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Our Reason Why We Criticize


One Saturday night I think that is, I got to enjoy a movie with my younger brother, Jonathan.

“Kuya nood tayo ng Disney Channel.”

“Ano palabas?”

“Ratatouille”

Dahil bihirang-bihira ko mapagbigyan ang kapatid ko dahil akong pagod, I gave in.

I don’t know whether you have seen Ratatouille. So Allow me to give you a synopsis of this movie.

It’s a 2007 movie which features a provincial rat by the name of Remy who has a wonderful sense of smell, hates garbage and risks death to enter a human kitchen where he discovers real food and the cooking of a five-star chef, Anton Gusteau, author of “Anyone Can Cook.” So basically, the movie is all about a chef rat and a clumsy youth hired as a garbage boy who later became a chef through the help of Remy.

Allow me to remind you, this  is not a movie review (LOL).

I am just going to focus on one of the characters by the name of Anton Ego, who is a food critic in the movie and publishes on the newspapers his criticisms on someone’s cuisine. Since nasa Paris sila, mahalaga ang mga food critics and their criticism could either make your restaurant a five-star one or something that is not worth visiting at all.

Most of the times, we fail to see the boundary between a constructive criticism and a destructive criticism. Sa halip na makatulong tayo, tayo pa nga ang nakakasama.

In the movie, Anton Ego said and I quote, “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.”

Very true. Very true.

Masaya tayong nabubuhay sa negative criticisms dahil dito my thrill. Kaya siguro mahirap mapuksa ang isang tsismis. Kasi tayo mismo ang bumubuhay dito.

As I observe myself and my being a Milagrosan, I am a fault finder. I was raised by the environment to look after the fault of others in order to criticize them thinking that my criticisms will help them change their ways. Last night, Mahal na Ingkong made me think twice– whether I am really serving my purpose of criticizing people. And He is right (He never went wrong actually), hindi na ako namumuna upang itama ang mga mali bagkus, masaya lang akong mamuna nang mamuna kasi gusto kong ilagay ang sarili ko sa itaas at gusto kong patunayan na mali sila at ako ang laging tama. Dumagdag pa ang Mahal na Birhen sa pagpapaalala sa akin, hindi tamang magmapuri ako at magmataas na sa Milagrosa, we are doing it right because it is not Her way. She calls for humility not just for me but I think for us all.

Sapul ako. Wapak!

Iba talaga ang pumuna dahil gusto mo itama ang isang bagay kaysa sa umani lang ng papuri. At lalong masama yung pamumuna na bunga ng inggit. At ang pinakamasama, hintayin mong magkamali ang isang tao tapos gigiyerahin mo ng pamumuna.

Naniniwala akong hindi layunin ng Mahal na Ingkong at ng Mahal na Birhen na ipaunawa sa akin sa aking pagninilay kagabi na huminto tayo sa pamumuna. Bahagi ng buhay ang pamumuna kaya nga siguro naging part din siya ng ating mga dictionary sa mga libraries. Ibig sabihin lang nag-eexist siya. Pero dapat nating isaalang-alang na mayroong tinatawag na mabuting pamumuna at nakasasamang pamumuna. Ang ating layunin ang nagpapabuti at nagpapasama sa isang pamumuna. Para sa akin, higit yatang maigi na pumuna gamit ang gawa hindi ang salita. Kung pupuna kasi tayo na gamit lamang ang salita, pinapatunayan lamang natin kung gaano tayo kababaw. Minsan pumupuna tayo at idinadaan pa natin sa joke, sa tingin ko hindi rin healthy yun. Ang mabuting pamumuna ay isang tapat na pag-uusap. Walang biruan, walang sugar-coating. At ito ay nagsisimula at nagtatapos rin sa isang panalangin. What do I mean? Before mong harapin ang taong kakausapin mo, luhod. After mong sabihin ang nilalaman ng puso at isip mo, luhod ulit.  Iluhod mo sa Panginoon na sana maunawaan ng taong iyon kung bakit mo sinabi ang mga bagay na iyon. Dahil kung di mo ito gagawin, ikaw ang nagbunsod sa sarili mo para mamuna. At IKAW ay prone to personal bias, unhealthy reasons at self-centered motivations.

Yung sinasabi ko namang patunayan sa gawa? Naniniwala ako na ang tunay na critic gumagawa. Kaya niyang patunayan hindi lamang sa salita na ang kanyang iminumungkahi ay karapat-dapat gawin. Hindi sapat sa meeting na magsuggest tayo. Hindi marapat na sumigaw ka sa EDSA na TAMA NA. SOBRA NA. PALITAN NA. upang palitan ang isang Pangulo samantalang wala ka naman ipapalit na mabuti o kaya ayaw mo naman maging pangulo.

Sabi nga ni Oscar Wilde sa librong The Picture of Dorian Gray, “The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things. The highest, as the lowest, form of criticism is a mode of authobiography,” ang ginagawa mo sa buhay mo, kung paano mo isabuhay ang buhay mo, ay isang maliwanag na criticism mo na. Sa ganitong paraan, maiiwasan mo nang makasakit sa salita, at nakagawa ka pa ng mabuti. Isabuhay mo ang prinsipyo mo. Huwag puro dakdak! Puro drawing, wala namang kwenta.

Ito ang hirap sa akin e. Nagrereklamo ako bakit ang tagal magkaroon ng bahay ang bawat Pilipino pero di ako sumasali sa mga gawain ng Gawad Kalinga. Nagrereklamo ako bakit baku-bako ang daan, e hindi naman ako nagbabayad ng buwis at di ko naman binabantayan kung nagagasta ng tama ang pera ng gobyerno. Ganyan din ako sa ganapan natin. Salita ako nang salita, wala naman akong nagagawa. Puna ako nang puna, wala naman akong sinabi. Gusto ko ganito, gusto ko ganyan, ayaw ko naman magsakripisyo. Gusto ko gawin natin ito, gawin natin iyan, di naman ako umaattend ng meeting at ayaw ko naman gumawa. Hays. Ang babaw ko.

“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope,”  according to Oscar Wilde

Fault-finder and Fault-waiter ako dati. I’ll change from this day forward. Remember, doubters do not achieve; skeptics do not contribute; cynics do not create.

Milagrosans, let’s change. Let’s change our history.

Who comes with me?


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