THE TRUTH IS people nowadays ridicule anything Catholic. And there is no better testament to that than predominantly Catholic Filipinos—at the same time dubbed as among the “happiest” people in the globe—who make fun of almost everything in the most insensitive and irrational ways. In fact, it is our very own Filipino humor, which we have always been proud of for all the wrong reasons, that revealed so much of our hatred toward the Catholic Church, or, in a more general sense, organized religion—the very same religion that the majority think they have the right to “selectively” practice.

In the June 4 release of the popular comic strip Pugad Baboy in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, cartoonist Pol Medina, Jr. tackled what he and most people called “Christian hypocrisy.” One of the characters, who happens to be a lesbian, said, “Galit kayo sa mga gays and lesbians pero sa mga sagrado Katolikong all-girls iskul na pinapatakbo pa man din ng mga madre e kino-condone ang pagka-tibo ng mga estudyante.” A second character answered, “O’ nga ’no? Sa St. Scho e wala nang makikitang magandang kulasa na walang girlfriend.” The first answered back, “Di kaya tongril (street lingo for lesbian) din ’yung mga madre?”

Meanwhile, in his most recent concert, comedian Vice Ganda cracked successive “fat” jokes at GMA-7 big boss Jessica Soho—portraying the broadcast journalist as a rape victim in an obscene film requiring a “gang” for the crime to be executed.

The reader might be wondering what former stand up-comedian turned ABS-CBN superstar has got to do with the Filipinos’ disdain for anything Catholic-related. Strictly speaking, there is none. It is the obvious difference between the Filipino’s treatment and reception of the two related incidents (Medina and Vice Ganda) which shows the bias against religion.

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Both became trending topics on Twitter and the similarity ends there. Netizens were too quick to criticize the Inquirer, Pugad Baboy’s nest for 25 years, for suspending the comic strip even if Medina himself admitted his strip was “overstepping the threshold of good taste.” While Medina got overwhelming support from Twitter users, the online lynch mob bashed Vice Ganda for touching on a very sensitive topic such as rape in his cheap stunt.

Medina’s backers, who include self-proclaimed artists and so-called freedom of speech advocates, argue that the cartoonist merely was depicting reality. But that is totally beside the point. Whether or not homosexual relationships exist in exclusive schools is not an issue. I am very sure that even the administrators of all-boys and all-girls schools are not ignorant that such affairs are present in their environment. Medina crosses the line by singling out an institution—the Catholic and all-girls St. Scholastica—and going to the extent of accusing the nuns who run the school of “condoning” lesbianism. Medina’s backers were themselves overreacting when they criticized St. Scho for “overreacting” after the school warned the Inquirer it might file a lawsuit for being demeaned in the comic strip, which was expected and called for.

Vice Ganda was insensitive when he did not consider the feelings of thousands of rape victims and their families who may be undergoing trauma and seeking justice for years now. Ironically, in his very insincere public apology overflowing in “perhapses,” he said he had no intention of offending rape victims, when in fact he just did that. The Vice Ganda-Jessica Soho incident also perfectly mirrors the Filipinos’ judgmental characteristic and fault-finding nature—mocking someone’s physical appearance when you can’t say a thing about a person’s higher faculties. Perhaps it is true that jokes are half-meant.

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But much has already been said about the two cases. What is alarming in this comparison is the inconsistency that the Filipinos displayed in formulating their contradicting half-baked opinions on both equally insensitive issues. If one will analyze the June-4 Pugad Baboy edition more critically, the more unpopular side of Medina’s insensitivity, aside from citing St. Scholastica and accusing its administrators, is how he used the word “condone” against “pagka-tibo,” which gives the latter a negative connotation. The comic strip washes its hands off hypocrisy, when in fact, its disguised bias or slant against gays and lesbians makes it hypocritical. It may appear to the gullible that Pugad Baboy sides with homosexuality, but it is the exact opposite. Alas, the irony.

But why is it that Medina received more support and less bashing compared to Vice Ganda? It is simply because Pugad Baboy attacked religion, what Medina and his claque calls “Christian hypocrisy,” and a Catholic school. People–at least the online addicts who suffer from social anomie and a bloated ego, disdain anything or anyone that has something do with the Catholic Church, as if it is some kind of contagious disease.

