27 Nov2007

mab1

One of my readers once aptly described Marketman as a “jerk magnet.” I think this was a reaction to one of my outrageous service rants, and frankly, I absolutely ADORE the moniker. In fact, I am thinking of having a t-shirt custom made with the saying, then wearing it in public frequently, as if taunting more jerks to be attracted to my space. Ever since I moved back to Manila, and occasionally when I lived in various Asian cities prior to that, I always felt indignant when something unfair or totally unacceptable from a service standpoint occurred. And more often than not, I let management of the offending company know about it, partially to let them know I wasn’t happy with the situation, partially to provide feedback to help them improve their services and partially just because I felt that if no one spoke up, the same thing would keep on happening again and again. I have also spoken up when the issue of intellectual property rights or plagiarism or lack of attribution crops up; for example, when someone “stole” my photo of yemas (here and here) and it was published in the Inquirer newspaper a couple of years ago, when I alerted Sassy Lawyer over at Pinoy Cook that a recipe of hers seemed to have been plagiarized in a Manila Bulletin article, and recently, when I pointed out some potential plagiarism issues in a Reggie Aspiras article in the Inquirer (here, here, here and here!)…

mab2

So you can imagine the speed at which my neck hairs bolted upright while sitting in the business class section of a PAL flight to Cebu (free ticket, on points), and I opened this Mabuhay Magazine and turned to a page with a little blurb on budbud kabog. It’s bad enough I had a minor brouhaha over budbud kabog before (read here and here)… So what is the “problem” this time around? Several months ago, a Ms. Ira Inquimboy of the Mabuhay Magazine (Eastgate Publishing) asked me to write a short piece (80 words or so) on budbud kabog. I agreed to do it because I felt more people should try this great native delicacy AND if it featured Manang Lima, a gracious older lady who is one of the few remaining artisanal makers of budbud kabog in Mandaue, Cebu, who still sells her goods road side, THAT would be a good thing. I wrote a draft article, sent it to Ms. Inquimboy, with several of my own photos of budbud kabog… I revised the short blurb a couple of times at their request. Ms. Inquimboy emailed to ask me how to attribute the article and I gave my real name for record purposes, but asked that the blurb be credited to Marketman or www.marketmanila.com. Simple, right?

So the good news is that the blurb came out in the magazine. It is essentially what I wrote, with a few edits. It DOES BRING POSITIVE ATTENTION to a slowly disappearing delicacy, and to a wonderful woman who deserves the spotlight. Manang Lima reports she has gotten phone orders for SEVERAL THOUSAND pieces of budbud kabog since the magazine was published and placed on PAL planes on November 1, 2007. I called Manang Lima to let her know that I took a copy from my plane to give to her and when she visited my office in Cebu, bearing the most FABULOUS biko slathered with latik, she had NO CLUE that the article had come out. She was completely stunned to see her name in print and this now explained the sudden surge in her orders from unknown lovers of native delicacies. A non-jerk magnet would end the story there… :)

But the JERK MAGNET in me would like to point out one little important detail that was left out. The magazine, and presumably Ms. Inquimboy as the responsible party, or her editor(s), somehow FORGOT to provide a SOURCE for their article. Ms. Inquimboy didn’t even know what kabog WAS, nor that it was called millet in English nor that it grew wild in the foothills of Northern Cebu BEFORE she emailed me months ago. I would like to think that they were just CARELESS and FORGOT to mention that the writeup was provided by Marketman and/or marketmanila.com. They likewise forgot to mention that the photo which they used seen up above, is a photo that I took and own. They forgot to get back to me by email to confirm what they were going to pay for the write-up if they used it, though they confirmed PHP1,250 per photo used, and oddly, despite the magazine having been in their planes for a month, I think they even FORGOT to pay me for the article. Actually, I wouldn’t have insisted on payment if they just ATTRIBUTED it properly to the website, but now I think I should INSIST on payment and an ERRATUM (which is useless when it comes out months later), and promptly donate the proceeds to my public school feeding program as soon as I get the measly sum of say PHP3,000 or so.

mab3

Am I being unnecessarily touchy? I don’t think so. Why? Because almost every single other blurb in the magazine DOES HAVE ATTRIBUTION or at least the relevant website address of the underlying subject. Resorts, hotels and restaurants featured have their email addresses, and in some cases credits their author. In other cases, including the photo RIGHT NEXT to my budbud photos, the credit is given to the one who took the photo, right there in print. So, were they just being careless? Hmmm. And there is one last dig from Marketman. In a recent post I did on why I didn’t typically write for newspapers and magazines, one of my readers, a professional food writer, Margaux Salcedo, took strong exception to my comments that many food writers must be writing for other reasons than just professional ones, I wrote, in part, and I quote:

3. … In other words, there is no way that many good writers would VOLUNTARILY AGREE TO WRITE A REGULAR WEEKLY COLUMN FOR A NATIONAL NEWSPAPER under those conditions (poor compensation in exchange for loss of ownership over article) unless:

– they get something else out of it… like referrals for business, or it attracts customers to a business they have on the side
– it gives them professional credibility that results in other work or income from another source
– it gets them freebies of some sort; such as travel for lifestyle writers, hotel stays, free meals, free giveaways, etc.
– or they simply want to pump up their egos and bask in the glow of some form of recognition or fame.

