On the bright side


It has been often said that publicity — good or bad — is still publicity. You just have to get the spelling right.

The recent video blog controversy sparked by Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and blogger Drew Olivar — which showed Olivar dancing lewdly while mincing the syllables for the word “pederalismo” — was met with furious criticism.

That video drew flak from netizens, citizens and lawmakers alike — as they all blasted Uson and Olivar “lewd” promotion of Federalism that even the proponents of the draft federal charter raised their eyebrows on the issue.

Critics were quick to say that it’s not the way to promote Federalism, or that Uson and the rest of the Presidential Communications Operations Office are wasting taxpayer’s money on such deplorable acts that just went viral because of its, well, “catchy” phrases.

Even the Philippine Information Agency is calling on Uson to take her leave.

“On the heels of PCOO Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson’s latest blunder on the administration’s campaign to push Federalism, a public apology from the PCOO official is paramount. Along this line is a call for her to take a leave of absence to reflect on these matters,” its statement said.

True, the video was done in bad taste, as the words “pepe” and “dede” carry whole different meanings when pronounced in ways that they become the layman’s terms for female body parts.

But, if you look at things differently and objectively — disregarding the dance moves of Olivar — then “pepe” can simply mean that it’s a name, even the nickname of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal and “dede” simply becomes the vernacular for a milk bottle.

See? They’re whole new meanings now, right?

But the controversial video — whether we like it or not — generated vast curiosity among the citizens nationwide compared to the public forums our government officials conduct nationwide to promote Federalism in the country.

It’s in a bad light, of course. We cannot deny that. But the government should take this as a challenge as to explain the shift to a federal form of government in a more reachable manner for ordinary Filipinos which take in humor as serious as lawmakers deliberate bills in plenary.

And to those who say that it is not the way to promote Federalism, do you have a better idea?

Because while the push for Federalism will face more challenges due to the negative publicity produced by the controversial “pepederalismo” video — at the very least — it helped promote awareness on federalism.

Consultative Committee (ConCom) spokesman Ding Generoso pointed out that while they are disappointed with the video, it still generated curiosity among the public to what Federalism really is.

“Something good may come out of this. Like for instance, before all these things happened, only three of 10 Filipinos, according to surveys, say they have heard of the word Federalism,” said Generoso in an interview.

“But now somehow, the word ‘pederalismo’ almost became a household word because of this incident.”

If a member of the ConCom believes that he can still get something good out of this controversy, then the public should also learn to look at the bright side of this somewhat gloomy and idiotic controversy.

We just have to look at the bright side. Concept News Central

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