Scribes Drunk on Mangosteen…

In the past few months I have often felt that food blogs have become a much stronger influence on mainstream media. But more importantly, I have also asserted (as I am sure many of you have noticed) that the internet as a SOURCE of information, has become so alarmingly essential (almost a crutch) for many writers and researchers, from bloggers to food writers to my 11 year old daughter doing research on a native plant species. And I cannot emphasize enough how careful you have to be when using and citing internet sources as they are often inaccurate, incorrect or incomplete. Now, I have a personal view of food bloggers compared with mainstream food writers. A personal food blog, such as Marketmanila, is essentially the collective posts (something akin to diary entries) of an individual, usually one with a passion for the topic he/she writes about. He is often, as I am, NOT a professional writer. And more likely than not, a food blogger has no phalanx of writers, editors, proofreaders, legal teams or anti-plagiarism departments to support him. In Marketmanila’s case, the blog is a totally NON-REVENUE and NON-PROFIT site, which means that I have never EVER made any money out of this endeavor. Up until now, I have never charged subscription fees, never sold advertising or sold my content despite several inquiries and lucrative offers to do so, and never charged for the use of my material or photos. And yet, I personally feel it necessary to be careful about how I source my data and try to give credit where credit is due. But I will be the FIRST to admit that I may have lapsed in that respect in some of my posts, but I try harder and harder not to let that happen. I post up to 3 times a day or 20x a WEEK, and yes, my writing quality definitely does suffer. But I have a reasonable responsibility to my readers to be as factual as I can, to identify opinion as opinion, to be, essentially, a reasonably CREDIBLE source of information. And over time, I suspect that readers who feel I am full of caca simply will not come back to the blog, but others who do return, effectively display/place some trust in what I write… And yet, I DON’T REALLY HAVE TO FOLLOW ANY SET STANDARDS at all, I do so because I choose to apply some parameters to myself. Over the past two years, I have worked with journalists, magazines, websites and other forms of media and have always offered to help without asking for remuneration. Many mainstream food and lifestyle writers and magazine editors and publishers READ my blog and I am indeed flattered, sometimes even exchanging occasional emails with some of them.

But my view of mainstream media food writers, on the other hand, is that they MUST possess a higher set of PROFESSIONAL and ETHICAL standards of journalism for the simple reason that they are supposedly professionals, and their newspapers and companies are often FOR-PROFIT, sell millions of pesos worth of advertising, charge for their content, vehemently defend their copyright on their “original” materials, possess a phalanx of writers, proofreaders, editors, legal teams, etc. So professional food writers and amateurs like myself are so totally NOT in the same LEAGUE at all. So it irks me no end when I do come across poorly written, sourced or edited articles in publications that I personally PAY for. And I know they are isolated instances, and please, do not take this as a personal assault on all professional food and lifestyle writers, but I just have to rant on an article I read with my breakfast this morning…

Before I get to the article, let me disclose I have a “history” with this publication, and I do not think I am singling them out, after all, I subscribe to them to this day. In April 2004, this newspaper was kind enough to feature Marketman in a full-page spread that brought me lots of readers, then in February 2005, the same paper featured our “anonymous” beach home in a two-page lifestyle spread. In November 2005, the same paper figured in an incident where they published one of my photos of yema which was stolen by a contestant and it took several days before they issued an erratum and lukewarm quasi-apology (after I had written them, written a strong post on the episode, and discussed the situation with folks related to the owners of the paper). But as my regular readers know by now, I am likely to speak my mind when something bothers me, and this time is no different…

Is it so hard to take a clear photo of a fruit in season?

