February 2014
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"...though media are very entertaining and informative, our role is to become critical thinkers."

When I heard about the news of a mysterious flesh-eating skin disease having an outbreak in Villasis and Sta Barbara towns in Pangasinan, I was not surprised. I personally think that news like this may appear anytime. Being linked to a prophecy, some (not all) of the Filipinos went wild.
 

[VILLASIS] A town said to be one of the locations of the disease


This country, being run by [some] people who never experienced to become poor (and probably never tried nor attempted traveling to the poor communities of the remote areas), the root of poverty would be very hard to determine (for them, the rich). In such case, finding the solution for poverty would be very hard. This scenario might lead to poor delivery of social services, education and health care. Now I want to relate the latter to this gone-viral news.

 THE NEWS

Bandila, a late-night news program in ABS-CBN reported that a skin disease they call as mysterious is spreading in Pangasinan. The news made the netizens hysterical. Fear and worry flooded my Facebook and Twitter timeline for that news.

A prophet, who has predicted a strong typhoon (Yolanda) in Samar and Leyte to happen, was linked to this news. The latter also mentioned this flesh-eating disease to happen in Pangasinan. This prediction became the cause of hysteria.

OF FEAR, HYPOCRISY AND BEING RELIGIOUS

I laughed the idea of some people that they should start praying to God now, or magbagong buhay (have a new better life) upon learning this news. Why??? Why people only learn to pray and have a new life when there are news like this? Some people seek God because of fear. Fear is the motivation to their 'going back' to God and not because they really love God. A bunch of hyps!

Hypocrite people pop out during fearful conditions like this. They become religious. They talk about God. They want to go back to God. But when they all have the happiness and wealth in the world, they forget God. They only remember the Lord when they are covered by fear. So what's the use of returning to God? Coping mechanism for fear? For the foregoing, I am only referring to coward hypocrite people. I know there are people there who seek God for better or for worse, sincerely.

The idea I just want to point out is, we must love God because we really love Him - in every moment of our life, and not because we need Him or we feel fear and we want Divine security.

OF POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

When the news came out, the victims of this skin disease dragged the attention of the public. Public officials of Pangasinan visited the victim to offer help. This scenario does not only happen in Pangasinan - it happens in the Philippines in general.

Thanks to the news. Whether it's malicious, factual, fictitious, excellent, irresponsible or whatever you want to call it, I still consider it as an eye-opener. It has shown [the news] to the public how poor is the delivery of health services to poor Filipinos who have serious illness like this. The poor are suffering while few people are enjoying the wealth of the Land that is supposed to be allocated for public services. I should have not been emphasizing the poor condition of the Filipinos because there are also wealthy Filipinos. But since we always hear news of corruption of public officials everyday, I want to mention poverty as the result of corruption.

Ok, let's say the news is tantamount to irresponsible journalism. But what if this news did not come out? Shall these poor people get the attention of our public officials that quick? Or will just die in suffering and poverty? In that case, such mistake somehow opened the eyes of many Filipinos about the alarming condition of poor Pinoys.

OF IGNORANCE

So people are blaming the media.  Some people have never grown up. Of course the mainstream media is a 'commercial media.' In the first place, these mainstream media are there for profit. This is business. Sometimes they control you. They show you unhealthy food and branded drugs so that you will buy them -- and most of the time you believe them.

What I am telling is, though media are very entertaining and informative, our role is to become critical thinkers.  As long as there is profit, the mass media will be there and it will depend on you if you're going to watch them or not. If you want to watch them, be wise, think critical. Don't put the drama as if it happened in your life just because you were carried away by the emotion and excellent cinematography. Below is a comment from a facebook netizen.

[SCREENSHOT] A facebook netizen's opinion.


So what now? The video showed a pitiful picture of common Filipinos. They slowly die in pain, in disease, in poverty and these two featured victims represent the many more Filipinos dying of poverty and poor health care while some politicians allegedly enjoy the luxury of stolen wealth from the public fund. HEY PUBLIC OFFICIAL? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN HOW PITIFUL THESE PEOPLE ARE? #NGANGA!!!

And if ever this is a true mysterious flesh-eating disease and you decided to release fund to control it, it's too late!!! You only act now? Now that you're afraid that this disease will soon penetrate your exclusive village? /end

Disclaimer: These are just my opinions. You can rebut it. At the end of the day, we can not please everyone because the principle of Pedro might be different from the principle of Juan. My personality in writing this is of being a travel blogger. Pangasinan is a very beautiful province close to my heart. Having seen the poor communities of the remote villages, I decided to touch this Pangasinan news as an illustration to the real situation of the poor Filipinos as a whole.

PANGASINAN #TownExploration Series

Map showing the Location of Pangasinan

NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.

Some cool netizens liked and shared this.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"So the sun didn't shine that morning. However, I was able to understand the other side of the story."

I am a person who values first time experiences. The latter serves as the highlight of every adventure, planned or not. First time encounters and experiences kill innocence, put end to virginity of something and once done, it can't be undone. The foregoing might change our perspectives in life, substantially or accessory to shaping the future.

[TINGLAYAN] Man, so you want to disappear in the fog...


Sunrise has a lot of meaning in the world. Some culture treat it as sacred. Some call it as their god. I treat it as a key to opportunities, whatever would that be.

Just as I woke up inside a strange home built on a foundation of a resilient culture, I experienced the shiver brought by the low temperature, up high the mountains of the exotic province of KALINGA.

Outside my local host's home is a blurring reality. For a lowlander like me who sees the sunrise and the sunset everyday of my life, what I am witnessing is a vague unusual landscape.