Now, I DO AGREE THAT THERE MIGHT BE A FEW EXCEPTIONS to these negative suggestions, and SOME GOOD FOOD COLUMNISTS who do write for the sake of writing and some HAVE MANAGED to negotiate copyright retention, but these are few and far between, and it is usually someone who writes about a more obscure passion and who is truly dedicated to a cause that could benefit from the resulting publicity.

So why do I raise this issue again? Because it just so happens that the blurb directly below mine in the Mabuhay magazine is one by a professional food writer, Margaux Salcedo (yes, she gets proper attribution), is about Nana Meng’s, her own family’s brilliant chocolate business, and I am guessing, she didn’t write the blurb for free as she stated that she wouldn’t do that for another magazine. Hmmm, maybe you do have to say you are a professional food writer to get some “respect” in local publications.

So Ms. Inquimboy, and your editor, Mr. Simeon S. Ventura, Jr., over at Eastgate Publishing, would you care to explain the lack of attribution for the write-up and photo of Marketman??? And in case you conveniently lost our email communications of several months back, here is my Mabuhay Miles Premier Elite Card Number 301 906 813. You can find my name and contact details on file. And yes, I do fly your airline a good 40-50+ times a year or so… And my immediate family and staff chalk up 200+ flights a year in total. A factoid that might only be interesting to you, particularly after this fiasco with Cebu Pacific more than a year ago (here, here and here). P.S. The phrase “jerk magnet” as used in this post refers to attracting ridiculous situations such as the one described above. Oh, and Margaux, I still do read and enjoy your food articles… :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. ratacutie says:

    If they don’t take note of your complaint MM, you can always sue them for copyright infringement. Our country should really be more serious about intellectual property rights. Having been an IP lawyer in my previous life, I just believe that stealing other people’s intellectual property is a lot more serious than theft and robbery. It’s akin to rape, it’s a crime against the person. Utterly deplorable. PAL and Eastgate Publishing should be ashamed of themselves. Shame shame shame on you!!!!

    Nov 27, 2007 | 9:29 am

     
  2. Lei says:

    MM, we will be flying PAL this Christmas holidays and do you think that this issue will still be carried onboard? i hope that I can read up on Manang Lima’s article. and i really do hope that by that time, proper acknowledgement to you as the source of this article will be reflected. it is really sad how these kind of things happen and i wish that the publishing staff do corrective actions as promptly as they can.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 9:30 am

     
  3. danny says:

    Hi MM,

    2 things:

    First of all, I agree with you on the complete lack of understanding by Eastgate Publishing of how the publishing business works, the need to comply with copyright laws, and to acknowledge (and compensate) the work of writers & photographers.

    Secondly, I trust that these “incidents” do not discourage you to stop doing what you set out to do. Your website alone, provides a “link” to make all of us (especially those outside the PH) appreciate the culinary diversity of the Philippines.

    Regards

    Nov 27, 2007 | 9:56 am

     
  4. kiko says:

    hahaha mm maybe its the pinoy culture at play here. a lot of pinoys would ignore lapses in judgment etc to avoid a confrontation. i am one of these people. i agree that this perpetuates ineptitude but i don’t have the energy to file a complaint to management whenever i am at the receiving end of poor customer service etc. i mean the hassle of going through that! i just forget about it and move on but thumbs up to you for standing up for your rights!

    Nov 27, 2007 | 10:02 am

     
  5. noemi says:

    tsk. I would hope they were just careless and didn’t do it intentionally. I am interested to know their explanation and how they can rectify the omission.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 10:10 am

     
  6. Erlinda says:

    I hope you will continue to pursue this matter, MM, until you receive proper acknowledgement. How careless and unprofessional can one be! “Kanya kakaunti ang ating asenso sa Pilipinas”. A simple attribution and they forgot? “Masyado naman bobo” – the person who is responsible for this fiasco. Do insist on your payment. The money will feed a lot of hungry kids. In fact, they should pay you double just for the aggravation. Do let us know what happens. If there’s no timely response from the magazine editor, maybe your readers will send appropriate
    emails to the magazine. How about publishing the magazine’s email address?

    Nov 27, 2007 | 10:11 am

     
  7. Cwid says:

    MM, while reading your post, I could feel my own anger rising. Plagiarism is a big deal, or any form of theft for that matter. No less than a public apology must be made. And if not rectified, there should be serious consequences, like a big lawsuit, perhaps.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 10:11 am

     
  8. pusa says:

    ang sama naman nila!!!
    i dont wanna go on further kc ayaw ko magmura ng t@n%*(a

    Nov 27, 2007 | 10:21 am

     
  9. Fabian M says:

    Probably nothing malicious on the part of the magazine. Just sloppiness and/or poor habits. These get corrected with a little positive (or in this case negative!) reinforcement.

