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Presumptuous

Netnet Camomot .

TYPHOON Domeng was in Manila where it caused floods and cancellation of classes. If there’s a Cagayanon still daring to say he’s blessed upon learning that at least Cagayan de Oro was spared, wait till a Manilan will also gloat over being blessed once a typhoon chooses to skip Manila. Like beauty, being blessed is in the eye of the beholder.

Social media posts usually reveal the best and the greatest and the happiest moments in one’s life, and those who are not feeling better and great and happy will now wonder why they have less. Yes, it may not be your fault they have less, but you don’t have to rub it in.

A person’s social media posts are comparable to press releases of a public relations team. That’s why we were shocked when we learned about the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. But they were rich and famous and had fabulous lives!

Posting on social media can be an affirmation that one exists, to convince the self that it has a life. Pinch yourself right now. If it hurts, that means you’re alive. You don’t need social media for assurance that you are.

Having a life doesn’t mean partying every night, travelling all over the world, dining in five-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants, buying cars and houses, shopping for many clothes and accessories so that you have a different attire for each photo that you’ll then post on social media. Only those who can recognize brands, landmarks and recipes will appreciate your posts, anyway. The rest of the world is too busy to care. If you’re not yet a world-famous celebrity or politician, only your small circle of family and friends will recognize you. If you’ve levelled up a little bit, about a thousand people know you. Levelling up some more will add more people to that circle. If you want to be famous in Cagayan de Oro, be the city mayor, congressman or vice mayor. Anything less than that, you’ll still remain an unknown to the Cagayanon who doesn’t watch, read or listen to local news.

Social media can be tricky. If you’re pretty in photos and witty in videos but can’t replicate that once you’re facing an audience, there’s a possibility they’ll be disappointed. The public image should be true to the character of the person it’s trying to boost so that there’s no, hmmm, what’s the term? Confusion? Culture shock? But you’re neither a celebrity nor a politician, why the concern on public image? You don’t need fans. You don’t need votes. What you need is a true friend.

That’s why the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration has the color-coded rainfall advisories, three colors to alert the madlang pehpohl on the intensity of a typhoon so no one will be confused. If flood is possible, there’s yellow. Once flood begins to threaten, the color darkens to orange. The warning of all warnings is red for evacuation. There’s no in-between, like yellow-orange or orangey red.

The traffic light also uses three colors: red, yellow, green. There’s no yellow-green or greenish red. The distinction is precise and exact. No room for confusion. As for the driver who doesn’t get it at all, he could be color-blind.

Upon his arrival from South Korea last week, President Rody Duterte revealed his plan to “make radical changes.” So, if these changes become real, don’t claim you’ve not been warned. But there’s room for confusion there—when does a change become radical? Still, President Duterte continues to say it as it is, he doesn’t mince words, if ever you’re still confused with his statements, perhaps you have to morph into a Dutertard while trying to see where he’s coming from.

Even in love and romance, confusion can be cleared by truly listening to the object of your desires. The answer is always a yes or no. Yes means yes. No means no. Don’t wish for a maybe to mean yes, or else—and this is a most crucial “or else”—you’re merely presumptuous and the confusion will result to accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. In this age of #MeToo and #TimesUp, confusion is the last thing you need. “Maraming namamatay sa akala,” as the saying goes.

And that must be how the families and friends of Spade and Bourdain are feeling now. Akala ko masaya ang buhay niya. But depression, like hypertension and diabetes, is an illness that requires medication and therapy. “Akala ko” is harmful to one’s well-being. Better be sure of your akala.

At least this one is true: Akala ko non-working holiday ang June 15. It’s going to be another long weekend especially for Manila which already had no classes on Monday due to Domeng, on Tuesday for Independence Day, and today for Eid’l Fitr. Today is also Cagayan de Oro’s Charter Day. Classes started only on Monday last week and students are already enjoying all these holidays. Yay! Typhoon pa more? Not!

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