A couple of days ago, I commented on an article that was shared by When In Manila. The article is about an experience shared by a person who went to get a tattoo done by Whang Od. In her post, she asked to stop the commercialization of Whang Od.
She wanted it stopped because of what people are doing after it was commercialized. She shared how locals took advantage of the spotlight that was given to Whang Od. They served as tour guides demanding for fees. They also insisted that Whang Od should finish tattooing their clients without taking into consideration whether she’s exhausted or starving. These people as she quote, exude greed in their actions. Another thing she highlighted was the behavior or the tourists who went all the way to get their tattoos. She said they were somewhat “unruly”. They threw their garbage everywhere and didn’t care if they made the place filthy. These are just some of the things she narrated.
I commented saying something like this:
“There’s nothing wrong with commercializing our culture. It’s great! It’s the only way people will know that such culture exists. It’s not the culture being commercialized that’s wrong. It’s human’s behavior which is at fault here. People just need to act more like human beings. Sadly, most of the Filipinos lack self-discipline. And that’s where everything starts to get out of control.”
For me, when I read the article, i didn’t see anything wrong with commercializing a culture. In that post, she wanted the commercialization of the culture stopped. I was really kind of taken aback when people just started commenting how it’s bad because of this and that. Reading the post again and the points made by the writer of the article, what came to my mind was how bad people’s behaviors are sometimes. Most of the time, people act so uncivilized.
In her article, she told us what she thought was wrong in her whole experience of getting a tattoo from Whang Od. The things she mentioned are things that showed how people getting tattoos are behaving in a not-so-good manner. It’s those people’s actions that she was mad or upset about, yet in her post, she never mentioned anything about how people must change their ways. Instead, she asked for the commercialization to be stopped.
In my comment, I am clearly stating this. That instead of blaming what happened to who made Whang Od the talk of the town, why not reflect and see how bad people are behaving these days?
And here is where the fun starts. Someone replied to my comment and said, “Kaya nga hindi maganda kasi negatibo ang epekto.” I’m just like, really??? So, it’s commercialization’s fault that people are behaving this way? Hindi kaya ganon naman na talaga ang mga tao bago pa man naging mainstream si Whang Od? Aren’t we supposed to be accountable and responsible for our actions in the first place? It’s just the hype! It did not do anything to change us. It did not force us nor tell us na magkalat sa bundok, maging gahaman, at maging bastos.
Meron pang nagsabi, “Ang ugali ng mga tao mahirap baguhin. Hindi rin ito kayang i-regulate or pigilin ng government. Kaya para maiwasan ito, it is best to stop and if not possible, at least regulate commercialization.” So since people are incapable of changing as how you view it, even though inamin mo na rin na tayo ang may mali, kailangan ‘yung isang bagay that was made with pure intentions and mag-adjust?
If I am not mistaken, Whang Od was featured in Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho. I’m not saying it’s the only reason Whang Od’s tattoo art is in spotlight now, but it was the only way I heard of it. Why do you think they featured her after all these years? She’s the last one left in her tribe of mambabatok. She’s old as well. I believe they just wanted people to know that such culture exists before it totally vanishes. It was done with pure intentions of sharing knowledge and culture. I don’t think they’ve done it knowing or expecting that people will disrespect it this way. It was done in good faith. How people behaved is not their fault anymore. They surely are not in control of people’s actions.
Let me tell you what’s wrong in this whole situation!
What’s wrong here is the people who went there for the sake of having something to show off and brag about in social media and not really for the culture itself. (Considering what people did there, I’m convinced they’re more likely after the likes they’ll get once it’s posted on facebook, because someone who cares about the culture would care for Whang Od’s welfare more than having a tattoo.)
What’s wrong is people took advantage of the situation to make good money out of it in the expense of Whang Od’s situation. She wasn’t eating right and was exhausted most of the time.
What’s wrong is people did not show respect to their sanctuary. They left the place in chaos leaving their trash behind. Most visitors there I believe must be adults. It’s very shameful that they can’t take care of their own trash. Oh well, it’s not really a new thing in the Philippines, eh? People are so used to just dropping garbage on the streets, in the river and basically everywhere except in the bins.
What’s wrong is people thinking there is nothing wrong with what those people did and instead blame what happened to the people who promoted the culture.
What’s wrong is people knowing that the above mentioned actions are improper, yet they didn’t see it as the main problem.
What’s wrong is people, instead of reflecting and realizing that people should change, thinks that it should be the commercialization that has to be stopped.
What’s wrong is people being oblivious about the things they’re doing wrong.
Or maybe, I am the one who’s wrong.
I am wrong for having faith in humanity.
I am wrong for admitting there are a lot of things people need to change.
I am wrong for pointing out the wrong things people are doing.
I am wrong for thinking people can change.
I am wrong for hoping that people will change.
And I am so wrong for believing Filipinos can do better.