This aloofness toward the Catholic Church, which is a form of pre-conceived bias, can be explained by the Filipinos’ penchant for anything unconventional and unorthodox, living up the misguided mentality that non-conformity with the teachings of the Church is equivalent to being critical thinkers.

7 COMMENTS

  1. “Medina’s backers, who include self-proclaimed artists and so-called freedom of speech advocates, argue that the cartoonist merely was depicting reality. But that is totally beside the point. Whether or not homosexual relationships exist in exclusive schools is not an issue.”

    Exclusive *Catholic* Schools. It is an issue. And for an institution which is sternly against homosexual relationships, to be merely offended by the strip without reflecting about the reality it depicts is pointless. It is tantamount to being offended when someone points out one’s bad breath when it does indeed stink.

    What is hypocrisy other than claiming to feel strongly about something and refusing to act on it?

  2. “If one will analyze the June-4 Pugad Baboy edition more critically, the more unpopular side of Medina’s insensitivity, aside from citing St. Scholastica and accusing its administrators, is how he used the word “condone” against “pagka-tibo,” which gives the latter a negative connotation. The comic strip washes its hands off hypocrisy, when in fact, its disguised bias or slant against gays and lesbians makes it hypocritical. It may appear to the gullible that Pugad Baboy sides with homosexuality, but it is the exact opposite. Alas, the irony.”

    In saying na kino-condone ‘yung pagka-tibo, it is clearly suggested that Sir Pol (he would correct me if I am wrong) is seeing “pagka-tibo” from the lens of the Catholic. The Catholic would say that “pagka-tibo” is wrong. And tolerating it, especially for an institution which claims to teach Catholic values, would be in fact condoning it. The issue the strip was tackling was not whether homosexuality was wrong, but religious hypocrisy in general.

    When Christ and our priests and pastors shoot down our hypocrisy, the proper attitude is to reflect and repent. Why should it be different when our neighbor does it?

    I do not think it is wrong to take humor seriously. We should think about our nonsense from time to time. The moment we take for granted what we mean in the things we say just because they sound funny, we take for granted the value of language, the value of reflection, and the value of people.

    But to merely be offended without reflection is futile. We must think about why we take offense in certain statements. We do not get offended by gibberish, but by lies and by truth. If the statement was not the former, it is the latter. And to shun the truth because it offends is preferring the lie. To shun it is to shun freedom. To shun it is to shun Christ. For He is Truth.

  3. THE TRUTH IS THAT you don’t know what you’re talking about. You based your judgment on the presumption that the FILIPINO people are biased because they are stupid. They ridicule anything Catholic yada yada because it’s popular yada yada without realizing that YOU ARE JUST SAYING THE OPPOSITE TOO. You ridicule anything anti-Catholic because you’re actually biased to it because you are stupid.

    And you go on giving 2 examples that come from entirely different contexts. Are you actually serious?

    You really built your argument on the literal use of the word “condone” in Medina’s strip w/o giving thought to it’s context. INSIDE the school, dude. Nuns are condoning lesbian girls INSIDE. Which is not supposed to happen, if these nuns are actually doing their holy jobs. If you people think lesbians and gays are going to hell, then why allow it INSIDE YOUR PREMISES and lead them towards it? That’s where HYPOCRISY comes in. Duh.

    2. The VICE GANDA issue. Seriously? RAPE is not something you make fun of, no matter what religion, culture, or ideology you come from. Where in Poseidon’s name is the connection between Medina’s LGBT rights strip & VG’s insensitive rape joke?

    I don’t get you, man. What is wrong with your bigoted brain?

  4. As long as established Catholic institutions continue being hypocrites, we will never run out of comedic material.

  5. If you question the people’s view of hypocrisy, check your ranks at the Varsitarian. It is so statistically improbable that all of you, from your recent alumni to the current board, are anti-RH Bill. You’re simply destroying the statistics and probability of human behavior. Not a single soul at Varsi agrees with RH Bill. Jeez. Why? Your paper is a reflection of the current state of the Philippine legislation, always beholden to its master, the President as in your case the administration. Poor you, you hide behind rhetoric without being able to critically think, pretend to critically think and wave your stupid titles.

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