Note: This article “survived” many edits and updates after it went viral. If you want to help in the relief operations for victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), please click here.
While the storm rages outside, the article “CNN Heartfelt Comment on the Update of Super Typhoon Yolanda” with a seemingly legit CNN photo appeared on my Facebook News Feed at past 2:00 am today.
At first glance, I thought CNN really commended us Filipinos for our “survivor spirit” despite the series of disasters (earthquake then super typhoon) we are going through. As one eager for knowing (and living for) the truth, I clicked my friend’s Facebook post thinking it will bring me to CNN’s website but instead lead to http://fbnws.com.
[Their website went down after this post went viral online, and now back again. Also, here's a similar blog.]
Click a photo to enlarge and view in black.
Quest for the Whole Truth and Responsible Journalism
I searched for a link to the CNN article on their website but there’s none, so I researched online. After about an hour of probing for CNN-related videos and articles, I found out that the online commendation was actually by a certain “dudesk001″ at the Comments section of CNN’s post, Super Typhoon Haiyan, perhaps strongest ever, plows across Philippines. (See my cellphone screenshot.)
dudesk001 [commented on CNN's post]: “Time to get to know the hardy Filipino people…unbelievably resilient, long-suffering, good-natured, uber friendly, loyal, ingenious, and a bunch of survivors.
At the end of the day, the Filipinos will just shake off the dirt from their clothes and thongs, and go about their business…and SMILE. They do not complain much, they will bear as long as they can.
Maybe this is why they were given the “privilege” of bearing the burden of the strongest typhoon ever recorded.”
This gratifying comment that triggered FB News’ obscure headline appears to be one of the earlier comments (among thousands) at the bottom of CNN’s update. As of this writing, FB News’ article gathers tons of comments (and web traffic) from those intrigued by its ambiguous title. I’m guessing…
- Maybe its writer (or editor) didn’t realize it would be misinterpreted.
- Maybe they just got the information somewhere and did their own version
- Or maybe they did it intentionally to drive traffic to their blog (hopefully not)
Aside from their vague headline, their “processed” photo is too: a combination of weather forecast photo from CNN’s article, attached with CNN’s logo. To deliver the “whole truth” to the public, this intriguing photo should have specified where the comment came from (dudesk001) and a link to CNN’s article where it appeared.
Netizens, Wise Up and Beware!
Sadly, some netizens tend to think it must be true if it’s published online. Worse, some people on Facebook hardly read everything they see on a post and just hit “like” thoughtlessly. While others with good intentions, share a post hastily, without validating or giving credit to its source.
Bayanihan Spirit Caused the Viral Spread of the Processed CNN Photo
As for those speculating that dudesk001 may also be a Pinoy, please hear me on this. Online codenames are very tricky. It’s hard to tell a person’s ethnicity (and other pertinent details) by their codenames. What’s important here is the “heart or intention” of the commentator.
While we Pinoys are not desperate for attention; we still live by our “bayanihan spirit” – carrying each others’ burdens.
I believe that the reason why this “edited CNN photo” went viral (before I felt the need to share this article) was because, we Filipinos want to somehow alleviate the sufferings of our typhoon-and-earthquake-stricken countrymen, by sharing some encouragement.
While it’s true that we (nor any other race) don’t have to prove anything to the world, and that we can survive these disasters (by God’s grace) without any global recognition, a bit of pat on the back won’t hurt either, and may actually help those who are suffering.
Nonetheless, it’s a good thing that someone (not CNN for this matter) appreciates the Pinoys’ “indomitable spirit.” In trying times like these, every encouraging word (and prayer) will make a world of difference for our nation.
I’m proud to be Pinoy. “Pilipinas, kaya natin ‘to!” [Philippines, we can do this!]
As for the real CNN compliment, CNN’s Anderson Cooper said the below quote in this video:
“Can you imagine the strength it takes to be living in shock, to be living, sleeping on the streets next to the body of your dead children? Can you imagine that strength? I can’t. And I’ve seen that strength day in and day out here in the Philippines. And we honor them with every broadcast that we do.”
Please pray for my beloved country, the Philippines, as we brave the mega storms from within and without.
Singer-Musician-Book Author, Jim Paredes, retweeted this blog post on the supposed “CNN Heartfelt Comment on the Update of Super Typhoon Yolanda.” I had many retweets from complete strangers too. :-)
I’m not used to this so thank you very much! I’m gushing with joy. I’m honored and humbled by this. Ang pinag-puyatan kong blog post (for research and many edits) paid-off well…and it’s NOW GOING VIRAL. Amazing! :-)
My blog Ranked #1 today at Top Blogs Philippines, out of 168 on-site registered Religion blogs nationwide, above my most admired blogs: Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) News, Act Like a Man, FEBC Philippines, and DennisSy.com etc.
Top Blogs Philippines track the number of unique visitors and pageviews each blog gets. This is historical for me, and I may never be able to duplicate this feat again…ever.
“Thank You, Lord, for fulfilling one of my bucket list goals to “become part of the Philippines’ history.” Mga kabayan, para sa’tin ang recognition na’to!”
Click a photo to enlarge and view in black.