The article by a well-known chef and weekly contributor to the paper this morning is about mangosteen. Anyone who has been to the markets lately knows we are probably at the peak of mangosteen season (at least for those grown in Mindanao). At the top of the article is a fuzzy photo, clearly taken from an internet source, and thankfully, properly credited to the source, a commercial site that sells mangosteen juice. Considering that this is a national newspaper publication with millions of readers, extensive budgets, in-house photographers and relatively long lead times before articles are published, my minor question here is, were they just so LAZY that they couldn’t send someone out to buy ¼ kilo of mangosteen for say 20 or 30 pesos, whip out a digital camera and use a much clearer and original photograph? This is only my opinion, and just that, but geez, for the cover of a SECTION of a MAJOR newspaper, they simply download a photo from the internet and blow it up to fuzzy proportions? Yet the REST of the section has well taken and clear photographs for the other articles… Hello, where are the editors on this?!?

Does the writer simply not know the rules for quoting materials from others, including internet sources?

The article (on-line version) appears to be heavily written after some basic googling was done. This is my impression because if you google “mangosteen” or “health benefits mangosteen” or other variations, you are led to several articles where some similar information is provided. It is, I suspect, how the photo of the fruit was found, and how this direct and accurate quote from a Dr. Ray Sahelian, MD is sourced “mangosteen has compounds xxxxx xxxx x xxxxx xxxx.” But here is the rub, despite copying the quote EXACTLY and providing CREDIT to the doctor who supposedly wrote it, nowhere is it said that this was taken from a website and better yet, how does one confirm if this dude is a bonafide doctor at all? AND, by quoting and naming the source of the sentence here, the writer seems to FULLY UNDERSTAND that using another’s words does require attribution to avoid the dreaded P word (for Plagiarism)…

Is it worse to change the order of the words or to do THAT and likewise CHANGE the meaning of the words so that I nearly gagged on my tea with amusement this morning?

Here is the part that really annoyed me no end…

The writer of the article in today’s food section writes, and I quote:

“Since 600 AD, mangosteen has been known as a healing agent and was used by scribes in Southeast Asia.”

If you follow the google sources, you will be directed to the site of Xango juice drink and it states, and I quote:

“As early as 600AD, scribes in Southeast Asia recorded the use of mangosteen as a general remedy and healing agent.”

Does that look familiar? Is it close enough a sentence to be considered possibly plagiarized? Was permission sought and given by the source? Did the writer think moving the words around a bit would sufficiently qualify it as a new take on the subject matter? Why am I making a big deal out of this? Because of the following reasons…

1.The sentences are remarkably similar in the content of words used and the intended ideas being communicated (or attempted to be communicated).

2.The WORST PART is, the newspaper writer’s take on the sentence MEANS SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF AN APPARENT UNINTENDED MISUSE of the words!!! In her version, only the SCRIBES appear to use mangosteen, rather than the SCRIBES recording the USE of the mangosteen as a general remedy of CITIZENS at large. This is a MAJOR editing faux pas, in my opinion, and if it is true that she simply re-arranged the words of another source, and in the process inadvertently changed the meaning, the sentence is now not only “borrowed” without attribution, but also INCORRECT and INACCURATE, then yes, someone should be taken to task for this!!!

3. Where is the author in all of this? Where are the editors?? What kind of quality control goes into the content that is read by millions of fellow Pinoys not only here, but also around the world on-line? How are they going to weasel their way out of this one?

I can so buy a writing error, even an editing error, but this a double whammy that clearly indicates what to me smacks of laziness, sloppiness, poor editing, poor adherence to sourcing or attribution, and possibly a case of plagiarism. This is NOT the first time this has happened in local papers (I just alerted Sassy Lawyer to one of her recipes being used in another large Manila newspaper a few days ago) and unless someone raises the issue and the paper and its editors do something about it, these instances will likely go unnoticed and uncorrected. Look, I should be one to speak, right? I have errors in my posts up the wazoo. But most if not all of the time they are typographical errors or poor use of English, wicked spelling, or omit a step, or bad grammar… and because it is a blog, I can correct it almost instantly if it is pointed out… but this is a well thought of NATIONAL BROADSHEET NEWSPAPER!!!

