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Rough Cuts | Why it’s hard to let truth out

Last Saturday we were in our farm residence as we usually do during week-ends. We were tending to our ornamental plants within the house compound while the wife was dusting the tables, the cabinets, cleaning the rooms of our three children. The rooms are left empty since the two of our three progeny got married and have their own family, and the other one who is still single and works in a downtown establishment opts to stay in our city residence.

Suddenly the wife dashed out of the house looking mad. We asked her why she was squirming and apparently angry. She showed to us a photo album that looked like it was dipped in mud and has since dried up. She threw the album on the concrete portion of our ground and there we found out the reason for her unusual behavior. Termites have found their way into the cabinet where the albums are kept.

The two of us were dead worry at the thought that all the photo albums that contain the mementos of important events in our lives including those of our children may have already been lost to some undesirable wood-gnawing tiny creatures that attack by the hundreds of thousands, even millions.

True enough, all but three of the fifteen photo albums we have hidden inside that particular shelf of the cabinet were eaten by the termites. There were pages that seem untouched by the razor-sharp teeth of the insects but the crawlers also left what could be their slimy waste. The dried up component stuck to the album sheets like hardened earth almost similar in strength as the newly molded earthen jars or cooking pots.

After taking out the albums from the shelves and placing the same outside so we could safely “annihilate” our extremely tiny house enemies we have to hurriedly pull out our books and other reading materials placed inside the adjoining shelves.

We were so worried that the books and other bound periodicals may have also been attacked by termites. Our worry was more on the possibility that the two sets of encyclopedia that we purchased by installment on very expensive costs may have already been nipped empty or rendered unreadable by the slime or hardened earth waste of the terrible creatures.

We had to retrieve all the books thereat as well as magazines and other bound files and research materials and inspect the same one by one. Thank God, all the books and magazines were spared, or possibly not yet reached by the radar of the termites.

It was during this very unlikely undertaking of the so-called 4-S in the house that we came across a long forgotten copy of a book by Dr. Juan M. Flavier, former Health Secretary and later a senator who was further made famous by his catch phrase “Just DOH it.”

The book is titled Parable of the Barrio Volume VIII containing Parables 351-400.

We are taking some risk in this opportunity to reprint Dr. Flavier’s Parable No. 351 in the light of the proliferation of the so-called “fake news” made easier to reach its intended audiences through the social media.

Devious persons, including juridical, and groups including politicians and their parties craft the fake news to ensure that their vested interests are enhanced or protected.

Clearly, they intentionally disseminate fake news to create misinformation, to muddle the truth and to escape responsibility as to the source of any fake statement.

Dr. Flavier’s Parable 351 is about the truth. It says:

“The aging farmer was the most famous and most sought-after adviser in the whole barrio. People came from afar to seek his counsel on various aspects of life. From minor decisions related to the rice production to far-reaching changes in their lives.

“Apart from his wisdom, his wise words were simple and easy to understand. Best of all, he always gave his answers in the form of a story. They were truths well told.

“‘Why do you give an anecdote each time you wish to drive home a point’? asked a young farmer.

“‘I shall explain by telling you the Parable of the Truth,’ replied the old man.

“’Please do tell us,’ chorused the other farmers.

“Many years ago, Truth roamed the earth naked and completely unadorned. Wherever he travelled, people scorned and avoided Truth. Some were fearful. Others were ashamed. All did not accept nor accord any welcome to Truth. Mostly because Truth was naked.

“Meanwhile, Parable was enjoying great popularity. He was always sought-after and the people enjoyed his company. For Parable was garbed in multi-colored clothes and bedecked with attractive trinkets.

“One day, Truth met Parable along the road. Parable noticed and commented on Truth’s sadness and dejection.

“’I am depressed because I am useless and ugly,’ replied Truth.

“’What utter rubbish,’ Parable said. That is not the reason you are not welcomed. It is simply your appearance. Look at yourself – completely naked. Let me lend you my multi-colored coat and a few of my ornaments. See the difference and the effect.’

“And true enough, wearing Parable’s garb, Truth was finally accepted by everyone. People not only welcomed Truth but even sought him out.

“As dusk settled on the group of farmers partaking of the tuba, the wise old farmer ended by saying, ‘For you see, man cannot face the truth in naked form. People much prefer truth when adorned as a parable’.”

That, without doubt, is the reason why people are glued on television every time there is Congressional Committee investigation on critical issues in governance. Should we be surprised if some of the resource persons prefer to be jailed for contempt because they’d rather deny or not talk about the truth?

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