Monday, November 06, 2006


Title shamelessly ripped off from Jon.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer has a new darling, and her name is Luli Arroyo. And here you have, once again, a commentary on Philippine society in the making.

It's not so much about Luli who's as low-key and as unassuming as can be for a First Daughter. (And yes, I have met her a couple of times, thank you very much.)

It's the circumstances around the headline that I'm thinking of. Unveiling of a Filipino artist's sculpture in Germany is newsworthy fluff, yes, but it belongs in the Lifestyle section. Regardless, focus should be on the artist and her work, not on the celebrity who's doing the unveiling.

Now, would this have made front page news if it hadn't been for the NAIA flap last week?

Unlike another First Daughter that I can think of, Luli has substance. Rather than running for a post, she instead works for a foundation promoting digital literacy. If there's any young leader who deserves to be on the front page of the paper, it's her.

But rather than celebrate Luli for her other achievements, we instead lionize her for a mere triviality. A cheer-worthy triviality, perhaps, because she was clearly in the right when she questioned the immigration officer who allowed a foreigner to jump the line, but a triviality nonetheless. Struck a blow she might have for all of us who have been put down by high-handed functionaries, but that is going to affect this country how?

Already the Palace minds might be a-whir. With the First Daughter riding this high in the public opinion, and elections just around the corner, could a bid for candidacy be far behind?

I should hope not. We've had far too many good people exploited and ruined for their transient celebrity.



  1. hey doms, isn't Luli your kumare?

  2. Hey, Chaz: yes, that she is. Only met her twice, though.