    A feature writer / photographer friend of mind told me that payment for articles in magazines can take up to after 3 months of publication of said article. Outrageous.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 10:50 am

     
  10. Joyce says:

    MM, plagiarism is not acceptable in any form. I myself give credit to photos and articles used on my personal blog. More so for articles from companies such as PAL, Inquirer, etc.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 11:01 am

     
  11. Cwid says:

    Just a postscript. In universities, plagiarism is treated as a very serious matter that if a student fails to cite a source, even if it is just due to sloppiness or even ignorance, the student immediately gets a failing mark in the course. For a writer who writes for a living, such sloppiness and stupidity is just as unforgivable.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 11:02 am

     
  12. Duday says:

    This is a serious matter MM. They should explain their part.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 11:07 am

     
  13. Mila says:

    Have PAL donate a ginormous amount for the feeding program in Cebu! Or have them pay Manang Lima enough to give each child in the Cebu public school a free budbud kabog per week for a year.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 11:43 am

     
  14. mardie c",) says:

    give credit where credit is due, right MM?

    Nov 27, 2007 | 11:57 am

     
  15. Marketman says:

    Mila, hahaha…actually, I ordered 100 budbud kabogs for the first day of the feeding program in Cebu on Dec. 3… as an extra dessert. I have also invited a children’s choir to sing christmas carols during the first feeding. The children’s choir was trying to raise money for another purpose so I figured I would help them out but hit two birds with one stone. No money from readers donations go to the budbud or the choir…just to be clear. :) Cwid, Joyce, Duday, pusa, Erlinda, noemi, etc. I do think it was just a sloppy oversight…but let’s see what they say…I emailed Ms. Inquimboy, her Editor-in-Chief and the President of PAL. Fabian, yup, I think it was just sloppiness, nothing malicious intended. But certainly unprofessional. Kiko, I agree most of us don’t like confrontation but constructive criticism should never be misconstrued for “confrontation.” If we do that as a national pastime, it will be our national loss, I think. Danny, these situations only strengthen my view that I should stay totally independent and just keep plodding along with the inanities I write about on this personal blog… Lei, I suspect the November issue will be gone from the PAL plane cabins by the first of December, but if you read my archive post on budbud kabog and Manang Lima, you will get a LOT more information than in the short blurb in the Mabuhay magazine. ratacutie, if I sued everyone in situations like this, I would permanently be in court…hahaha. It should come as no surprise to everyone that my dad and lolo were lawyers and they had their own law firm… so I think the indignation is in the blood… :)

    Nov 27, 2007 | 12:00 pm

     
  16. elaine says:

    You do take good pictures but the only thing I see to avoid such photonaps is to label your pictures. Anyway, have PAL donate to your feeding program for compensation and damages..

    Nov 27, 2007 | 12:16 pm

     
  17. Marketman says:

    elaine, I find the labeling, mars the photo, and can be easily altered y a would-be photonapper. But in this case, Mabuhay requested the article and I sent them the photos willingly, I only asked that they attribute them to source… as they did with other photos and articles in the same section of the magazine…

    Nov 27, 2007 | 12:22 pm

     
  18. bagito says:

    “Jerk magnet”–so funny! But really, this is totally unacceptable. I hope this was truly an oversight. I’d hate to think Ms. Inquimboy and company are that stupid. Anyway, please keep us posted, MM, as I’m sure you will. Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 12:38 pm

     
  19. lee says:

    I miss budbud kabog. I’m in the wrong side of Negros Island.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 1:07 pm

     
  20. millet says:

    MM, i totally agree with every word you wrote. first up, manang lima deserves all the publicity she can get, as much as she deserves her own budbud kabog empire by now. any future posts on that biko with latik (am salivating just thinking about it!)?

    next, i think it’s about time somebody called everybody else’s attention to this utter lack of basic courtesy and respect – and I’m not even talking about paying for services rendered. technology makes it so simple to “grab” pictures and articles on the ‘net, but how difficult is it to write an acknowledgment at the end of the article, or beside the picture? how difficult is it to attribute some help to somebody who did help?

    in this mabuhay magazine case, as far as i’m concerned, all of ms. inquimboy’s honorarium for writing that article should go to you or your charities of choice.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 1:16 pm

     
  21. Marketman says:

    millet, sorry, I didn’t have my camera with the biko arrived, and it was INHALED by me and the office crew. It was stunningly good. lee, you gotta learn how to make this stuff, it isn’t so hard once you get the hang of it! bagito, follow-up post coming within an hour…

    Nov 27, 2007 | 1:44 pm

     
  22. Carl says:

    Eastgate Publishing, Inc. is located at the 7th floor of the Prestige Tower Condominium in F.Ortigas Ave. (Emerald). Sugurin na natin! I’ll also inform my former boss because the editor is a friend of his. Di na tama to!

    Nov 27, 2007 | 2:03 pm

     
  23. Marketman says:

    Carl, thanks for that. But Ms. Inquimboy has responded with lightning speed, read her explanation in the next post. Thanks for the support, however. :)

    Nov 27, 2007 | 2:25 pm

     
  24. Inday Hami says:

    MM,
    thank you for carrying our cause. Many of these publishers really take advantage of other people’s hardwork, creativity and intellect.
    At iloveiloilo.com, there are many original articles on Iloilo food and culture, by young Ilonggo students and me, its admin, who really do their proper research and fieldwork. I expect that anytime in the future, opportunists will also “steal” information. My only hope is that with the decision to put upload these bits and pieces on Iloilo culture to the net so more people can read the articles, plagiarism will somehow be spotted right away.

