Wednesday, April 14, 2021
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HomeOPINIONDNX OPINION | #lugawissessential: A tale of Filipino politics

DNX OPINION | #lugawissessential: A tale of Filipino politics

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So is it, or is it not?

Essential, that is.

A video has recently gone the rounds on social media of a delivery rider being accosted by traffic enforcers, calling him out for violating the curfew because apparently the lugaw he is delivering is a “non-essential” item (and only essential businesses and items are allowed beyond curfew).

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The Palace has since cleared the issue and said, yes, Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque clarified that, yes, lugaw – being a food item — can be classified under “essential”, which means that the traffic enforcers were wrong.

Case closed.  Or not.

It would have been simply a matter of that could have been settled on the village level had the enforcers been briefed on what is essential and what is not.

The petty issue, however, has refused to die (such an issue could have had a shelf life of at most two days).

But it did not go away.  When you look at the socmed sites, you will see that #lugawisessential is still trending. 

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So how is the issue, a matter of miscommunication that could have been settled locally, been blown up to ridiculous proportions?

Not helping matters is the statement of Interior and Local Government Usec. Epimaco Densing III, who said in is Facebook page: “Tama si barangay official – “hindi essential SI LUGAW” – paulit ulit “hindi essential SI LUGAW!” 😂😂😂😂.”

A DILG official. Using his FB account. To use the ridiculously petty incident to throw shade at Vice-President Leni Robredo, who has been scathingly referred to as “Lugaw” by admin supporters.

And so media picked up the story.

The brainless trolls and drones from both sides chimed in.  Netizens found nothing wrong with the blatant unprofessionalism displayed by the usec and had in fact encouraged him.

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“I am with you Usec Pogi! Hahahahaha! This is soooo hilarious ever! I love it!” one user responded to Densing’s thinly-veiled insult.

The lugaw incident – which should have remained that, an incident – has shown us how dichotomized politics in the Philippines is, that the officials of this administration don’t know sh*t about professionalism, and that fanaticism of any kind will make you unable to see reason. 

That otherwise intelligent people see nothing wrong with Densing’s quote and found it absolutely hilarious that dragging the VP’s name was dragged into something sooooo unrelated shows that both officials and those that placed them in power are politically, mentally stunted.

So what lesson can be gleaned here?

Yes, the incident has taught enforcers that lugaw is essential.

Hopefully, the incident has also taught us that certain people running this country has reduced themselves to non-essentials, making petty snide political comments when none is needed.

By 2022, maybe we will find out whether we have again elected non-essentials.

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Hannah A. Papasin
Hannah A. Papasinhttp://facebook.com/hannah.mariveles
Writer. Critic. Professor. She started writing since primary school and now has two published textbooks on communication. A film buff, she's a Communication, Media Literacy and Journalism Professor of the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod, and has a Master's Degree in English.

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