The last two months of each year are like a “heroes’ months” in the Philippines where we mark Andres Bonifacio’s natal day on November 30, Dr. Jose Rizal’s death anniversary on December 30, and the birth of Graciano Lopez Jaena, founder of La Solidariad on December 18. The mood every November and December is definitely heroic and full of zest, with everyone in high spirits because of the holidays.
Let me share two points in this week’s piece – how we should really be grateful for what Andres Bonifacio had been to us as Filipinos still in search for the right leaders after more than a century, and second my so-called Social Media Decalogue, just like Bonifacio’s set of ten principles for the Katipunan which he wrote and called The Decalogue.
The young man who sparked the fire in the hearts of Filipinos to dream of a republic and took up arms to lead Filipinos towards this dream is also the first victim of election fraud. Writings about the 1897 Tejeros elections where Aguinaldo won and Bonifacio lost say many ballots were already filled out before being distributed, and that there were more ballots prepared than voters present.
He was sentenced to death and killed for not recognizing the government of Aguinaldo who kowtowed with Spanish forces all along. His execution was not even properly undertaken like the Spanish honored Rizal even in his death. His family was brutally murdered by Filipinos who did not even have the decency to put a marker for a hero except for a small twig as records say.
Now we teach the heroism of Bonifacio to the youth, yet we seem to condone the buying and selling of votes, we believe the self-aggrandizing narratives of politicians that spew photo-finish releases in media to woe your shallow understanding, we despise and cast hate among each other about issues that do not have any relevance to how we move forward as a nation. History will continue to repeat itself – as long as Filipinos worship heroes instead of inculcating good principles, as long as Filipinos are fanatics of political figures instead of remaining true and concerned for their country.
Today, the new heroes are fighting their battles in the virtual world, where information literary travel fast like the speed of light. As a responsible virtual citizen, here is my Social Media Decalogue:
First, I only share originally made content and graphics unless I wish to convey the message of the ready-made graphics and necessitates my sharing of it. Second, I don’t post about or mention names of people who are inconsequential and irrelevant to me or my advocacies. Third, I only share information from credible sources unless the source of information is classified, but the information is essential. Fourth, I don’t comment about actions of private citizens that have no important consequences to me or peace and order, public safety and public policy.
Fifth, I comment on actions of public officials that will affect the public and are undertaken in the exercise of their public functions and use my posts to call them to their duties or call the community to action or to warn them of danger or harm or guide them to make informed decisions. Sixth, I share information that I think can inspire even just a single individual to a course of action that will be good for society in general and do not care whether it has a thousand likes or just one. Seventh, I share my achievements and accomplishments, even the simple ones, to inspire others to persevere with their undertakings no matter how simple.
Eighth, I strongly condemn actions that are attracting to much space in the virtual world but are not worth emulating and do not deserve the spotlight and the pseudo-legitimacy that social media afford them. Ninth, I share posts to express my sadness and share in the sadness of others or express happiness and join in the happiness of others, to make my virtual presence felt by those whom I cherish and appreciate in my life. Tenth, I share posts to show my support to advocacies, products, actions, programs, and advocacies I care about, to recognize and support those who are doing their best on advocacies that are aligned with mine or that I think will be beneficial to society.
These are the guideposts of my virtual presence. May I abide with them faithfully.