    I do enjoy your blog MM. Corny as it may sound but your site encouraged me to persevere with my own project.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 4:37 pm

     
  25. TOPING says:

    How totally irresponsible for the editors of Mabuhay Magazine not to attribute an article to its source. It’s not like they’re a daily or weekly affair. If it had happened to me, I wouldn’t have raised a stink, but I’m sure glad you did, MM. Sock it to ’em!

    BTW, I was the one who commented on your being a “jerk magnet.” You still are, I see, hehe…

    Nov 27, 2007 | 4:51 pm

     
  26. arch len says:

    used to a write for a mag too. does get bloody with some editors…by the way, how do i get in touch with manang lima? thanks!

    Nov 27, 2007 | 5:16 pm

     
  27. Marketman says:

    arch len, MANANG LIMA BUDBUD KABOG, call 032-345-2590 or 032 348 7298 and if those don’t work, send me an email, I think the office in Cebu has her cell number or her kids’ cell numbers. She sells the budbud for PHP500-800 per hundred, depending on size requested…a huge bargain to the prices in Manila at say PHP25-30 EACH! Toping, thanks, I thought it might be you but I wasn’t sure… Inday Hami, it’s best to put the information out there, for the benefit of 99% of the readers who appreciate it, but when stuff gets lifted, it IS ANNOYING.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 5:24 pm

     
  28. Jude Bautista says:

    Dear Market Man,

    First of all, I congratulate you in helping Manang Lima on her delicious Budbod. And I for one realize the help that publications/publicity can provide a small entrepreneur such as her.

    I know because I have been a freelance travel writer and photographer for more than 10 years. And I have contributed articles and photos to nearly all of the publications you’ve mentioned, EASTGATE, Phil. Daily Inquirer and Manila Bulletin.

    I can also understand and sympathize with your problem of not being credited with your contributed photo and article. But as someone who constantly deals with editors and columnists, I can personally assure you that errors like these happen not with malicious intent, especially in Eastgate’s case.

    For Eastgate, I have been contributing materials to them for almost a decade. And they immediately correct whatever errors they commit in terms of photo/writing credit and payment.
    If you deal with the publishing profession regularly this is something that you have to live with.

    I even had a more difficult experience of working for an establishment that didn’t give me photo credit for 10 issues. This was even when it was specified in my job interview that I would be given photo credit. Eventually, they were able to give me photo credit. I could argue that they had malicious intent THEN since I called it to their attention almost every time they failed to give me photo credit.

    In my personal knowledge of Eastgate and dealing with Ira
    Inquimboy, there was no malicious intent to exclude your acknowledgment or that of your website. From what I understand
    she already apologized to you and is more than willing to publish an erratum in their next issue. That is why reading how you’ve lambasted her personally and the publication/s is really not in good taste.

    I also take exception to the fact that you made a blanket comment that columnists who write in newspapers have hidden agendas apart from their desire to write and inform. I have met a number of columnists who are dedicated to their profession. That’s why I find your comments on columnists very insulting not just to them but also to myself.

    Maybe if you had any REAL WORLD experience as a journalist you wouldn’t be so hasty in judging them.

    THIS is what makes me sad about the internet age. I studied in college to be a media practitioner. I’ve been a cub reporter on the police beat. I’ve paid my dues as a writer and photographer. And yet anyone who has internet access and can type his thoughts down is read and listened to by readers around the world.

    Market Man you have an audience. You also have a duty to be responsible and to not unnecessarily disparage the reputations of people, businesses and publications. Once again I congratulate you for helping Manang Lima and small entrepreneurs like her. Keep on doing so. The more you help people this way, the more you realize that the story, your subject is important. Not you OR your website/acknowledgment. This is not to excuse their mistake. But once you’ve clarified the issue with Ira let it go.

    Please even as a blogger, be conscious of how you affect the credibility that magazines and publications such as Eastgate have worked so hard to establish.

    IF you’ve had any real world experience as a journalist you would HELP publications not be their enemy. Knowing the financial difficulties and lack of resources of newspapers etc
    here, it is even MORE of a sacrifice for Filipino journalists.

    Let the people concerned know their mistake and move on.
    BE MORE judicious with the influence and power that you wield as a blogger.

    Use your energies and time in promoting Phil. tourism. You’ll be more constructive and helpful that way.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 5:41 pm

     
  29. Marketman says:

    Jude, thanks for the comment. My response to points that you raised:

    1. At what point do I say that the credit ommission it was intentional? Never did I suggest there was malicious intent. NEVER. Read the post again and tell me where. No bloody where. And I gave Ms. Inquimboy the benefit of the doubt and lauded her quick response and admission of fault. She admits FAULT after all, therefor, what was wrong in asking if there was indeed a mistake made to begin with?

