Friday, July 28, 2006

"Meanwhile: in hip hop land, crime really pays"

Do newspaper editors check the cohesiveness of their entire front page, or do they slap the stories and pictures together randomly like a Rorschach test for us to decipher? The question crossed my mind as I saw the front page of today's issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

I suppose busy editors really don't have time to consider Gestalt but there was something odd about how the main stories and pictures came together today.

Blazing across the page, the bold headlines plaintive and accusatory: "WHERE'S P8-B OWWA FUND?"

Just immediately underneath it: Ignacio Bunye, Arthur Yap, Mike Defensor, and Eduardo Ermita, GMA men down to the last, buffoonishly mugging with hip hop stars Black Eyed Peas. Bunye looked particularly...well...

I'm at a loss for words. I suppose I'll just have to leave it to the reader to form his own conclusions. Looking at this photo, my mind turns to incoherent mush and the only sound I can think of making is "Yiiii!"

Hip hop fans will no doubt fulminate, but there's a long association between hip hop culture and crime. Hence the title that I borrow from an International Herald Tribune article. I couldn't help but think how apt it was.

Gestalt time: Why do these fellows look so happy? Because they've stolen P8-B and they're most likely going to get away with it. That's the first thing that comes to mind.

Up on the top right ear of the mast, is news that their boss GMA is in the hospital with a bout of flu. You know the old saying: when the cat is away, the mice will play. And remember, these are the very same men who thought what a great photo opportunity it was to have their boss wait for the arriving OFWs from Lebanon, the very same who contributed to the P8-B which is now missing. Maybe that's why they're so happy.

On the bottom left of the page is a story of even more sinister proportions: another activist murdered, shot at close range, in front of his three children as they were having coffee. This makes it the 114th political murder since GMA came to power in 2001. One less voice against them. Maybe that's why they're so happy.

Ah, theft, thuggery, and hip hop. The perfect combination.

And somewhere just a little bit below their raucous souvenir shot, a lone woman, standing forlornly in her house deluged in chest-deep waters. Story: floods linger in 190 Central Luzon villages.

And meanwhile, gets the Presidential Order of Merit.

Bumboklaat, fo' shizzle!


  1. dom,
    Every front page is the personal production of the editor in chief of PDI (Letty Magsanoc). There is never anything unintentional or accidental about the "gestalt" that each and every issue's front page presents. The headline is always her take on things. When I was writing for PDI, I always knew that for 90% of readers, only my title mattered, which is why I always spent the greatest effort in composing the column's heading. But the front page is always the ed-in-chief's.

  2. Thanks for the insider info, Dean.

    For a while there, I thought I was getting mad over some random thing. The front page picture was just...icky.

  3. This is the same paper that had a photo of American Idol placed at the top-half of the front page with a big big font. I mean this country is being flushed straight down the toilet and all they could come up for the front page was that???

    I finally called it quits with the inquirer when I realized that I was only paying attention to the ads and comics.

    - Hoovenson 'still remembering to sign'

  4. Maybe it's supposed to have read "Where is the love?"