Shame, shame, and triple shame for writing something without exerting much effort to research the topic sufficiently, for possibly taking information without proper attribution, possibly taking a sentence and not only slightly re-arranging it but inadvertently changing what it says, for poor editing… Geez, you only have a food section ONCE a week, with perhaps as many as 7 articles by as many as 5 different writers. These sections garner as much as a half a million pesos in ad revenue (not counting other sections) and untold revenue from website exposure…and are read by hundreds of thousands if not millions of people and you can’t be a bit more careful and hold yourselves to a HIGHER STANDARD of PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISM and ETHICS? Boo. Boo. Boo. Even if I weren’t a food blogger, I would probably be annoyed enough about this article to have written the newspaper directly! If I only wrote one article a week less than 1,000 words in length, instead of the 20 I do on this blog (not to mention responding to comments and emails), I think it would be a little more credible than this one about mangosteen…


59 Responses

  1. just as i supsected it’s about the mangosteen article….i have that feeling that this is the one you’re gonna rant about, especially when it descibes its health benefits…..

  2. I think the journalist should undergo tedious workshops in determining whether what they are publishing is true or not. I do not have the newspaper but went to their website instead. It appears to be a poorly researched article. When I was a student in the health profession, they gave such emphasis on determining whether the journals or articles are really what they claim to be. And we had to apply statistics to that.

  3. I too suspected the mangosteen article. After all, most of the other pieces in the food section read like an advertorial and seems to have been sourced from the company doing the promotion. Oh well, 1 “original” article and it’s not even so.

  4. yes there’s really no excuse for such laziness— deadlines to meet, and all. i’ve also noticed that this daily has been lax countless times in giving credit to sources, especially if the source is from the internet. it’s good that you pointed this out although i do hope Mr. MM that you also bring this to the attention of the writer as an email was provided at the end of the article.

  5. dizzy, yes, I am sending a copy to the paper, actually supposedly to the reader’s advocate if I think there is a lapse in journalistic ethics, but I can’t find the email provided anywhere for the Reader’s advocate and will instead send it to the lifestyle section…

  6. MM, i had exactly the same thoughts when I saw first the picture, and then the article today. I also checked for the picture credits, and suspected that it must have come from a mangosteen supplement website. and yyes, em dy is right, most of the pieces in the food section are advertorials. i feel short-changed big-time whenever they do this. lesson: don’t believe everything the newspapers say.

  7. Mr. MM- i think it is located near the bottom of page, below the copyright. they provided two contacts- one for factual errors and the other for the paper’s Reader’s Advocate.
    do hope us readers get the favorable response we deserve. thanks for pointing this out. =)

  8. MM, I’ve been reading your site for over 2 yrs and been in Manila about the same time. I can’t say that any of the local papers publish much “news” other than what they copy from wire reports. The local articles are rife with fractured english, mangled grammar and unsourced, incorrect material. It appears that about 90% of the articles are, as em dy said, advertorials.

  9. hey mm, i think you did an excellent job of editing the article than the editor of the said publication him/herself, that is if he/she did edit it. i think its plain laziness, thats what it is, for the writer to do what he/she did.

  10. Well, totoo yan. I happen to have a formal training in the natural sciences at talagang mababaliw ka sa requirements pag dating sa research and in writing papers. Although, the same is expected in popular writing especially in citing sources of information. But with all due respect to people in the media, madalas din kasi, these writers are sometimes too casual about a lot of things including the interpretation of facts. Like in what’s happening in Western Mindanao ngayon, for instance. If some writers can be so casual about how they articulate significant events on paper, I suppose, they can be as casual also in the matter of providing proper credits to their sources. Sigh….

  11. It’s amazing the drivel that can pass for a column in the Philippines really … if you want the worst of it just pick up a copy of the Philippine Star on Friday and see what kind of socialites and socialite-wannabes they have writing “columns” for their weekend section. The thing is, the people that are smart enough to actually do a good job usually aren’t interested in writing for the newspapers because of the low pay (and sadly, generally low prestige) associated with the profession in the country.