[TINGLAYAN] This is usual for them, it's a sci-fi movie scene for me

[TINGLAYAN] It's the fog, not the roof


My first attempt to embrace the sunrise in Kalinga was a clear failure. I would love seeing the rice terraces with the dramatic effect of the sunrise, nay, the imposing cultural landscape struck by the soft rays of the early sun.

[TINGLAYAN] Mount Canaan kissing the fog

[TINGLAYAN] Rooftop legend - Green: school / Other colors: local houses


I still kept the hope of witnessing the sunrise but the thick fog veiled the sun and hindered its rays.

Children of the village started the day playing - and it shows that this thing is normal for them. For me, this is an unusual scenario

It made me love the mountains more. As they say, behind the clouds, the sun is still shining. Like what happened today, the nature showed me the other side of the destination; beautiful side of the destination.

[TINGLAYAN] Looks like winter, although this day was summer

[TINGLAYAN] Buscalan kids playing on an early morning

[TINGLAYAN] Vegetation, at least

[TINGLAYAN] Buscalan is heaven, this stairway is a connection to earth

[TINGLAYAN] Would love to play hide and seek - in the fog


So the sun didn't shine that morning. However, I was able to understand the other side of the story. I realized, that foggy, gloomy morning was magic. And you know what, I got lost in the fog. It felt good.

It was my first time to wake up on a mountaintop covered by fog and that first time experience was one of the highlights of my stay in Buscalan. I have a shallow happiness right? I tell it again, I am a person who values first time experiences. /to be continued...

*BUSCALAN SOLO INVASION SUB-SERIES | 1

[TINGLAYAN] The Day I Hiked Solo to Buscalan, Kalinga - Part 1/2

TEASER: "I am soliloquizing under the scorching strike of the sun that is adding more agony to my weary self. I hope I am not yet lost. But if ever I'm lost, at least I'm lost in a paradise."
| 2

[TINGLAYAN] The Day I Hiked Solo to Buscalan, Kalinga - Part 2/2


TEASER: "So I thought the hike is over, but as I took a turn on that road, I saw the other side of the mountain and it doesn't look like I am getting any closer. It goes farther, and farther..."
| 3

[TINGLAYAN] Fang-Od (Whang-Od): The Last Tribal Tattoo Artist of Kalinga


TEASER: "She is unwittingly ending a tradition she is not supposed to end. She's ending the tradition not by her choice but by the call of our ever changing society."
| 4

[TINGLAYAN] 17 Great Memories + First Time Encounters in Buscalan, Kalinga

TEASER: "Buscalan rose to fame because of Fang-od. But Buscalan is more than Fang-od. It is more than the tribal tattoo."
| 5

[TINGLAYAN] Chewed, Swallowed Frogs in Buscalan, Kalinga

TEASER: "We talked with joy behind the darkness. That dinner unleashed the real us. The candlelight was a silent witness of our fears, happiness and life's perspectives."
| 6 | 7

[TINGLAYAN] Buscalan Rice Terraces Kissed the Clouds

TEASER: "This is my story about the Buscalan Rice Terraces. At first there is a foreplay with the clouds but it always ends up with a satisfactory finish."
| 8

[TINGLAYAN] Blacksmith Kingdom of Kalinga: Turning Stones into Fire

TEASER: "If there is no concept of poverty, there shall be no poverty. But poverty has been introduced by greedy kingdoms while the little kingdom dwellers of the mountains recognized it's presence."

Tinglayan #TownExploration Series

Map showing the Location of #Tinglayan

Click map to view latest articles covering Kalinga


MORE POSTS FROM THIS CATEGORY: *EXPERIENCES*

[TINGLAYAN] The Day I Hiked Solo to Buscalan, Kalinga - Part 2/2

TEASER: "So I thought the hike is over, but as I took a turn on that road, I saw the other side of the mountain and it doesn't look like I am getting any closer. It goes farther, and farther..."

[TINGLAYAN] The Day I Hiked Solo to Buscalan, Kalinga - Part 1/2

TEASER: "I am soliloquizing under the scorching strike of the sun that is adding more agony to my weary self. I hope I am not yet lost. But if ever I'm lost, at least I'm lost in a paradise."

[CORDILLERA] Bontoc-Tabuk Road: Mt. Province-Kalinga Border Crossing

TEASER: "My blunt brain due to being deprived of sleep was instantly reset to sight-seeing mode after it hibernated for a while when I started seeing this wonderful view that temporarily locked my jaw."

[LICUAN-BAAY] Challengingly Sweet Journey to Licuan-Baay, Abra

TEASER: "No complaints. I am loving it not that I want to do it so that I have something to write but because it activates my brain cells to think, analyze and think again."

[LICUAN-BAAY] An Introduction to the Town-of-Gold

TEASER: "The scope of Licuan-Baay is extensive and expansive. You need to get a guide beforehand who is familiar enough of the town. Reaching the barangays and communities of the Tingguian (Itneg) people is tricky"

[ILOCOS] My First Habal-Habal Ride... in Search for the House of the gods

TEASER: "The ride was full of adventure. I spotted a lot of waterfalls, hanging bridges, and the endless charm of the towering mountains with the Amburayan River flowing in between them."

[SABLAN] Benguet | Surviving the Threats of Thick Fog

TEASER: "A look at the driver's area and seeing the road ahead, I can not see the road and everything has just turned to white! This gave me fear."

[SAN MANUEL] Pangasinan | The Backride Tour

TEASER: "How I love the experience of getting familiar to a place while riding at the back of a pick-up. I was able to see the left and the right side of the road and smile at the driver of the vehicle coming next to us."
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.