    2. I am glad you have had very professional dealings with Eastgate Publishing, and can come to their defense, but actually, I would rather hear it from them. Not someone who doesn’t actually represent them, if you know what I mean. Your experience with them may be brilliant, mine was choppy…

    3. As for the “blanket statement on newspaper columnists,” as a journalist yourself, perhaps it would have done you better to go back and read the supposed column in its entire context as I DO NOT make a blanket statement in it at all. In fact, I leave room for exceptions and specifically state many, but not all journalists (mostly FOOD journalists in the context of the article) APPEAR to be either writing for self-interest, a personal business, at the behest of a specific product, etc. and go on to further to discuss journalistic ethics in general. I suggest YOU go back to previous posts and read them in their entireity first before you comment in the heat of the moment and in the process NOT base YOUR comments on fact. You may also read back to other cases of plagiarism, etc. for further discussions on journalistic ethics, period… It is YOU that will come off as being brash and uninformed with respect to the specific issues you refer to. I can only imagine that you are new to the site and have not read it over the past months… Here is a link for your benefit, and if truly interested, go back and check all of the Reggie Aspiras posts as well, it will give you a better feel for Marketman.

    4. As for perception vs. proof, I actually did collect 5 weeks worth of a major newspapers food section and rated articles that were product or launch specific vs. less dubious articles, and fully 60-70% of the articles would not fall into what you might rate as independent, researched, thoughtful pieces, but i admit that is my opinion. I guess all you have to ask is the writers or the readers themselves, as to the motives and motivations for writing for these publications, given the notoriously low compensation levels, particulalry in food and lifestyle sections. And again, I do agree that some do it for the love of craft, but definitely not all. And if they wanted to be beyond reproach, why not refuse to accept freebies or promotional trips and gifts?? and why don’t publications here insist on it, in the same way well regarded publications in other countries do???

    5. I have an AUDIENCE because I HAVE built my CREDIBILITY with readers over the past 3 years. I have nearly 380,000 page views a month because they keep coming back for more. Folks who don’t trust me or don’t like my writing need not return, and don’t return, but I have one of the most loyal and intelligent readerships that I could ever have hoped for, with only a few occasional exceptions.

    6. Why are you so worried that I should let Ms. Imquimboy “off the hook” when there are legitimate questions left hanging? She promised PHP1,250 in an email (a legal document, I might add), and now says they are paying PHP800 instead. Can I not legitimately hold the publication to their earlier promised fee? And as for the apology, I graciously accepted, but still need further clarification. I am in no way referring to Ms. Inquimboy personally, but as a representative of a professional publication, period.

    7. And baloney and triple baloney to the HELP the PUBLICATION angle. These publications make a LOT of bloody money. The Inquirer takes over PHP350 million or so in ad revenue per year according to their ads recently. Their net income after tax is impressive. The Mabuhay magazine is also chock full of advertisements, so they are a business, and should act professionally. As for helping promote the Philippines, and its cuisine and places of interest, I do, and FOR FREE, and I get nearly 4 million page hits a YEAR, without any advertising and all completely at my own cost. Duh.

    8. And please, don’t lecture me on where I should or should not expend my energies on the net or elsewhere, I do just fine without your unsolicited advice. If Ms. Inquimboy and her editors had exercised more care before they published, and for the weeks AFTER they published where they could have picked up on errors and written contributors to correct them, they wouldn’t be in this mess at all. I wonder if they would have done the right thing if I DIDN’T bother to point out the issues? If you don’t like what I write, don’t read it. It’s as simple as that.

    9. And as for your being a first time commenter, and probably not a long-time reader, I normally now delete comments such as yours, but since you seem sincere, and I don’t like to snuff out dissent simply for blog peace, (refer to EMILALVA post, if curious) I let your comment in.

    Trust me, you are totally barking up the wrong tree. And I suspect 98% of my regular readers would agree, and are now shaking their heads with a wry smile on their lips. Yes, Marketman has been described as a “jerk magnet,” indeed.

    Marketman

    Nov 27, 2007 | 6:27 pm

     
  30. mardie c",) says:

    way to go MM! thats a good way of putting him on his place. at first i wondered what side of the fence he belonged to: MM’s or the likes of emilalva’s. Then the further i read the more i realized that he’s a league of his own. Well, now that he had his 15 seconds of fame, let’s move on, shall we?

    Nov 27, 2007 | 9:17 pm

     
  31. eustressor says:

    i’m so happy to read your response to the letter posted by jude. nakakaasar sya ha. bagay sa kanya word of the day ng dictionary.com: Kvetch!

    Nov 27, 2007 | 9:18 pm

     
  32. elaine says:

    Despite providing links wherein readers can associate or relate current post,it’s quite surprising, a supposed ‘writer’ didn’t even bother to check these out before putting in his comments…what’s with these people!!!!

    Nov 27, 2007 | 9:37 pm

     
  33. Mina de los Santos says:

    I am writing with a criticism for you which I hope you will find constructive. I’ve been a fan of your blog but frankly I’m a little turned off by a few of your rants and raves (including this one). When you encounter problems such as magazine carelessness, plagiarism, late flights, bad service, etc., I wonder why you don’t just write a letter to the owner of the company about the problems you encounter. By publishing an anecdote online about one bad experience and making generalizations about the magazine or the airline, it seems more about trying to be witty and getting a laugh at the expense of someone else rather than fixing the problem or changing the bad service. If you are more interested in complaining out loud than addressing the problem, how does that support your goal to inform visitors and locals about the best our country has to offer?

