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PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER EVICTS PUGAD BABOY DENIZENS AFTER MORE THAN TWO DECADES OF WIT AND SARCASM

Philippine Daily Inquirer, considered to be the most sober and trusted political voice in the country finally succumbs to public (and political) pressure by silencing and evicting the controversial and sharp witted comic strip Pugad Baboy penned and illustated by renowned comic artist Pol Medina Jr., or Ka Pol.

For more than two decades now, since the late 80s, Pugad Baboy or “Pig’s Nest” has been firing up quick witted and controversial response to the social and political situation in the Philippines through its fat and funny people with pig faces (including a very smart dog named Polgas). There is always something funny about the blunders of Filipinos as a nation, and Pugad Baboy elicits a smart response from its readers no matter what their age are, including the 7 year old me. Are they funny because they are fat and pig faced? Or because they are like us? A little bit too stupid to understand how serious things really are.

And now, despite its many controversial releases in the past, Philippine Daily Inquirer chooses to fire Ka Pol and the pig neighborhood because of an issue regarding gender and religion, two of the most sacred things in the country. They are too sacred and holy that the law could not even argue about it.

From PDI's June 4 reissue of a March release of Pugad Baboy.

From PDI’s June 4 reissue of a March release of Pugad Baboy.

What was so offensive about the June 4 release (as it turns out, it was a re-release from a March outing of the comic strip)? Was it enough to warrant a cancellation?

Let us not consider for now the alleged conspiracy theories going around the internet. Let us consider for now the grounds on which PDI has cancelled Pugad Baboy.

From it’s June 4 issue, we can see two female characters talking about Christian views on homosexuality. One female character was straightforward on her views about the church’s hypocrisy on the issue. Publicly condoning homosexuality on its pulpits when it relents and tolerates lesbians in many of its private and exclusive schools. The comic strip goes as far as to mention an all girls institution run by nuns–St. Scholastica College.

Of course the internet exploded. Seemingly fueled by the usual brouhaha of zeal among the religious and puritanical as well as the do gooders of our society. They may be right to be offended, but it has been proven again and again how lacking they are in the humor department. And they entirely missed the point of the release.

Is it not really true that the Catholic Church have been vocal about its views against homosexuality? Its leaders would even go as far as to condemn the LGBT groups in eternal damnation. And isn’t it an open secret also that the church-run insitution, St. Scholastica may have been tolerating lesbianism in their all-girl campus? I’m pointing this out because I think its commendable for St. Scholastica to tolerate this. But it really paints a bad picture for the church. And here we have a compelling and fearless opinion from Pugad Baboy. Pugad Baboy merely pointed this out and illustrates how warped the scenario is. Because Pugad Baboy above all else “stands” for honesty and integrity and it would of course “make fun” of this existing hypocrisy.

Some people got the joke. Others find it tasteless. I simply found it rude because I personally know some “Kulasas” and they are very good people, undeserving of being singled-out in public. My feelings regarding the issue are personal, but my political view tells me there is nothing wrong with Pugad Baboy. It is a bunch of talking fictional head with pig faces and a human-like dog. What do we expect? All it did was threaten the status quo, broke the silence and made some comments. There are far worse crimes than that and that is restricting some section of our Constitution. Philippine Daily Inquirer knows this like the back of their hand and that makes it the more intriguing. Because the consPIGracy theories may be correct this time around. Maybe Pugad Baboy have offended powerful people (not the Filipino people).

Maybe Pugad Baboy really is what we suspected it to be, full of integrity, created by a genius, and many Filipinos find this small comic strip to be a source of empowering political and social views. Views that may disturb the status quo, views that will someday topple the corrupt and the liars and reveal the hypocrites. Maybe, the right people are justly afraid and offended.

Right now, the issue is ripe. Once again Pugad Baboy have given us an opportunity to reveal to us our intentions as a people. We must air our views. We must speak up or forever suffer the consequences of silencing what perhaps, may be the only sober voice left in this country. In a comic strip populated by pig-faced people, and a dog more logically human than its masters. 

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