DNBG: Pugad Baboy, PDI, and The Divine Comedy

Pugad Baboy

“Pugad Baboy,” the popular comic strip from artist and author, Pol Medina Jr., first appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) way back in 1988. For over 2 decades, the comic strip has poked fun on virtually everything under the sun but with particularly biting insights on Philippine politics, media, and the Filipino culture. Pol Medina has been such a veritable fountain of creativity, intellect, and humor that his body of work has managed to grow robustly over the years–spawning multiple collected editions, merchandise, even a live-action TV series–and, moreover, has continued to stay relevant and as sharp as ever while winning new, younger fans and keeping old ones. It’s not even a stretch to say some people buy PDI just because it carries Pugad Baboy, and Carlos Celdran (the flamboyant tour guide and social gadfly) made the same remark on his Twitter account.

But in a shocking twist of events, Medina and PDI’s mutually beneficial and longstanding relationship suddenly cracked and split open this week. Medina was suspended by PDI because–after 25 years–Pugad Baboy somehow finally crossed a line. It had apparently made a joke so grave and offensive, that the national broadsheet, which trumpets the slogan “Balanced News, Fearless Views,” simply had no choice but to temporarily cancel the strip, essentially forget about freedom of speech, and suspend the brilliant author.

The joke? Pugad Baboy said pretty girls and possibly some nuns in St. Scholastica’s College were lesbians.

PDI Can Burn in Hell

To put it quite bluntly, PDI can burn in hell. Or in that green, nasty wildfire from Game of Thrones, which scorches through metal, bone and flesh. Whatever piece of paper escapes from this fiery extermination must then be gently crumpled up and used to wipe the asses of more intelligent people who are clearly not part of the moronic bunch who suspended Pol Medina.

To put it quite bluntly.

Because why the fuck would you suspend somebody who wrote a freakin’ joke in a freakin’ fictional piece of work (suspiciously named a COMIC STRIP) composed of freakin’ fictional characters?

Why the fuck would a newspaper, which prides itself as a champion of press freedom and free speech, do such a thing if not for the fact that whoever’s running it is as dumb as a bag of doorknobs?

Apologies. Let me pull myself together for a second before I spam this article, (which started out quite professionally) with more fucks and fuckity-fuck-fucks.

(Breathes in, breathes out). Ok. Maybe the reason for this travesty is not really a tragic depletion of intelligence. According to reports, St. Scholastica’s College administrators had an “emergency President’s Council Meeting” in the aftermath of the devastating comic strip, and “The Sisters’ community” also had to convene lest somebody failed to understand the seriousness of the matter, which was appropriately described by the letter from the Office of the School President as a “crisis situation.” After the 11th hour deliberations, the administrators reached the conclusion that they must sue PDI if they did not hear from the newspaper about their protest.

And so PDI, upon receiving St. Scholastica’s threatening letter, and being the epitome of press valor that it is, FLEE WITH ITS FUCKING TAIL BETWEEN ITS FUCKING LEGS AND FUCKING SUSPENDED THE FUCK OUT OF POL MEDINA.

SWEET JESUS! BY ALL THAT IS HOLY I SWEAR TO G–HOW SPINELESS DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO GIVE IN SO EASILY TO SUCH A THREAT?

I mean, as a national broadSHIT–sorry–broadsheet, wouldn’t you expect every single day that some people and organizations would find something disagreeable in your paper? It is, after all, a newspaper–a bunch of paper filled with news, half-news, speculations, sometimes downright bullcrap, some views, and, yes, comic strips that are all subject to discussion and interpretation, and by extension, subject to possible lawsuits, too, if some entities really deem them THAT wrong.

But doesn’t that come with the profession? Isn’t that part of the trade? It makes me wonder what’s so terrifying about St. Scholastica’s letter that PDI had to turn its back on its own principles and its longtime profitable contributor. Surely, countless other people and groups have threatened to sue the paper throughout its publication and it stood its ground like any normal, sensible newspaper would do?

And here is where my rational investigation of PDI’s motives end because I can’t really think of any other reason why they resorted to go full retard aside from utter stupidity or cowardice.

Of course, there are other possible explanations. Pol Medina himself says he smells a consPIGracy that has something to do with his anti-Marcos strips. I’ll just let you guys chew on that while I reach deep under, feel my nuts and happily appreciate the fact that I still have them unlike PDI.

The Joke’s on PDI and St. Scholastica’s Administrators

Pugad Baboy Pol and PolgasIt was inevitable that some people online discovered their knack for original thinking again and ended up comparing Pol Medina’s fate to Vice Ganda’s. After all, they’re both jokesters and they both made offensive jokes that roused the gravity of some long-dormant issues and the righteous anger of some Filipinos.

In the same vein, it was inevitable, too, that these people were going to be tagged by me as giant boneheads with an IQ of a toenail.

