Netizens mixed reactions on APEC Summit 2015 go viral

MANILA, Philippines – Netizens have mixed views and sentiments on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit hosting of the Philippines this 2015. With the power of democracy online, some wordy posts on Facebook which tackle disappointment and appreciation went viral online.

APECtado? Netizens have mixed views on Philippine hosting of APEC 2015.
APECtado? Netizens have mixed views on Philippine hosting of APEC 2015.
It seems there's a debate on how the country handled the preparation for APEC as well as its importance for the Filipino people. The discussions started when a certain Kenneth Manuel shared his opinion on Monday expressing disappointment on Aquino government’s arrangement for the ‪APEC Summit.

RELATED: APEC Summit 2015 summary, review for reaction paper

"If you have to suspend work and classes to avoid traffic on an international summit, it's evidence that there's something wrong with public transportation.

If you have to provide a special lane for visitors and delegates, it's evidence that there's a problem in infrastructure.

If you have to hide the homeless for the streets to look good, there's something wrong with social welfare and housing.

So, Filipinos, how's the day of being slapped as a second-class citizen?

It hurts that we have to suffer traffic every day, but the government gives a fast lane to APEC delegates.

It hurts that street lights get fixed and public cleanliness is at its maximum for this summit, but we have been so used to being patient, silently suffering, for the poor services they provide.

It hurts that they'll be provided with internet with speeds of up to 8.5gbps, while we continue to crawl at kbps speeds.

It hurts that Manila looks so presentable this week, not because the Filipino people deserve it, but because the government wants the APEC delegates to see our fake beauty.

It hurts that the government knows there is a problem but does not solve it unless foreigners will come.

It hurts that the government can serve them so much better. It hurts that we are second-class citizens in our own nation. We all deserve Manila at its best every day, not only when foreigners come to visit.

When hospitality becomes too much, it becomes a self-sacrificing hypocrisy."

Manuel's Facebook post garnered more than 30,000 Likes and 15,000 shares online. He then answered in separate post some netizens who called him ‘stupid’, ‘bobo’, ‘walang ginagawa’, ‘puro reklamo,’ ‘masyadong nega,’‘nagmamagaling’ and the ‘only second-class citizen.’

"If there’s anything that 30,000 likes and 15,000 shares taught me, it’s the fact that we differ in opinions, and when we do, some ridicule you for the mere act of expressing it, and resort to invectives and ad hominems. It’s also the reality that 30,000 users may have 30,000 different interpretations of your words, with a lot deviating from your true intent," Manuel said.

He also challenged netizens to contribute to a better Facebook.

"Remember that behind every post, there is a human author who may get hurt on the things you say, and let’s be sensitive in what we comment, not just on my post, but on others’ posts as well. I have hurt a few government employees over my post; I am sorry to them, and I have been hurt by a few commentators to my post; I don’t know if they are sorry hahaha! Let’s contribute to a better Facebook, let’s create an avenue where people will not be afraid to express themselves, where people will not fear to get ridiculed, where criticism is constructive, and where wrongs are not punished but rather corrected," he added.

Meanwhile, in response to all the criticisms on Manuel's article, another netizen Apple Jolo also posted her wordy reactions on Tuesday looking for a positive side of the ongoing APEC summit.

"A certain Mr. Kenneth Manuel posted his sentiments on the APEC Summit online which garnered thousands of thumbs up and shared more than two thousand times. I feel you, man. I get frustrated too. Allow me to post this one as well, in response to all the criticisms in the article, punto per punto.

1. If Government has to suspend classes and work this week, there definitely is something wrong with public transportation. But it's not entirely the throngs of vehicles that may clog the streets; it's the drivers behind the wheel who need an attitude fix. Government knows that about Juan Dela Cruz and to lessen the burden, you pull the roots before the weeds grow.

2. If homeless people need to be relocated and hidden from foreign visitors, it doesn't happen during international summits alone. Government does that every week, practically begging stubborn Filipinos to stand up and rebuild their lives through DSWD and local governments. The thing is, you give a Filipino one arm, he also demands for the other.