  12. Thanks for the info. I always read her articles and I would never have known how inaccurate her article about mangosteen if you didn’t point it out. I am amazed because I was eating mangosteen (60 pesos a kilo in megmall finally!) when I was reading her article this morning and I am actually eating the rest of the mangosteen now as I type. I can understand your frustration. Hope this will be resolved soon.

  13. Yes MM! Hit the nail on the head. They should have no excuse not to do proper research and credit it fully when used from a source. The propensity to make excuses shouldn’t even be tolerated. They publish a newspaper and their raison d’etre (at the absolute minimum)is to print and report accurate facts.

  14. I have a particular fondness for published letters to the editor coming from impassioned and crochety readers pointing out errors of writing professionals. Errors in fact, in grammar, in taste, in judgement that would otherwise have gone unnoticed and uncorrected if not for the vigilant eyes of readers like you who care. I find them generally pithier, more to the point (if not pointed or poignant), more convincing and more importantly, infinitely more comedic. Acomplished amateurs putting to task those who might have grown contemptuous from too much familiarity with their day to day tasks can accomplish a lot indeed.

    Btw, the first crop of mangosteen from Puerto Rico reached NYC at as high as US$5 each. Sounds like the forbidden fruit to me. Oh well, fruta prohibita, mas sapporita.

  15. As someone trained in, through and with the rigors of the scientific method, I find such journalistic practices quite disturbing. I totally have to agree with wysgal, and will have to admit that it is the reason I stopped reading Pinoy newspapers altogether. Newsmakers themselves are so lacking in integrity (every other headline is about corruption, lying, cheating, etc…), I believe certain columnists too have caught the same bug. And to top it all off, the writing is so blah, that eating rubber erasers is far more interesting (not that I’ve tried). You go, MM, stick it to ’em!

  16. Not everyone who can cook well can write well ;) Not anyone who can write well can cook well either… I miss the days when Doreen Fernandez, followed by Clinton Palanca graced the pages of that paper.

  17. I am not too much into writing, probably because I was turned down to be in Jounalism Club in Middle School – why, because I failed the test; why – because I copied some articles (verbatim) for my research assignment. So you see, at a young age, and not even High School curriculum, being accurate on the information gathered is very very important. Where did this person learned to write? And the photos? Yikes, even my “apo” don’t want to cut fuzzy photos for his homework.

  18. double whammy and triple shame…sounds like a delish sandwich…sorry…still thinking about food. yes, MM, thank you for pointing that out…writing responsibly is definitely not a thing here in the PI. you ranted so well…i chewed and digested everything you wrote and i definitely share the same condiments…este, sentiments…just kidding. i hope i got you to smile a tad. good luck to us all!

  19. Wysgal is right about low pay. It really is quite sad that the people who really care for publishing and are competent can’t afford to practice their craft full-time. Many writers are just freelance or part-time because they need to be able to work elsewhere to make enough money to live decently. At the same time, editors arent always given the budget to contract really good writers…

    I say, if you pay peanuts, expect to get monkeys!

  20. The simultaneous birth of fiber optic, computers, digital cameras and worldwide web benefits everyone including the media in all medium and psycho. With these millennium inventions lots of people across the globe became billionaires worldwide. The copyright laws are stiffer compared 10 years ago. Anything written sent through the wire and is always assumed a copyright or the new term now “intellectual” property of the writer whether it is articulately or poorly written. The mangosteen article that came out in the recent food section of the local newspaper is no doubt a derivative article. Why is this happening? My only answer is we do not have transparent copyright laws to govern everyone including journalists or we do not have a copyright awareness program. So someone standing in a platinum plate thinks that he/she can copy any article from any source. Our lawmakers should put this copyright law on their agenda as it affects everyone from a comics writer to a songwriter to a blogger.

