Shocking News

Posted: February 18, 2009 in All and Sundry, commentary, current events


1. This week, I have been receiving shocking news from people I know over Facebook and my friends abroad. The most recent was a phone call from JerryWho (my Chinese-Malaysian friend) who informed me that “something bad happened to Eli.” He was referring to Elizabeth Wong, a common friend, who serves as executive council member in Malaysia. I met Eli a few times in 2006 in Kuala Lumpur through good friends Sam and Jerry. During our first meeting, I was greatly impressed by her as a person, as writer, as an artist, and as an activist and feminist. She is by far one of the most educated, brilliant young women I’ve ever met in my life. And she had the panache and wit to accompany that dogged, if at times, grim and determined activist spirit. Over sips of margarita, we were able to talk about Slavoj Zizek (her cats were named Zizek, Guatari, etc), literature, photography, feminism, among other equally interesting things. I really identified with her sort of boheme yet put-together character, a walking paradox of a dedicated, career-oriented, political, mainstream rebel.

So when Jerry told me that “something happened to Eli,” I silently wished it wasn’t that bad, that she hadn’t met an accident or died. (knock on wood). But then later I discovered that worst has happened. Some stupid scum of the earth sold pictures of her in intimate states (news referred to the photos as nude photos but I won’t use that term because I have not seen the material). The “scandalous” pictures (as they referred in news articles) were considered as political attacks against Eli and her party, which has prompted Eli to resign lest the offensive attacks would escalate. (see article here)

My initial reaction was this: ” I never knew that Malaysian politics is THAT dirty.” But then, coming from the Philippines, I should be immune to that sort of character assasination. However, I am not. It is difficult to imagine something as horrid as that happen to someone you know, whom you have spent several hours with talking about life in general. And really, I was speechless in anger, disappointment, and utter disgust at how dirty and vile the act of spreading private photos of someone to earn a few bucks or even solely to accomplish some sort of political vendetta.

I liked what Eli said in the press conference:

“I wish to state that I am not ashamed of my sexuality as a woman and as a single person./“I have broken no law. I stand by the fundamental principle in a democracy that everyone has a right to privacy….”

Read her press statement here.

Very well said, indeed.But I couldn’t help shedding tears while watching her read her statement in  I felt for her, the anguish and stress she must have experienced over the past days.

Now, straight from the Philippines, I want Eli and her supporters to know that I am with her in these trying times. I shall stand by her side because I know she didn’t do anything wrong. And I do wish that person, that vile person who spread her photos will be caught and will suffer in the hands of justice.

2. The second shocking news I received was the death of my doctor, Amy Madamba, who reported to have been shot dead in some place in Dumaguete, my birthplace. I got the sketchy details from a friend over Facebook, who replied after I asked what happened, that nobody knows who did it. And that “it is sad that Dumaguete is slowly becoming the place for unsolved crimes.”

The story shocked me firstly because Dr. Madamba was my childhood doctor. He was the doctor I visited every Sunday to get my allergy immunization shots when I was 7-12 years old.  I recalled that he was always good with children . And so even though the injection was so big and scary, he managed to calm me down and convinced me that the shot didn’t hurt much. “Like an ant’s bite, noh?” he said. I owe my immunity to certain allergenic foods to him as he was devoted in making me well and functioning properly as a human being. Imagine not being immunized? I wouldn’t have been be able to function normally now. I would have been so protected from all sorts of food, and all sorts of places. No beer, no chocolates, no forests, no outdoors, no life.

I wish that Dr. Madamba is happy wherever he is now. And like what I wished for Eli, I also wished that Dr. Madamba’s killer will be punished.

No more unsolved crimes Dumaguete! Wake up from your stupor.

  1. I keep that one in mind :). Thanks for a great blog!

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