that matter).

One of my favorite websites is that of the Philippine Daily Inquirer which has been my favorite broadsheet since those bumming days in the library. But it is no secret here in my blog that I have a love-hate relationship with that broadsheet. Though I have repeatedly praised some of their creative front pages (like the false cover and the bloodied cover for the Philippine Independence Day celebration), I have also criticized (if not make fun of) some of them. to name a few, there was the juxtaposition failure, their tabloid-esque layout, and the headline that’s more appropriate in the entertainment section.

Earlier this morning, I woke up to the sad news about the Boston marathon bombing. While reading articles from foreign news outfits (like the Associated Press, Hufftington Post, and The Atlantic), I decided to pay a visit on some of our local news websites to double-check the facts and figures and at the same time, to check their banner stories for today. Lo and behold! It’s our favorite Presidential sister headlining today’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

I have nothing against Kris Aquino being the top tax payer. I have nothing against Kris Aquino being Kris Aquino. In fact, just like Lourd De Veyra who has repeatedly wrote about her on his This is a Crazy Planets column on Spot.PH, I have also repeatedly wrote (satirical piece and praise) about her (with this being my all-time favorite). What moved my palm into my face was the fact that she conquered the front page and that she and her multi-million tax is today’s banner story for the respected broadsheet.

But of course, I have nothing against the story showcasing this country’s top taxpayers. As what every students in College learned in their taxation class, taxes are the blood that supports and gives life to a country. We need taxes. We need efficient tax collection. We need to penalize those who do not declare their taxes correctly and those who do not pay them. But unfortunately, with our favorite Presidential sister being this country’s top taxpayer, we also need to know that fact. Or do we really need to? Have we had enough of her life and her stories? Is it necessary for the Philippine Daily Inquirer to shove her story in our faces?

But maybe, just maybe, it was a slow news day yesterday and the biggest story (at least, based on their discretion), is Kris Aquino’s. I have seen this story being repeatedly tweeted yesterday but I did not expect it to land into theInquirer’s banner story. Well, with their history of previous facepalm-inducing front pages, I was not completely surprised.

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Enough of my disappointment. I miss doing this in my blog so let me do this once again – dissecting and giving the items on the front page a bit of scrutiny, sarcasm, and humor. Here we go:

  • NKKLK! – According to the news, Kris Aquino, with her three television shows and tons of product endorsements, paid almost 50 million pesos in taxes in 2011. Aside from me, who among you thinks that you can earn that amount until your retirement? Why not? Explain using the BIR form no. 1700.
  • “Daang Maalog” – Yesterday, President Aquino rode the locally-developed monorail at UP Diliman for a test run. He described the ride as “bumpy” and the tracks “wavy”. And according to the resident trolls, er, readers (who leave their comments via Disqus) of the the Inquirer’s website, that ride perfectly describes this administration’s “Daang Matuwid”. Boom!
  • Beauty. And brains. – I failed to catch last Sunday’s Binibining Pilipinas Gold (because I was busy watching the Jose and Wally concert on the other channel). But do you know what’s more gold? Twitterverse. And the tweets, comments, and reactions on the pageant, the hosts, and the contestants. Twitterverse was so awesome the pageant itself became so boring. Anyway, congratulations to the winners and to the aspiring beauty queens who are planning to join next year’s pageant, please don’t forget to bring Mongol pencil no. 2.
  • Practice what you Preach. – Pope Francis told Priests to practice what they preach. This news item has a special place in my heart. It is not a secret here in my blog that I almost became a Priest. But I was too awesome, er, badass so they have to send me out of the Seminary. (How badass? Let’s just say that I wrote this controversial piece entitled “Of Sacerdos and Politicos: A Comparison Between Priests and Politicians”. Read on!)
  • Smart Communications is the number one corporate taxpayer. I guess Globe Telecom, as usual, is having a problem with their network at the BIR Office.

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It has been ages since I last wrote a decent blog entry. My work as a high school teacher – and the real world – drove me away from my love of writing and sharing my thoughts and a part of my crazy imagination here in my blog.

But I guess, I have had enough rest. It’s time to resurrect this blog and once again, share stories and opinion with the rest of the Tumblrverse and the interwebz. I hope I am still welcomed here in the blogging community.

Brace yourselves, it’s gonna be a fun ride.