  21. Ditto!!! Maria Clara. We still see pirated audio/video’s and software still being sold at the malls because of copyright UNawareness and the lack of enforcement from the gov’t.

  22. Great research! Thanks for going to such length to analyze this piece. I also read it but somewhat uncritically swallowed the stuff about the scribes and the antitoxins. Maybe I am too used to this type of “reporting” already. I like the part about the picture best – why take such a lousy pic that just screams “internet”? There are so many of these awful pictures especially in the lifestyle section of the Inquirer. I can see how they cannot take their own pictures of Brad Pitt – but Mangosteen???!!!

  23. MM — THANK YOU FOR BRINGING THIS TO OUR ATTENTION!! Writing for a national publication is a privilege. It makes me disappointed and angry to see that this publication pays such poor attention to its journalistic integrity.

  24. “Since 600 AD, mangosteen has been known as a healing agent and was used by scribes in Southeast Asia.” as what… mangosteen ink?

  25. My sister once regaled me about stories in her journalism class as her idol the late Louie Beltran was her professor. They were really grilled in grammar, syntax and most of all the accuracy of their reports. But this is in the category of old-school hard-ball journalism. The writers in the lifestyle sections of newspapers really run the gamut from brilliant to plain paano-nakasali-yan?

  26. “Since 600 AD, mangosteen has been known as a healing agent and was used by scribes in Southeast Asia.”

    In the years ranging from 600 to 625 A.D. Southeast Asian scribes, after centuries of using plain squid ink on rice paper, found their loyal readers getting bored with regular black and white scrolls. With the fear of readers unsubscribing(scribe: subscribe; unsubscribe?) due to some recent emerging and interesting media such as blogs or Blurbs Left of Guinea,(Papua new Guineau is at the right of South East Asia) scribes decided to do away with the traditional monochrome of their medium and experiment with colored ink. Ink extracted from the Mangosteen rind created a dark purplish color favored by shamans in writing prescriptions.

    Therefore the term “healing agent” mentioned above refers to the shaman and not the mangosteen fruit.

  27. LOL Lee… I was going to post the same comment until I saw yours. I was even imagining a purple tip quill… mangosteen ink!!! ha ha ha

  28. Tilman, actually, the source you link to is TAKEN from the Inquirer and shows the publication date at Sept. 6, 2007… this just shows how quickly incorrect information can now course through the net, because this produce site is also now suggesting only the scribes are drinking or eating the mangosteen… amazing how fast stuff like this sears through the internet…

  29. Can’t help but wonder if the recipes she shares in her column are really kitchen-tested by her or simply lifted from some recipe site. How very, very sad.

  30. This is such a well thought of and spoken commentary. I can’t help but agree and nod on all things said.I hope INQ will make necessary actions on this.

  31. hmm. i think i saw a reference of the topshot of the mangosteens. it WAS from the internet. what irks me too is how i notice food writers sometimes cover parallel topics of those in food blogs; and worse, even copy bloggers’ writing styles! how sad. magaling lang ba talaga sa gayahan ang pinoy?

  32. Huwag mo namang lahatin anonymous paul. What Ms. Aspiras did was disappointing nga siguro and more disappointing that there are others who did/do the same. But “magaling lang ba talaga sa gayahan ang pinoy” is such a sweeping statement. I don’t feel referred to in such a statement but as a Filipino, may sting; and it bothers me that many of our own so readily attribute such things to us as if we (as in practically every Filipino, as a people) are naturally-born corrupt, debased, cheaters, plagiarists, etc. I can understand where you’re coming from. Marami ring bagay to get frustrated about ourselves and about some of our fellow Filipinos. Some Pinoy writers nga may be lousy writers, or worse, plagiarists, for example. Pero hindi ang Pilipino mismo. Sana ilagay lang natin sa mas tamang perspective at focus muna tayo sa maling practice ng ibang writers and on how to encourage them to do better next time.

