Philippine blogosphere reacts to controversial column (Update)

UPDATE: The Philippine Daily Inquirer came out with an editorial related to this issue on August 22, 2006. This was after the paper got reactions and phone calls from readers here and abroad. Also, read John Silva’s reaction to the editorial here.

They were angry, sad, disappointed, and disgusted when Justice Isagani Cruz (not the literary critic) came out with a column on homosexuality on August 12, 2006 in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Among those who reacted was Manuel Quezon III who wrote this column two days later on August 14, 2006 in the same paper. Cruz eventually wrote a rejoinder to Quezon’s reaction, which you can read here, on August 20, 2006. Quezon then answered immediately with a new column on August 21, 2006. Both are columnists of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

It was indeed rare to find columnists belonging to the same publication debunking what one has written. This is evidently an exception since Justice Cruz has touched on a raw nerve that eventually illicited various reactions in the Philippine blogosphere, including from Quezon himself.

Quezon who happens to be a blogger has collected most of the fairly recent reactions here. But you can find more reactions here, here, here, here, and here from well-known local columnist/writer Jessica Zafra.

In “Torn and Frayed in Manila“, this blogger writes:

I’ve always thought of the Philippines as quite a tolerant country in matters of sexual orientation so, like many readers I suspect, I was rather taken aback by former Supreme Court Justice Isagani Cruz’s attack on “fairies” and “pansies” in Saturday’s Inquirer.

Another blogger, Bryanboy did not mince words, as he reacted to Justice Cruz’s column. His take, however, was far less “serious.” Random Thoughts recently gave a more graphic retort (in the form of a video taken from YouTube) to this recent event.

Local blogger Baratillo @ Cubao, however, offered the most insightful observation and commentary on this controversy. Excerpt:

We like to think that we are democrats who live in a more understanding and democratic society. The test of a democrat is how well one can tolerate views that are anathema to one’s one. And debunk or refute such contrary ideas with ideas of your own.

I can understand and emphatize with the rage and anger felt by the parties injured by Mr Cruz’s article. However when battling intolerance, one must be careful not becoming intolerant oneself.

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Erwin Oliva

Putting a dent on the universe one day at a time