Anonymous blogger Pinoy Ako Blog (PAB) recalled how now DSWD Assistant Secretary Lorraine Badoy posted about a ‘Bayani’ magazine cover with Vice President Leni Robredo on it and said it apparently came from the Liberal Party when it turned out to be a high project of some high school students at the Philippine Science High School (Pisay).
PAB was referring to the post that Badoy made in December 2016 about a magazine bearing the name “Bayani” with the first issue showing Robredo with her back turned on the camera as the cover. The photo was taken during the 2016 election campaign.
Badoy then posted:
“I get so much info/chismax in my mail. This one I just got. Apparently, the Liberal Party is coming out with this mag.
And I was thinking, wow. Someone ought to save them from themselves. Unless spoof mag ito. Joke siguro ito?
Please, kawanggawa muna tayo.
Tell the Liberal Party why this is a realllly realllly bad idea.
Also, what are these clowns smoking?”
You can also see Badoy’s post here.
But one of the students, Jia Parma, who designed and created the ‘Bayani’ magazine as their high school project spoke up to explain the circumstances behind the making of the controversial magazine cover.
“Hi, tita Lorraine! I hope this doesn’t get lost in the sea of comments haha. I just came back from a 12-hour drive from Sagada. There, I enjoyed 4 days of offline bliss – I hardly ever checked my phone. The first thing I heard of when logging back on was news of this post. Apparently my Filipino project was being shared and criticized by hundreds of people, and the original post was by no other than you, tita. Yes, I was part of the small group that produced this ‘Bayani’ magazine. In fact, I designed it, chose the cover photo, and even gave it its now infamous name.
I’m not one who regularly engages in political discussions online – there are others who are far more articulate and well-versed on the subject – but I felt involved in this. It is, after all, my project, my beliefs, and my school you are criticizing.
Before anything else, I want to let you know of my respect and admiration for you; I want to thank you.
Thank you for being outspoken and never failing to lend your voice to those who would have not otherwise been heard without it. Thank you for refusing to be silent and always fighting for what you believe is just. Your countless posts on FB alone are enough to inspire me to fight just as passionately for what I believe in.
Thank you for loving our country with a burning passion, and refusing to settle for anything but the best for it.
Thank you for raising one of the friends I hold dearest. I admire him just as much and learn from him every chance I get.
The project was given to us with several pages of technical instruction. They were particular with font size, spacing, page numbers, sources, etc. When it came to subject matter, however, we were free to choose whatever we wanted. Our group of five wanted a subject we were passionate about; something we felt was worth writing about. So we chose to write about current political issues in the country. In effect, the project reflects the opinion of only five students – the school itself had nothing to do with the production of this magazine or the opinions found in its contents.
In the eyes of my group, VP Robredo is worthy of the title ‘hero’. You and I may not share the same sentiment, and that’s alright. On behalf of my group, I assure you that our faith in the VP was not placed there by someone else. Not by our parents, not by Jillian, and certainly not by Pisay. Each of us is well-informed of VP Robredo’s achievements and success stories, of her imperfections and shortcomings. We don’t dare call her a god, and we are not blind to her flaws. We’ve done our own research and carefully dissected the information gathered. At the end of it all, our faith is still with her. I’m sure you’ve gone through the same process with our president and have come to a similar conclusion.
We believe that every decision she has made up to this point has been with the betterment of our country in mind. She is without ulterior motives. She has fought against the odds multiple times – in fact, she continues to do so. That, to us, is a hero: one who sacrifices and perseveres in the name of the Filipino people.
It might be an argument that though the school had no direct influence on this project, its general teachings are biased towards the LP. No such generalization should be made. Pisay is one of the most politically aware and politically diverse youth communities I know of. I have classmates who have fiercely opposing views on the same issues, schoolmates who do not subscribe to the same sociopolitical beliefs as some teachers, yet we treat each other with no less respect.
No, I don’t share the same political beliefs as all of my peers, but that’s one of the reasons why my stay in Pisay is so enriching. We are continuously challenging each other’s opinions – political discourse on my Twitter feed is not a rare sight.
I admit that before high school, my views of the government were skewed. I unquestioningly copied the beliefs of my family. Entering Pisay has changed that. All opinions are welcome, and if a student happens to have a divergent one, all the more are they encouraged to share it.
