OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide (The Freeman) - December 27, 2012 - 12:00am

The line “to each his own” from a Pat Boone song came to me years ahead of “different folks, different strokes” which was a title of a television production. They are decades apart. I learned the first, by humming its tune, during my upper elementary grades, while I encountered the second as a weekly show shortly after I stopped working for a television network. But, despite the huge time differential between them, there is a Cebuano word that can approximate an accurate translation for both of them. It is “Iyahay”.

When two people do the same chore in different ways, they are acting to each his own because they may have diverse perceptions of how best to achieve specific objectives. “Iyahay” sila. This is also true when two companies perform similar undertaking in dissimilar ways. They are, in all probability, guided by corporate visions and thus, indeed governed by different strokes. Mao nga mag “Iyahay” pud sila.

Before applying this Cebuano word to a particular scene, let us remember that last Monday was declared a special public holiday. There were no government personnel working that day. The public was not supposed to transact business with any government agency. So, understandably, no one was reporting to work then, at the capitol, specifically. But, of course, Gov. Garcia, having holed herself up at her office, had to continue staying in what she believes, to date, as her office.

“Iyahay” can best describe the manner by which two competing television giants approached a common issue in the continued stay of Gov. Gwendolyn F. Garcia, at the capitol last Monday. I refer to the way the local stations of ABS-CBN and GMA covered the newsworthy events of the day. This was capsulized in the way they hit the airwaves with their early evening news reporting. We saw Balita Patrol and Balitang Bisdak, respectively.

The top story of Balita Patrol was the visit of a general from the Central Command at the office of Acting Governor Agnes A. Magpale. I am sorry, I did not get his name and rank. On the other hand, the headline news of Balitang Bisdak was the appearance of Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada at the governor’s office where Gov. Garcia was.

On that aspect alone of the choice of top news, I saw the variance. Balita Patrol believed that the generals’ visit was of higher billing, so to speak. That was why it focused its cameras and sent it reporters to get the details. Let me surmise why that was its top story.

It was a special public holiday. Acting Gov. Magpale was not expected to report to work. So, she must have either arranged for the visit of the general or agreed to such visit at her office. The purpose was to show the importance of the event. Here was the highest ranking military officer of the command paying homage to the acting governor!

For its part, Balitang Bisdak had a different perspective. Allow me to opine why. GMA-Cebu saw it was a more important event to see the Vice President and the Senate President, who are the number two and number three highest officers of the land. They were accompanied by Past President Joseph Estrada, no matter his forgettable fate with the Sandiganbayan. Perhaps, they came to our island and see for themselves the situation involving, not only their political ally, but the ramifications of the suspension order.

Here is another observation. The story of the visit of Vice President Binay, et al., also came up in the ABS-CBN report that day. But, it was buried deep behind the other news items. There were incidents, which, to me, were of less significant but, they came up ahead. I must have lost my perceptions of what is more worthy because I thought it was perfectly okay if Balita Patrol placed the general’s visit and that of Vice President Binay’s one after the other. Either could have ranked higher.

This was what Balitang Bisdak did. It was perceptible to me that those stories shared top worth only that civilian authority being supreme, it opted to rank the vice president higher in news billing than the military. Or so I view!

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