Father Teresito "Chito" Suganob, the vicar general of the Cathedral of Our Lady Help of Christians, who was abducted by the terrorists soon after siege started in May 2017 has indeed been rescued, released, whatever. Basta. He's free period.
There were some who were starting to doubt the news broke out by Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process Jesus G. Dureza the day after he did after the Armed Forces of the Philippines refused to confirm the information.
Thus, newsrooms were churning out titles like Palace refuses to give update on Marawi siege and that AFP would rather not comment.
Presented to the media yesterday in Manila, the priest looked like his old self -- portly and with his long beard. It's as he appeared in the video after the abduction, where he pleaded for the attack to stop.
Because of this as well, more conspiracy theory spinners' imagination is getting wilder. Some even hold the priest in suspicion, and for what? For looking the way he did when he first appeared on video.
True, there is reason to doubt. But to spread one's conjecture just on the appearance of the priest alone is just too much.
In this age of social media where thoughts and information are sent out to the world at a snap of the finger... or should we say at a click of a key.. it's easy to be drowned in conjectures. The sadder part being that many of those who are quick to beam out their conjectures are those who have their own personal agenda, usually to destroy.
To think, that social media as it is now is still in its early years...
Situations like this underscore the need for the elders, all of us, especially educators, to teach media literacy and discernment and most of all, restraint.
While indeed, we should always question the information being fed us, it is also prudent to choose which information really matters.
In a world where everything is presented right at our mobile phones, we can get lost in the worries of the world that should not even bother us. No, that's not apathy. It's called focus. It's called choosing our battles.
We cannot live a life where we stress over everything that crosses our path. There are things that we just have to let pass, and those that we have to ponder on or fret upon.
We can fret and ponder on the needs of the Marawi evacuees and from that fretting and pondering we come up with ways to help. But pondering on the next military move is an exercise in futility, since we are not the military nor will our strategies ever find its way to the totem pole of military hierarchy. We can express anger over the ruins that is Marawi now, but only if we allow that anger to bring upon actions that will help in its rebuilding.
The world is too noisy as it is now, let us be conscious about the noise we make and work toward making sure that whatever that noise is, it brings forth something good.
A long time ago, old folks gathered at hotel coffeeshops where they solve the problems of the world. That was good because in those gatherings, they are able to socialize and they have something to look forward to for the day. Now, you do not even have to get out of bed to engage anyone and everyone in the problems of the world. Before you notice it, time has passed, your own problems unsolved.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 19, 2017.
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