    MM, wala ka bang bagong post? I guess I just got so used to reading new post/s in your blog everyday. Good afternoon.

  33. In the Living Stars section of today’s issue of the same newspaper, they featured the home of Kuh Ledesma and her antique collection that included items that obviously came from Catholic churches. I believe that the editor should have known that robberies and pilferage of church items are perennial problems of churches in the Philippines. This is especially true in the parishes south of Cebu. These robberies would always figure in the local dailies here in Cebu, one of which is an affiliate of this widely-read newspaper. It is thus irresponsible for the daily to allow people to flaunt their valued possessions when these are very likely proceeds of a crime. The reason stealing of religious items persists, is the fact that there are people who pay a hefty sum for them.

    My husband is the president of the heritage foundation that works to preserve the church that has been declared a national historical landmark by the National Commission for Culture and Arts, in a small quaint town south of Cebu. The heritage foundation has established a museum but sadly, they have lost a major part of the collection to robbers…. some of which may have found their way to the house of Ms. Ledesma

  34. Ley, oddly, I had the same thoughts you express here, primarily because over the past two years I have had to wade through an extensive collection of artifacts in Cebu. I am so thrilled with our decision on several pieces from those collections… for two humongous candelabras, obviously originally sourced from churches, we donated them to a church around the corner from my parents home, who in turn I believe handed them off to the Archdiocese of Cebu, and I understand they were used in last year’s procession of the Santo Nino… I am glad they ended up back with the church. We also donated several pieces and vestments and santos to the Santo Nino museum that were cleaned up and are now on display. Finally, we had several paintings with religious subjects that we sent on loan for a year to the Santo Nino Museum, and that loan will be ending soon. I will contact you and your husband when I am next in Cebu so you can look at some other remaining pieces which may find a comfortable home (on loan, or permanently) in the church you are helping to restore… That is, if security measures have been improved. I agree that flaunting stolen church pieces, some of them in Manila’s ritziest abodes, is not something we should be proud of… If some of the pieces in the article DID in fact come from the church you describe, and you have photos of the pieces, I suspect you will be able to make a claim for their return… But I also should be fair and say that on a recent visit to the Vatican, I too, wondered which of the billions worth of artwork there were in turn plundered or pillaged by the church in a much earlier time as well… :)

  35. Journalism in the Philippines is in such a sorry state. And it is not limited to the food section. It is everywhere. I don’t know what qualifications one has to have to write a column. Nag-pataka lang sila on writing slandering people without even interviewing them.

    Journalism 101 — the person you are writing about should be interviewed and given a chance to air his/her side. And not just print “talking points” of the other party just because one is sympathetic to them.

    I am aghast at complete articles reprinted from our sources without permission nor proper acknowledgement. Something ought to be done!

  36. This reminds me of how gossips get started but this is more dangerous since it masquerades as facts. Thanks for raising readers awareness MM!

  37. The lamentable fact of this scandal is there is so much untapped talent floating around, just read the blogs associated with Lasang Pinoy and you will see what I mean and yet anomalies such as this fustian:

    “For so, despite bungling criticisms, intended to put this restaurant in tedium, Jumbo Kingdom permeates as a truthfully fine Chinese restaurant by the amorous glitters of Manila sea, and continuous to give good food and service—if not for service and tradition, everything around will prefigure how false and feelingless Chinese cuisine and culture will become.”

    get printed on good paper that could have seen more meaningful utility in somebody’s bathroom wall, well within reach and opposite the comode.

    Still on purple prose, Lee, who would have thought that that much maligned literary outpouring could have flowed first from reeds of well-meaning Asian scribes and shamans.

  38. Hi MM. I am glad that you considered our parish museum to host antique religious items. Actually, our parish museum was opened last year after years of planning, soliciting funds and after several incidents of burglary in the past. These burglaries rallied the locals to establish this museum to preserve the remaining antique items of the church. Our church by the way has not only been declared a national historical landmark, but a national cultural treasurer of the Philippines, the only one in the entire island of Cebu.