    I’ve always thought people interested in solving the problem will do just that. Others would rather complain about it to everyone except the editor or manager or owner because it’s more fun (and mean-spirited). In fact, your glee at being a “jerk magnet” kind of reinforces the point. I’m sure you have your reasons for criticizing anonymously (as you did in previous posts), but it further adds to the impression that you are taking a cowardly way out—taking anonymous potshots at people who probably aren’t out there to wrong you; there was just a failure in the system or the management that led to your bad experience. My experience with owners is they respond well to problems when approached directly and immediately.

    One other quibble—in your reviews you seem to not check your facts all the time. For sure you have the right to write whatever you want (and I know this is a blog) but it strikes me as irresponsible journalism, which is something you strongly criticized in your Kidnapping Words & Thoughts post. I hope you take my criticism kindly.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 9:37 pm

     
  34. allen says:

    Hey Jude! Don’t make it bad! You have the wrong impression of Marketman… If only journalists emulate his vigilance and integrity, this country would be better!

    Nov 27, 2007 | 9:46 pm

     
  35. ms. foodie says:

    we’re behind you Mr. MM…these people don’t seem to know what they are reacting about…they should first read your previous posts para alam nila ang dapat nilang isulat. Hindi react lang react na walang besehan.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 9:57 pm

     
  36. Marketman says:

    Mina, thanks for your comment. What you see on this blog is only a part of my life, and a part of how I conduct myself in certain service related situations. But first, let me say that you cannot please everyone, period. It is not my intention, and I would not write a blog with the specific intent of pleasing everyone. So I completely understand if you find some of the posts to be not your cup of tea, and I would simply skip them if I were you.. In the same way your newspaper might print articles you find offensive, uninteresting, inaccurate, you can choose not to read the article(s). And in that case, you probably paid for the newspaper, but in this blog’s case, it costs you nothing to peruse it at all. In many or perhaps MOST cases of poor service, I do write letters to the company and wait for an answer. I have done that for many years. And in many cases, the situations are never even mentioned or chronicled on this blog. I do, often go straight to the floor manager or supervisor in a store, hotel, etc. when an issue arises. I find letters to management have a mixed response in this country – sometimes good, sometimes no reaction at all. If I feel that I have a legitimate beef, I do write a rant, often in conjunction with a an earlier letter or email, and see where the issues play out.

    Recent rant issues regarding specific company related situations have included, for example:

    1. Mabuhay – Resolved with an apology and admission of error of non-attribution.
    2. Mangosteen Plagiarism – Resolved with admission and apology from Reggie Aspiras and the editor of the newspaper; emails sent to paper and senior management before I wrote my posts.
    3. Credit cards – resolved with bank refunding PHP40,000+ to Marketman, and they too were sent several letters before I wrote the posts.
    4. Cebu Pacific; rant written and read by senior managers and we communicated privately by email after that.
    5. Sitio Remedios Review – managers acknowledged reading the review, and mentioned they would try to improve…
    Etc.

    I am curious where your comment about making generalizations about a magazine or airline comes from? Never in my post above do I say the lack of attribution was intentional, or that they did it all the time, in fact I mentioned that I raise my complaint precisely because so many of the other articles seemed to be properly attributed, so it is the possible exception, never do I say it is the rule… As for Cebu Pacific, if I assume correctly you mean that post, I raised issues about delays and if you will notice, the CEO himself responded that they were in fact experiencing frequent delays at the time and that they had issues with customer refunds that they were trying to fix. So what generalizations specifically are you referring to? I feel that if I raise a legitimate complaint, I have far more of a chance of improving overall service and people will pay attention to details more likely than they did before the complaint. But that is my opinion.

    As for informing individuals about what our country has best to offer, I would say that 99% of my posts (out of 1,400) are positive and informative in nature. And it is realistic to talk about some or many of the hitches that you can expect in ANY country on the planet. Simply presenting a positive outlook is unrealistic and frankly untruthful. It isn’t what I am about, nor my blog is about.

    As for your comment that I don’t complain to the managers or President, it is completely and utterly wrong. In the case of Ayala Land, my letters reached the CEO and Board members. In the case of Cebu Pacific, I communicated with their CEO. In the case of credit card issues wit a major Bank, I communicated with several senior executives. With the Inquirer, I communicated directly with a Board Member and the relevant Editors and Newspaper Reader Advocate. And in all cases, my complaints were accompanied by MY REAL NAME, or a personal reference so they could identify me. This is also the case with Ms. Inquimboy who has my real name, and I did cc: my emails to her to the Managing Editor of Mauhay and the President of PAL. So saying I take anonymous potshots is so outrageously wrong that I think you need to re-think that assertion of yours.

    Perhaps part of your reaction and perhaps that of Jude, above, stems from the fact that I NAMED Ms. Inquimboy in this particular rant. I normally don’t name the people involved, but in this case it was Ms. Inquimboy who requested the article, requested the edits, informed me of the fees for photos, etc. So it was she and her editors that were at the fulcrum of the issue. And I will tell you that at NO POINT in the past has a company ever responded that I have factual errors in my complaints published on this blog. NEVER. And I would take down a post or revise it if it contained a major factual error.

