Sunday, August 20, 2006

Jim Paredes Decries Inquirer Article

Jim Paredes has been a great personal friend and mentor for over thirty years. With his permission, I am posting his letter to us regarding the front page story on him in today's Inquirer. As of this writing, Isagani Yambot, publisher of the Inquirer, has promised to consult with Mr. Lirio as well as the editor that read the copy and will act on the matter. Have also received similar notes from JV Rufino, Erwin Oliva and Sylvia Mayuga, all of It is heartening to know that the folks at the Inquirer care a great deal about the content of their paper.

Dear friends,

Was awakened this morning with a text from my brother informing me that I am on the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The bottom banner read, 'Finally, APO's Jim Paredes gives up on RP.' It was datelined Melbourne.

While APO was doing our shows in Melbourne and Sydney, Gerry Lirio from the Inquirer was interviewing me about my new life in Aus. I talked to him how we were adjusting to everything, the joys and tears experienced by all immigrants, etc. I also talked about my reasons for leaving (personal growth mostly) and my frustrations with the political situation. I said that I was tired. But not once did I ever say that I had given up on the Philippines. More correctly, I have always said I would fight another day. Everyday in Sydney, I wake up to discover the things that work well and wonder how we can do it back home.

I am not one to trash the Philippines just to feel good about migrating. In a country already reeling from so much self-inflicted wounds and pessimism, I don't know how editors and writers can continue twisting things around. I am, to say the least very disappointed with the Inquirer. I just don't know how they can come to such a conclusion based on the interview with me. Sure, I expressed disappointment with the politics of the country just like everyone else but to say I have given up on the Philippines is to put it mildly, a naked lie. It seems that the one who thought of this headline feels the best thing this country needs is a daily fix of despair and gloom.

I believe the truth will set us free, but sadly, there is also power in falsehood. Apparently it sells more than good news.

I remember reading an analogy about spreading falsehood and it compares it to going on top of a windy hill with a feather pillow and a knife. While there, slash the pillow and let all the feathers fly out to where the wind takes it. If a newspaper wishes to make amends about a false report later on, it becomes as futile as picking up all the feathers again to restore the reputation of anyone.

Alas, I've just been had. If I had a newspaper right now, I would be tempted to run a the banner which reads, "Should we all give up on the Inquirer?'

Other strange facts on the article;

-I was never a member of the MTRCB
-APO did not sing Handog Ng Pilipino sa Mundo in the concerts.

Sorry Gerry. I think you already had a headline in mind even before the interview. You 'cherry picked' to fit words and impressions to the headline and so missed the true story. OK Inquirer, you can headline that Jim Paredes has given up on the Philippines. Just as Bush claimed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!

Jim Paredes

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