Paredes Not Giving Up On The Philippines

Leaving the Philippines can be a heartrending experience. Giving up on one's country is a hundredfold more painful.

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And you know what's more excruciating? When someone claims that you've given up on your country when in fact you haven't.

Gerry Lirio wrote Finally, Apo's Jim Paredes Gives Up On RP (although he didn't write the actual title or headline).

Jim Paredes reacts with Pick up feathers, you jerk, while his daughter Ala posts This is immature but I don't care.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer later posts Jim Paredes hasn't 'given up', which is an e-mail from Jim Paredes. His last sentence on that page is: "OK, Inquirer, you can headline that Jim Paredes has given up on the Philippines -- just as Bush claimed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!"

Did Bush claim there were WMDs in Iraq? In Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War, Washington Post Staff Writer Joby Warrick writes:

On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."

But I digress.

Leaving one's country does not automatically mean you've given up on the Philippines. You may have given up on the economic or political situation, but not on the country. Immigrating and sharing (via interviews) your admiration of Australia's beautiful sunsets and honest people, and indirectly talking about the shortcomings of the Philippines while you're outside the country doesn't automatically mean you've given up on the Philippines.

It just means you're a Filipino who left the Philippines and continues to say (albeit indirectly) certain things about the country you flew away from. Yes, freedom of speech.

Sure, go ahead and speak in glowing terms of your new country of residence. Excitedly desire to travel and explore Australia. Besides, people who know the truth realize you haven't finally given up on the Philippines.

In the end, a headline like Jim Paredes Finally Gives Up On Philippine Economy/Government doesn't sound that exciting now, does it?

(That's one advantage of having a blog. When newspapers say something about you, you can easily post your side. I wonder if Isagani Cruz, like Manuel L. Quezon III, has a blog...)

Update: The Philippine Daily Inquirer apologizes to Jim Paredes, where you will find towards the end of the statement that Jim Paredes has not given up on the Philippines. The implied accurate and fair statement is that Jim Paredes has "given up hope that the Philippines will improve."

In Jim Paredes' Writing on Air Augusut 24, 2006 entry entitled "Centering and Letting Go" (I wish there were a direct link to the entry), he writes: "The Inquirer episode is over. They have apologized and I am content with that."

[Message from Manuel] To all my friends, relatives and high profile Pinoys who have left the Philippines, you know that I don't judge you nor your reasons for leaving. Diskarte ninyo iyon.

Although I wish some of you wouldn't be so vocal (while you're far away) about the obvious shortcomings of our country, I hope you will exercise additional care when granting interviews to widely circulated newspapers such as PDI.

Especially when many of our youth living here in the Philippines look up to you and have easy access to your words.

Afterall, how can you help them by pointing out and rubbing in what they have already known for so long? If you would like to point out the blindingly obvious (again, while you're so far away), it would be great if you would also come up with concrete solutions to help our country.
[ First posted on 08/22/2006 by Manuel Viloria ]

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