    As for your quibble, please let me know specifically which “in your review you seem to not check your facts all the time.” I take this seriously, and if you can point to a specific incorrect fact in a review, I would be happy to check it out and revise it if necessary. I write posts quite frequently so I am more than willing to acknowledge that I may have factual errors, so just send me an email or post a comment here with say 3 facts that I got wrong and I would be more than happy to review the posts and issue corrections or revise them if necessary. And that is FACTUAL errors, not opinions. Oh, and don’t bother with grammatical, usage, spelling errors, etc. as I KNOW I have a LOT of those… It is FACTUAL ERRORS that I would like to avoid. And you and other readers can certainly help on that front by pointing them out to me.

    I do agree with you that using monikers like Jerk Magnet can come across as being offensive. But overall, I think the reader who coined the term to describe Marketman was rather astute. Thank you again for your first and only comment on this blog so far, and I hope I have adequately addressed most of the points you raised above.

    Marketman

    Nov 27, 2007 | 10:41 pm

     
  37. mikel says:

    how unprofessional of mabuhay magazine publishers! hard to believe it was a simple error on their part. after all it wasn’t just a 2line blurb but an article with pictures! it was gross incompetence. you have every right to be indignant.

    Nov 27, 2007 | 11:54 pm

     
  38. Raneli says:

    Ay Naku..these people MM are always coming up with excuses to cover their ass! Napaka simple lang yon…just give credit where credit is due! For a magazine such as Mabuhay,i think to ignore something as simple as giving credit to even a tiny photo is very disheartening to me. Bakit pa kailangan pa natin masindak bago ayusin ang pagkakamali…have we become callous to basic manners and etiquette? Sad to say..check the media now and you will find it right before your very eyes!

    Nov 28, 2007 | 2:02 am

     
  39. Maria Clara says:

    Way to go MM! Hit them right in the head.

    Nov 28, 2007 | 2:58 am

     
  40. dhayL says:

    People make mistakes all the time, big or small, unintentionally or intentionally. Very few do acknowledge the mistake they make, nor take actions to correct their wrong doing. If MM did not bring up the issues to the appropriate people, I wonder if the publication company and the individual that MM was dealing with would’ve taken the initiative to properly acknowledge MM for his contribution? Most likely NOT, although it was not done intentionally as she explained herself. The bottom line is it required a bit of tap in the head before actions were taken. We are only human, and we do make mistakes, but sometimes due to our busy schedule or what not, we tend to let “small things” slip in her hands. For people like MM who stand up for his right, who’s not afraid to “raise a legitimate complain”, don’t give up, continue to be more patient and justice will be served! After all, mistakes make us a better person and a better company (in this case)! So, as one of your thousands regular readers, I do welcome your occasional rants, and I look forward for more in the future! :)

    Nov 28, 2007 | 5:35 am

     
  41. RjFennel says:

    Hey MM,

    Is it Truly negligence on there end? or they would think that they can get away with it? I truly commence what you do MM. Sometimes some of the readers just misjudge your actions and ridicule your Rants. Without even understanding the content. You are right if they dont want the subject in hand then dont read it, its not like they are obliged to do so. They just love to snoop around and find something inquisitively irrelevant.

    Its like having a radio station people are not required to subscribe, if the subject matter doesn’t fit your intellect then turn it off or switch to other station, but then on the other hand they still listen and throw fits at it. beats the purpose doesn’t it? Keep on doing what you do MM, this Blog helps a lot of Kababayans abroad reminisce and drool with your Yummy post!!

    Sorry for getting off topic, can’t help without ranting as well..

    Nov 28, 2007 | 6:08 am

     
  42. crissy says:

    I have a copy of that issue. No wonder that article reminds me of your blog entries. I admire you for being vigilant about these issues.

    Nov 28, 2007 | 10:08 am

     
  43. rose aka sofia says:

    Tito MM,

    Pag pasensyahan mo na. Some people do not understand the concept of a blog.

    Kapag puro positive ang nilagay mo dito, sasabihin naman nila tinatago mo ang mga pangit na kaganapan.

    Your blog, MM, has been a fixture in my Favorites since I first found out about you 3 years ago. It has been a source of knowledge for a foodie like me. I appreciate what you do for people like me.

    =)

    Nov 28, 2007 | 12:05 pm

     
  44. Marketman says:

    rose, salamat. Comments like yours and those of many regulars by far outstrip the occasional odd comments from mostly first time commenters… I am pretty sure that this blog serves 99% of its readers for whatever they use it for – diversion, amusement, cooking tips, flowers, etc. I will never please everyone who drops by and I honestly couldn’t care less for the few that won’t ever get it. There are lots of other places for them on the net. But let’s just say I don’t shy away from a challenge and like a good back and forth…but notice, they (the two commenters above) haven’t bothered to come back and respond to the issues I raised…

    Nov 28, 2007 | 12:26 pm

     
  45. dizzy says:

    Mr. MM, are you by any chance, once part of a debate team too? hehehe, ang hirap mong kontrahin. it would require a lot of research! =)i say this with all due respect of course and in the spirit of fun.

    seriously though, i hope that by reading the rants that you post, more people would get out of their “grin and bear it” attitude (specially us pinoys) when it comes to poor and unfair practices of the service sector.