3. We swim in disgust over APEC delegates being given a special lane, while we suffer horrendous traffic each day. This week is important not just for Government, it is important for all of us. The leaders present in our homeland did not come alone. They are accompanied by an entourage of businessmen whom we hope will consider investing in the country -- so that MAYBE, we can get enough funding for public transportation projects like your trains; so that MAYBE, should enough trains be built and cause massive lay-offs in the PUV industry, the unemployed can have a chance to work in foreign companies present in the country instead; so that MAYBE, these foreigners can teach us a thing or two on how to work first, get there fast, and complain later; and last, we give them a special lane so that MAYBE, they won't shy away from investing in the Philippines because money is wasted while we sit in traffic.

4. Traffic lights may be busted once in a while in different areas of the Metropolis. But when you see a traffic light blinking yellow, almost always, there is a traffic enforcer in the middle of the road (rain or shine), doing the job of the damn thing. It's the drivers who arrogantly do not follow that's usually the problem. And if it hurts to see Manila so squeaky clean this week, it hurts MORE when we realize that street sweepers are trying to keep it clean but it is WE, Filipinos, who throw our candy wrappers, cigarette butts, spits, and all our shit on all goddamn corners EVERY SINGLE DAY.

5. We suffer poor internet speeds because we are slaves of your big telecommunications companies who fight each other for monopoly. We suffer because our Constitution gives too many restrictions on foreign investors, making selfish Filipino telecommunications magnates our ONLY choice if we want internet. The Philippines' doors are half-closed to foreign companies who CAN provide us better net service and CAN give us an option to choose between a turtle or a rabbit. APEC tries to open that other leaf for all of us.

6. It hurts when Filipinos say we have FAKE beauty. It hurts when Filipinos see the negative more than the positive. And it hurts when out of ten Pinoys, only 1 or two are PATRIOTIC despite the hardships. Our Government is only 1% of the whole Filipino community; the other 99 is YOU and ME. So if we say the words FAKE BEAUTY to describe the Philippines, we say that to describe OURSELVES.

7. It hurts when we put the burden on Government's shoulder alone, without asking what we can do to help; it hurts when we use our role as taxpayers to shout and corner Government for flaws WE CREATE ON OUR OWN; it hurts when we tag Filipinos as second-class citizens when it is WE who forced that status upon ourselves.

Now, I don't know which culture taught us our damn attitude of whining all the time and pointing blaming fingers at others except ourselves. No foreign country forced us to be miserable. We chose that out of our free will. We choose to be a-holes who cut lines on the road when we can simply follow a straight line; we choose to desecrate our streets with trash when we can simply keep it in our pockets and wait until we see a trash bin; we can choose to plant crops and live decently in our hometowns in the province instead of facing a harsh life and add up to the list of homeless and poor in Manila; we can choose to follow infrastructure regulations to support better urban planning instead of waving money to have our buildings and houses recklessly built at the expense of our neighbors; we can follow the coding scheme strictly instead of playing hide-and-seek and catch-me-if-you-can with traffic enforcers, and add up to traffic; we can vote better candidates for Government seats but we choose the ones who smile with celebrities over logic; and we can look at the Philippines, that has stood the test of our painful gullibility, with renewed pride instead of bashing it over and over again.

I will not be sorry for this. The system prevails because we ALLOW it. You see, people in Government come and go. Even the Philippine President cannot overstay in Malacanang. If, even after so many Heads of State have been elected since the Republic was born and yet nothing has changed, then it is not Government alone that has a problem. Like mathematical fractions, the main denominator in every different phase in Philippine history is US -- the constituents.

President Vladimir Putin once said that Russia is for Russians; if you cannot live by the laws, you leave. Filipinos should learn from that. The Philippines is for Filipinos. And once you OWN it, you hold your responsibilities with firmness. If we change the attitude, we can change the country."

What is your reaction on APEC 2015 meetings? Are you pro-Kenneth Manuel or better believed on Apple Jolo's reasoning? Express your thoughts in the comment section below.

RELATEDAPEC Summit 2015 summary, review for reaction paper

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