The Frog, The Scorpion and The Philippines

Have you heard the story? A scorpion wanted to cross a river but couldn’t because he can’t swim. He found a frog, then asked him to carry the scorpion across the river. Knowing the destructive nature of the scorpion, the frog hesitated. He asked, “how do I know you are not going to sting and kill me while I take you to the other side?” The scorpion is smart and skillful with his words. He said “I would be too grateful to kill you, it wouldn’t be fair at all for me to harm you in anyway. Besides, I will die if I do that”. The frog believed the scorpion, so he carried him on his back trusting that the scorpion will keep his promise. Midway through, the frog felt a stabbing pain on his back. In the corner of his eyes he saw the scorpion pulling his stinger out of his back. “You fool! Why did you do that? Now we’re both going to die!”  The scorpion responded as they started to sink. “i can’t help it, it is in my nature.”

Now, think of the Philippines. Think of the coming elections. Think of the candidates… Make sure you don’t have a scorpion on your back.



luto1Luto means cook or in the context of this post “cooked” and again in the context of this post has nothing to do with preparing a meal. Luto is how Filipinos describe a rigged contest, where the judges of a contest connived to make an undeserving party win. The accusations are not always without merits, then again they don’t always have merit. They are often results of disappointment due to a party’s failure to make it to the top despite remarkable efforts and are beaten by a seemingly inferior party.

Having been in the receiving end of such an accusation lead me to look into the nature of this issue. Is crying luto a stage of loss called denial? a way to save face? An absence of trust in the system or the people behind the system? A way to tell the people behind the system, “you are a bunch of cheats and this is one instance to prove that you in deed are.” It’s subjective, one party will say it’s luto, the accused will say it’s not. The people around will probably never hear the end of it. The issue will fade away until the next opportunity to cry luto. There are actually people who believe that Oscar Dela Hoya gave away the fight to Manny Pacquiao. There are actually people who believe that the judges cooked the result of a contest or raffling of  Christmas prizes in their  last Christmas party. A sad thing to have in a season of being good and giving.

It has been so prevalent in this society that a lot of people don’t take it seriously any more. I think however that this issue is serious because it is a subtle sign of a problematic relationship. If there is no cheating and people say that there is, it could mean that there is no trust. If there is in deed cheating, then it could mean that there is no respect. If there is neither trust nor respect, a relationship can’t last. The absence of trust or respect has its roots. Find it and then nip it.