First of all, Pol’s joke was totally different from Vice Ganda’s. Pol’s joke was about some girls being lesbians and possibly some nuns, too. Vice Ganda’s joke was about gang-raping Jessica Soho while she looked for an apple because supposedly she looked like a lechon.

Can you see the difference? If you can’t, then I suggest you set an appointment with a psychiatrist right away because your moral compass is hopelessly broken and it is very likely you’re currently developing into a remorseless serial killer and you’re not even aware of the silent transformation.

There’s simply no excuse for joking about rape the same way there’s no excuse for joking about genocide. You notice I said genocide, not murder. Because it’s easy enough to justify the murder of a single, twisted man but there’s no way an ethnic or racial group deserves genocide. Likewise, nobody deserves rape. After all, there’s a reason it’s called a crime against humanity. And that is why, no matter how big a fan of Vice Ganda you are, if you’re a level-headed person with at least a passable moral compass, you’d understand how the comedian’s joke was unacceptable.

That is simply not the case with Pol’s joke.

In fact, an open-minded person shouldn’t even find anything remotely offensive in Pol’s comic strip–certainly not something offensive enough to warrant suspension. Let’s get to the crux of this: what is offensive about saying some pretty girls and possibly some nuns in St. Scholastica’s College are homosexuals?

I must be a complete tool as I fail to grasp what’s so contemptible about the statement. Isn’t being a lesbian just another gender category like being a boy or a girl? Let me put it this way: in an alternate universe where people are mostly homosexuals and straight folks are the minority, that comic strip would say some pretty girls and possibly some nuns in St. Scholastica’s College are straight. See the absurdity in that? Isn’t the statement totally normal and harmless? And it should be totally normal and harmless because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a homosexual just as there’s nothing wrong with being straight.

But alas! We still live in a society where backward-thinking witch hunters can throw their weight around without getting kicked in the arse even if they royally deserve it. We live in a society where it’s so goddamn difficult to pass legislation for population control, safer sex, and the protection of women amidst all the hysterical wailing from the sidelines that we sinful lot are going to hell. Separation of State and Church be damned. We live in a society where surviving Australopithecus robustus curiously called “bishops” urge us to not judge Charice Pempengco while saying she’s undergoing an identity crisis and that she needs guidance (One can never be too careful. After all, young lesbians grow into EVIL adult lesbians who are proven to be extremely horrifying). A society that makes clowns out of a group of people who are, by all measure, normal and unremarkable except for the fact that they’re not restricted by socially constructed notions of what are expected from males and females.

Sometimes, I just find myself feeling sorry for the rest of us straight people–us, stone-age idiots who will surely be the laughing stock of the genderless, classless future. But don’t you worry. PDI and St. Scholastica’s administrators are still going to be the centerpiece of the hilarious freakshow. I’ll be laughing my bones off in my grave.

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8 thoughts on “DNBG: Pugad Baboy, PDI, and The Divine Comedy

  1. I personally think the dumbest thing in all of this is that the strip was a rerun. It was first published on March 2013 and no one gave a hoot. Now some dumb editor reruns it and not only is there holy furor, only PMjr gets flak.

    That is the conspigracy right there!

    So PMjr gets shafted but the editor who green lighted the strip didn’t???

    Was no one reading the strip in March 2013???

    PDI – Philippine Daily Idiocy

  2. As much as I really want to stress the difference between Pol’s joke and Vice Ganda’s joke, I think it’s definitely because of the fallout of the Soho hullabaloo that the strip suddenly elicited such outrage. But you’re right. It’s totally unfair that Pol’s the only one suffering here. As a Pugad Baboy fan, I just hope this issue, far from turning people away, actually increases the popularity of the strip and Pol.

  3. Dude, he singled out St.Scho ! incase you didn’t noticed. Freedom of expression does not give you rights to malign an institution. You’re stretching the line between freedom of expression and malicious lol

  4. @golden lily: Er… no. You’re the one who’s missing the point. See, in a world where people don’t care whether you’re straight or not, whether a whole school or any other institution is comprised of gays or not, there would be nothing wrong with Pol Medina’s joke. So what if St. Scholastica was singled out as a school filled with lesbians? Is there something morally wrong about that? Is it a crime for homosexuals to fill an entire school? If your answer is yes, then clearly you’re sexist or homophobe and I don’t want to argue with you.

    1. In the outside world, nothings wrong being called a homosexual, but in St. Scho’s eye being a homo is a sin. So calling their student homo is calling them sinners.

      1. You’re absolutely right. I think the one who’s most at fault here is St. Scho who has essentially displayed bigotry by proclaiming its embarrassment for having homosexual students–a fact which doesn’t really bother people who don’t share the same archaic sexist attitude. I wonder how gay students there feel when their school has basically tried to cover up their existence as if it’s a crime.

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