    Nov 28, 2007 | 12:36 pm

     
  46. Marketman says:

    dizzy, hahaha. Actually, I never joined the debate team. But I was once dealing with about 8 lawyers for several months, and finally, one day, the senior partner said… “I wouldn’t want to come up against you in court. Even if you didn’t go to law school and pass the bar!” — I took that as a compliment. I am actually happy I didn’t go to law school, I would have a difficult time practicing my profession here… And yes, for every few readers I turn off with my rants, I suspect there are hundreds, if not thousands of consumers who will eventually be much better off in the long run.

    Nov 28, 2007 | 2:45 pm

     
  47. cwid says:

    Way to go, MM!

    Nov 28, 2007 | 3:09 pm

     
  48. MegaMom says:

    Haven’t commented in a while, but been following this blog as best as I could.
    Like some commenters above, I too, get irritated when you go off and rant and sometimes, in my opinion go overboard. But unlike them, I just gloss over the stuff I find irritating and move on. Besides, I value the 80% of other useful stuff I read here.
    I don’t agree with everything you say, MM, especially with specific tastes in food, but so what? This is your blog, and you are king. I’m too chicken to contradict you here, I’d probably get mobbed and if I wanted to, I’d probably do it in my own blog.
    Regarding this “oversight” in the Mabuhay article, I’m with you here MM. Having published in the scientific world myself, I demand to be cited when people are obviously using my data. I have a lot of respect for IPR, and I totally understand where you’re coming from. Buying pirated stuff is so mainstream, I think it’s so easy for many of us to dismiss things like this with “What’s the big deal?”
    Personally, I wouldn’t have the guts to go as far as you did. Maybe that’s what irritates some Pinoys because I think the average Pinoy consumer succumbs to the “puwede na” mentality hence “palipasin mo na”.
    But I admire the way you staunchly stand by your principles. I don’t think many of us can boast of the same.

    Nov 28, 2007 | 6:52 pm

     
  49. WilliamD says:

    I salute you Boss MM.

    Nov 28, 2007 | 9:46 pm

     
  50. ysa says:

    ayy MM, i’ll let you rant and rave all you want…. after all i am a guest here in your blog. That i am allowed to visit and comment to my heart’s content is enough. you are, and always have been, a gracious host. you have given us a glimpse of a part of your life, and an opportunity to become part of that life (charity, eyeballs,..) THIS IS YOUR SPACE!!! some people just couldn’t get it. must be something in the head, hehehehe…..

    by the way, contrary to what others have been saying, you’ve always tried to settle your rants outside this blog, professionaly dealing with those errants. it is when they fail to recognize, and fail to atone (hehehe, what a word!) for their misdeeds that you resort to making public their shortcomings. and i find that what you rant about always strike a nerve in me…. i say go for it!!!! you put the right words into the feelings for disservices that i cannot quite put down.

    Nov 29, 2007 | 12:09 am

     
  51. bagito says:

    Susme. Some people just don’t get it. Really. Please MM, don’t change anything. Just keep doing whatever you’ve been doing all along. Maraming-maraming saya na ang idinulot mo compared to the rants (and you’re fully entitled to those!)–these people don’t seem to get that you’re just human. We’re all just human, we have good days and bad, and like the good blogger that MM is, we get to share in those daily moods. Geez (certain) people, lighten up. Krismas na anyway. :)

    Nov 29, 2007 | 1:39 pm

     
  52. Dodi says:

    Hi Marketman!

    Let’s make a survey on how many jerks you have attracted so far, I’m sure talong-talo ako! hahahaha, must be the two typhoon’s “Fujiwara effect”.

    Nov 29, 2007 | 3:15 pm

     
  53. teth says:

    I learn a lot of things when you post your rant! Go go go!

    Dec 6, 2007 | 1:06 pm

     
  54. nina says:

    Editors of Mabuhay Mag should apologise and pay for use of the pictures! PAL on the otherhand shouldnt be blamed since Eastgate is a supplier to them only.

    Dec 27, 2007 | 12:54 am

     
  55. Gwiz says:

    Right, you can’t please everyone. Kudos to you and your advocacy. And my, for an avocation you sure devote quite a chunk of your time to it! I have just recently discovered your site and I say I like it very much. =)

    Jan 3, 2008 | 2:13 pm

     
  56. dragon says:

    Hey Jerk Magnet :-)

    Here’s another jerk magnet to join you—that’s actually a nicer term you have. I’ve been called worse…only because I SPEAK UP and try to demand restitution/corrective measures. One of the things positive I learned from Americans: the squeaky wheel gets oiled. Filipinos, part of charm and graciousness is really passive: puwede na, mediocrity. I could go on some more but might stir more hornet’s nests…I suppose it’s just a dragon’s trait (it doesn’t hurt that he roars..)

    Jun 11, 2008 | 4:18 pm

     
  57. greasemonkey says:

    oh. hehe.. so.. i see why you were so pissed off. maybe you did have to rub that big fat chunk of gross sales in their collective face!

    ingat!

    Aug 18, 2008 | 4:06 am

     
 

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