A Filipino columnist’s Histrionic Headline


To criticize a newspaper column because of its title should be handled with the proper care. After all, some writers do not even get to choose the headlines having to relegate that task to the editor or someone else in charge of producing a sexy headline intended to drive up circulation.

In his Dead Shot piece, Erwin Tulfo, writing for the Manila Times, ostensibly chose the headline Cha-cha designed to subjugate us to foreigners. Cha-cha is the typical Pinoy way of abbreviating to the point of obscurity. However, for Americans who love to learn about the island nation, wading through all the lexicon can be quite onerous.

The Philippine constitution is called the Charter which has not been amended hitherto. There is a movement to make a change to the Charter which will allow foreigners to own 100% of the archipelago’s media, utilities, schools, and land. Prior to this proposed constitutional amendment (Charter change), foreigners were allowed  a maximum of 40% ownership in said entities.

Tulfo  positing that Cha-cha is designed to subjugate us to foreigners, is indisputably ludicrous. I guess the bone that this writer is picking is the columnist’s usage of the the word designed in the headline. How many government leaders(Malacanang) would sit around the table scratching their chins to create(design according to Tulfo) policy that would “subjugate their country to foreigners”?!

The answer would be zero. Tulfo is, perhaps, reacting in an excessively patriotic fashion and many probably agree with him. An alternate point of view is that relaxing the restrictions on foreign ownership of Philippine assets might stimulate the economy and produce an economy of scale more efficient than what is currently practiced by businesses and corporations in this country of around 100 million.

Is this newspaper headline truly the writer's intent?
Is this newspaper headline truly the writer’s intent?

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