01-03-05

93 (E) - Perception

 

The bell certainly didn't save two suspects in the case of a missing assault rifle. A ringing cell phone was the downfall of the men, who insisted they had no knowledge of an AK-47 used in an October shooting. They continued to stand by their story under questioning.

Then their cell phones chimed in. As Detective Kevin Doran tried to silence the rings, he noticed one had interesting wallpaper - a picture of one of the suspects holding an AK-47. ""A picture truly is worth a thousand words," said Capt. Joe Fair, the vice squad's commander.

Read here.


But then, a thousand words can be worth a picture too. Pictures can deceive, video can even deceive more. The medium is often the message. It's all in the framing, the editing and in the perception. Thanx Allah I don't have a TV and I get my only info by reading.

This photo was taken on December 31, 2003, near the Banaue Viewpoint, Banaue, Rice Terraces area, Luzon, Northern Philippines. The three mature ladies wear the traditional Ifugao ("People of the Earth) outfit, the ethnic group that carved the "8-th World Wonder" rice terraces over thousands of years by hand and wooden tools. Doesn't that sound lovely?

So far so good. I have seen these ladies (the group changes now and then, I guess some of them take turns, sick leave or a holiday to the Bahamas) on National Geographic and on several cultural, ethnic and official websites. Aren't they great and typical? No, they are not. Here is the truth (sorry, Pontius Pilatus).

Banaue is the only city in the Rice Terraces area that is easily (well, 9 hours on a bus) accessible by road, it is infested with souvenir stands, and it even has one net café (offline 23/24) and 2 Karaoke bars (that close at 9 pm, sigh). The viewpoint is only 15 min away from the center, and tricycles or vans queue in line to take you there. For a bargain price of course, as always in the Philippines. It's their newspeak for a rip-off. And a viewpoint? Well not really. The view is blocked by an endless row of more souvenir stands and fast food outlets.

Now, about the 3 lovely ladies. Well, in the middle of the debris of the souvenir stands, they found their market niche. They are posing for money. Japanese and Koreans queue in line to have their picture taken with them. And they do very well, I gave them 100 pesos for a series of shots with me, me and Derrick, Derrick (hey Fishie, if you read this, I still love you!) and of them. Very clever business ladies, those 3 wicked entrepreneurs. A 100 pesos is the daily income for a schoolteacher in the area. That's almost 2 USD.

But the story goes on. Derrick and me rented a motorcycle for a few days and we driven all over the rice terraces dirt roads, to boldly go were no American tourist has gone before. Deep into the mountains. Well, Derrick is an Ifugao guy, he speaks the language that is not Tagalog. The sad truth is, the evil has spread everywhere. No Ifugao costumes, just t-shirts, cell phones, portable radio's and cd-players everywhere, that play loud disco and Céline Dion. And I am dreaming of a White Christmas of course (it was Holiday season), pretty weird in a tropical mountain area when you are sweating your ass off between the mosquitoes.

The 3 ladies were of course fake. But what is fake? A poor developing country doesn't need more highly paid Aid workers that roam around in their fancy air-cooled 4x4's and with 19" laptops to "report". They don't need f*cking socialist "solidarity" projects. They just need a fair chance on the market, a chance to grab opportunities, and be good entrepreneurs and make their own life. And these 3 ladies did quite well.

Link: Philippines photos

Photo: (click to enlarge) the VH "Prize of Manager of the Year 2003".

06:16 Gepost door VH | Permalink | Commentaren (3) |  Facebook |

Commentaren

Curse of the Manager of the Year Prize You KNOW what happens to Managers who get the Prize of Manager of the Year Prize, don't you? (at least in Belgium)

Anyway, you still sound like you got your head on. Unless this is a prerecorded message.

Gepost door: The Outlaw Michael Cosyns | 01-03-05

Yup Taxed to death, regulated to death, fined to death

Gepost door: VH | 01-03-05

Curse of the Manager of the Year Prize Uh, rather the fact that over the past decade most of those who got the Trends Prize of Manager of the Year either all died (e.g. Spector's Mussche) or went bankrupt (e.g. Lernout & Hauspie). Given the ladies' age and the fact they seem to be doing brisk business, I think it will be the former.

Gepost door: The Outlaw Michael Cosyns | 02-03-05

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