In privacy is reality

TO THE QUICK - Jerry S. Tundag - The Freeman

I am just another sinner, so I will not judge Jim Paredes over his actions in a leaked video that has since gone viral. I will not even describe what he did in the video that has caused such an uproar in a country that has scandal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Most people should have seen the video by now and those who haven't can always look it up.

Paredes, one of a pop trio called Apo Hiking Society that was popular in the Philippines in the 1970s and 1980s, has since admitted to the authenticity of the video and apologized, after initially denying it and calling it fake. He should have left it at the admission and apology, though, and gone no further.

But Paredes, who regained luster after fading as a pop star by becoming one of the harshest and unforgiving critics of President Duterte, just could not leave it at that. He had to couch his admission and apology with the claim that the video being private, his rights have therefore been violated.

Be that as it may, it consequently exposes Paredes as being only half contrite, if at all. He has not emptied his heart in remorse. On the contrary, he clearly harbors a deep and throbbing resentment toward those who violated his privacy and placed him on the spot.

What Paredes is saying without actually expressing it is that everything would have been all right if only somebody did not leak the private video he made of himself. Had he not been unceremoniously exposed, he would not have been forced to admit anything. Life would have gone on as usual and nobody would have been any wiser.

By underscoring the violation of his privacy instead of what he did in private that has got the public so stirred, Paredes only laid bare the true person that he is. He has completely missed the point that what he did in private is far more important and instructive than all the subsequent admissions and apologies that one can muster.

It is what a person does in private that defines his true character. The public face of a person can be put on and spruced up. The public face is why makeup was invented and public relations and advertising have become such lucrative professions. But, as they say, it is in the fine print where the devil resides. You can fake public apology but sin is sin even if no one sees it.

What Paredes did in private is what he truly is as a person. Privacy is the stage upon which the true light of character shines. Paredes regrets what the sordid episode has brought upon his family. He should have thought about that in all of those times when he himself had been so harsh and unforgiving to others, including, whether he likes it or not, his own president.

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