By Alex P. Vidal
“No great movement designed to change the world can bear to be laughed at or belittled. Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches.”— Milan Kundera
OUTRAGED that the P680-million Iloilo flyover project in Ungka, Pavia has remained closed to traffic and motorists five months since it was opened and immediately closed due to some structural defects, many creative Ilonggos have lampooned the project in the social media using the magic of computer photoshops.
If we want to say something, try to correct a wrong, or air displeasure against certain things in a free society, we normally resort to parody or poke fun at them to bring home the message.
This is the beauty of democracy. People are free to criticize and satirize even the establishment without being handcuffed and arrested.
Sometimes the price of justice is to lampoon the mighty and powerful who misbehave and cheat the taxpayers.
In the age of the social media, the spoof and mockery have shifted to higher gear and are more lethal and effective.
The ability to connect and share the content with anyone around the world simultaneously is simply astonishing.
At least the Ilonggos are not anymore ordinary kibitzers in this scandalous subject matter that really requires the involvement and participation of every citizen who cares about the people’s welfare and well-being.
They now have the voice—and it is even louder with a powerful impact to influence and educate the public.
We spotted at least six versions of the disgraced flyover in different backgrounds made from photoshop apps that use smart AI algorithms scattering and going viral in the social media.
There was this photo where people are seen walking through the flyover toward a lighted sky that looked like “heaven.” Another photo showed people walking through the same flyover toward a waiting aircraft carrier ship; and another photo showing people walking through the same flyover and approaching a murky place that looked like a “purgatory” or even “hell”, and so and so forth.
As more people express disgust over the deplorable state of the flyover project, some netizens have their own unique way of portraying it through sarcasm, thus we can expect more hilarious photoshopped versions of the Iloilo flyover project to mushroom in the social media probably until the issue has been resolved—if there is an iota of chance that it can still be resolved.
The last time I wrote about the horrific earthquake in Turkey and Syria there were only more than 4,000 dead.
The graphic images of children trapped in the rubbles disturbed my senses a lot. It’s impossible not to shed tears.
Now, as anger grew the death toll has passed more than 20,000 in Turkey and Syria as a result of the powerful earthquake, we continue to mourn the dead children and elderly.
With their homes destroyed, thousands spent a freezing in the night amid the debris in the streets of Adiyaman, huddled around small fires and with little shelter. Electricity and water were nonexistent in the southern city, it was reported.
Fearful of another earthquake, some chose to stay out in the open, avoiding buildings that appeared intact, and to brave the subzero temperatures.
Some grieved silently, reports said, while others shouted their despair as the quakes continued to claim more victims. One man reportedly burst into an aid organization center and demanded loudly that officials rescue his family.
These are the scenes that really break my heart even if I have already seen so many similar tragedies in the past as a print journalist.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)