Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sorry But This Is NOT The Real Royal Family

Yesterday, in a blog post I wrote about the HUGE lie regarding Jessica Soho's alleged comments about looting in the doomed bus in Bontoc, I touched on the knee-jerk reactions that most people make when commenting on things posted online. People are so fond of jumping into conclusions. They jump into bandwagons without asking first where the wagon came from or where it's headed.

I can go on forever about this but the bottomline is most people seem to throw critical thinking out of the window when it comes to their treatment of the things they see online. They see someone post something, they treat it as true without ever questioning it.

I'm writing this post because yet again, I'm seeing a photo circulating on Facebook being treated by people as if it's the REAL thing. I've reposted the photo in question below. I've seen a lot of different people post the photo on different groups so I don't know to whom I should attribute it to. [Updated February 23: I've taken down the photo because I don't want trouble. It never was my intention to infringe on anybody's privacy or copyright. I was merely trying to point out the tendency of people to believe EVERYTHING they see online. But here's a link to the photo as was uploaded by the Cordillera Community Page.]

Here's a photo of the same wax figures from the museum from which the said photo was taken:

Yes, the photo is real. The people in Cordilleran attires are real. However, the Royal Family are not. Those are merely wax figures. The photo was taken from the Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in London. It's a really cool photo and there's nothing wrong with it. As a Cordilleran myself, I like it, I appreciate it.

However, my problem is that people are posting the photo on Facebook with captions that are rather misleading. Here's an example: "Igorot family poses with the Royal family. Thank you Prince William for accommodating my fellow Igoys."

See what I mean? People are circulating the photo as if they actually met the Royal family in the flesh. Once again, people are feasting on the photo with self-ingratiating comments such as this one: "Yan makita sana ng mga nanlalait sa mga igorot ito..kaya ba nilang maging proud gaya ng igorot."

To be honest, I cringe when I read such comments. Being a Cordilleran myself, I'm proud of my roots but I don't see it as necessary to resort to such types of comments. Let's take pride of our ancestry. Let us be patriots. But let us refrain from making snide comments about other peoples/groups. Enough of this I'm-Igorot-and-somehow-I-think-I'm-better-than-you nonsense.

Update 1: The original uploader of the photo, according to a comment, clearly identified that the photo was taken at a museum. That key information was lost as people re-shared the photo. In a way,  this proves my point when it comes to the tendency of people to hastily take something as real just because a lot of people are sharing it.

Update 2:  I would like to address the people sending me emails and messages. As much as I would like to respond to you one by one, I just don't have the means to do so. So I'll just respond to you in mass here.

Needless to say, the reactions to this article are rather negative. I'm receiving emails calling me an idiot, a stupid blogger, a "tanga", a "walang magawa sa buhay kundi manlait ng iba". To be honest, I don't know where these angry reactions are coming from. I admit, the tone of the article is a bit nasty (condescending even) but nowhere in it did I belittle anyone. As I say, again and again, I was just pointing out the fact that people are so quick on grabbing onto things and spreading them without any sort of verification. Call me paranoid but that's how I deal with things. If I see you posting something which I think is misleading other people, I'll try to point it out. And that's what I did with this article. So I'm asking those sending me these negative emails, am I wrong in pointing out something that I think is misleading? The issue may look too trivial to you but I wouldn't treat it so.

And enough with the name-calling. Resorting to the act of calling a person "a pig" because he doesn't share your opinion is something that only immature people do. I thought we Igorots are thick-skinned. Because the way we are acting, we are the exact opposite. One small criticism of us and everyone goes crazy. Somebody calls an Igorot panget and we bully him/her to the point of killing him/her. At the end of the day, the contents of this article are my OPINIONS and nothing can change them. If you disagree, that's your opinion and I respect that.

Update 3: The owner of the original photo has left the following comment. And I'm thanking her for doing so. Here's the comment in full. And here's a link to the full photo set taken from the Museum .

"Thanks very much for taking the time and trouble to write an article about our photo. Just to inform you, this photo belongs to me and posted by my friend who came to visit us in London and was our (Benguet Org UK)guest during our 6th Adivay London celebrations back in November 2013. It gives us great pleasure to be able to celebrate such an important cultural event so far away from home and we are indeed very proud of what we do here.

The original post for this photo clearly says it was taken at Madame Tussaud and we don't pretend it to be otherwise. That's what you do when you visit madame tussaud, you take photos of and with famous people's wax figures. It was also with great pride that we wore our benguet attire to this world famous tourist attraction. This was my 10th visit to madame tussaud and it was my first ever to don my devit to the museum. we didn't realise it would create such a stir and shared by many people and groups and irked some too.but for us 3 Benguet lass, we enjoyed every moment with these wax figures of famous people and stamping the visit with our very own identity too. And I thank auntie judy and jules for sharing this visit with me.

I understand your point in your article but i also understand people will always find a reason to defend themselves, their families, their culture, etc..... From oppression and perceived discrimination. And with social networking, it is sometimes difficult to know what is real."

Thanks a million for the comment. It sure clears up a lot of things. Thanks again.