    Our museum is still a work in progress but we have already opened two galleries with sufficient security systems donated by Mr. Michel Lhuillier. We can make arrangements to host your antique religious items.

  39. naku, nagalit na naman si Sir … tsk, tsk … kasi naman eh.

    used to be, columnists were respected and honed their craft.

    i remember my oh-so-gay friend ages ago who loved to moonlight as a pr gay .. er, guy .. and kept track of all the ‘sosayti’ happenings. once we were poring through a major daily (not the one involved in the mangosteen brouhaha) while taking a break from work. he pointed to a lady columnist and said ‘ay naku, padadala nga pala ako ng press release jan k ___.’ i asked him how much the paper charged, and he said ‘ ay naku, tosino lang masaya na yan.’ i thought then as i do now ‘ay, ang cheap naman!’

    pero don’t get me wrong ha. hindi ko nilalahat. :-) hope that people will be extra careful about their work … especially their published work more than ever.

  40. Soo true! I’ve stopped buying newspapers for many years now. Apart from the bad news, the writers are getting worse…not just food column but other columns too. Yes, I hate internet sourced photos! Many people just cut and paste na lang. Super tamad na talaga yan. I really wonder why this thing gets the nod of the editor.

  41. during my college years, the first thing my Comm2 prof taught the class was how to write the bibliography and always acknowledge other’s works. it seems a thing of the past nowadays. but fabricating stories are much worst. i will never forget how a writer in the same paper wrote a fictitious interview with my husband that got him into trouble with his sponsor. the editor and the writer just ignored his e-mails.

  42. Truly–the state of our mass media (both print and broadcast)is pathetic. Broadcast media in particular . . . reporters can’t distinguish fact from hearsay, assumption, allegation. Nakaka-insulto. Newsriting/editing professors like Louie Beltran and Armando Malay before him, I’m sure, are turning in their grave.

  43. I totally agree with you MM. And by the way, I went to the market this morning and the price of mangosteen is P60/kilo, so the writer can buy 1/4 kilo of mangosteen for only P15, cheaper than the price of their newspaper, shhheesssssshhh…

  44. ay naku, MM, sinabi mo pa!! i’ve also had a couple of sorry encounters with this newspaper. they publish news articles without verifying their facts first and when you write a letter to the editor to correct them or put the article into its proper perspective, they don’t publish your letter. you see, i work in a rather sensitive government office and this newspaper issued an article about another government agency where we have the so-called oversight function. they only wrote about this agency’s side of the story and they did not bother to ask us about ours. where’s the fairness there? but just like you, we continue to subscribe to this newspaper. bakit nga ba ganun? =)

  45. Oo naman anonymous paul. I have not quite lost faith in your being Filipino too. :) Kaya lang kasi, these kinds of one-liners erode confidence in ourselves. We use it oh so loosely that we fail to recognise it’s sinister and long-term implications. Maybe it’s time to invent a new expression that could very well stir the pot, as you call it, yet not denigrate our own kind, in our own eyes–lalo na sa mga bata who are beginning to think na ganun na nga lang tuloy tayo whenever they hear this from our own lips; lalo na rin siguro when so many others not Filipino can hear/view such declarations. Kung wala tayong respeto sa sarili eh how can we expect others to respect us?

    So let us all continue to be vigilant and articulate what we see wrong and be willing to do our bit to improve things. Oks na?

  46. “Since 600 AD, mangosteen has been known as a healing agent and was used by scribes in Southeast Asia.”

    If you follow the google sources, you will be directed to the site of Xango juice drink and it states, and I quote:

    “As early as 600AD, scribes in Southeast Asia recorded the use of mangosteen as a general remedy and healing agent.”

    OMG! I agree, agree, agree with your rant about this. It is amazing how many inept (yes, inept) writers are out there writing professionally! This is a classic case of incompetent paraphrasing.



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