This school project was done as an act of hope and was shared to the public in a moment of pride. Please don’t twist it into an act of hatred and manipulation.
I also felt it was necessary to comment because of the large following you have gathered and the influence it has. If your opinion was shared, our side of the story needs to be heard by the public as well. Social media posts can be so powerful, it becomes dangerous. I hope many see this comment and become more informed on the issue. Having now heard both sides, maybe both sides can refrain from harsh unnecessary comments and form reasonable opinions on the matter for themselves.
My respect and admiration for you has by no means diminished. I still look up to you very much, tita, and I hope that the way you see me has not been tainted because of our opposing views.
Respectfully yours. :)”
On January 1, Badoy acknowledged and even re-posted Parma’s comment on the ‘Bayani’ mag cover. She called Parma’s response as “the kind of engagement” that she wished Filipinos would have, while expressing how proud she is of Parma whom she thinks of as her daughter.
“Someone I deeply admire and love for her strong mind and big heart and her kindness, someone I like to think of as my daughter because my children love her and think of her as their sister, wrote the following.
It was in response to my Leni Robredo post and I almost missed it because the thread had been muddied by trash talkers and I stopped reading any of the comments.
And I want to share this with you because Jia Parma makes me so proud—like I had to clutch my chest for the love and pride I felt for her when I read this. I teared when I read this. Just for the sheer pride I felt for Jia.
This IS the kind of engagement I’ve always ALWAYS wished we Filipinos would be capable of.
Jia and I do not share the same political views but none of that has affected the way we regard each other.
Something that a lot of adults are not even half capable of.
So I want us all to sit down and let our children teach us.”
But PAB took issue with Badoy’s other post after she got called out for posting the ‘chismax’ about the magazine cover as Badoy said: “At the very least, we owe these kids a clearer definition of what constitutes ‘heroism’.”
“Ang magazine project ng bata inintriga niya funded by LP. Pero nang malaman niya na she was wrong nilait pa niya lalo si Jillian na dapat malaman nang bata kung ano ang heroism daw at kasi para kay Jillian hero si VP Leni,” Pinoy Ako Blog wrote.
Here is a clearer text of Badoy’s response, as posted by another blog.
“I was told that the mag cover of Leni Robredo under the banner ‘Bayani’ that I posted yesterday is the Philippine Science High School project of Jillian Robredo. My son, who also studies in Pisay told me this.
I never said this was an official mag. I was told it was but I left that part open to being corrected because I wasn’t sure if it truly was. And in fact, I expressed my desperate hope that all this was was a joke. A spoof mag.
Turns out this is a school project. And I am not taking it down. Nor am I apologizing for it.
My children, as Jillian Robredo, are scholars of our country’s top science high school, the Philippine Science High School.
They owe their education –a top rate one, may I add–to the Filipino people. And I am deeply grateful for all of you who have made this possible. Pisay is my children’s fertile ground where they have bloomed and evolved quite well—as it is for thousands of kids.
It really takes a village to raise a child.
And just as this village has stepped up to raise my children, so am I stepping up in doing my share in educating my children and other people’s children about our democratic processes.
Jillian Robredo can hardly be faulted for thinking her mother a heroine. Don’t all mothers wish their children thought of them as heroines?
But see, Jillian Robredo’s mother is not just an ordinary citizen that she holds up for her classmates–our top scholars– to see as a heroine. Leni Robredo is the country’s most powerful woman– our Vice President, no less.
And her abysmal performance as public official needs to be called out.
Still Jillian Robredo is within her rights to think her mother as VP is exceptional. A heroine, no less.
Just as we are within our rights to express what we think of the VP who happens to be her mother.
You say, but this is merely a school project.
And I say, all the more we should take this on because these are our children we are talking about. Our country’s most important resource. All the more we should educate them.
Also, this is Philippine Science High School. Our country’s top scholars, where our leaders come from. To whom much is given, much is expected, right?
At the very least, we owe these kids a clearer definition of what constitutes ‘heroism’.
And we owe these kids a clearer picture of how freedom of expression—one of the bedrocks of a vibrant democracy–works.
So there. Now get off my back, you ninnies. I hope that clarifies things for you.
ALSO– PLS TAKE ON A TONE OF RESPECT WHEN EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN. OK? PRETTY PLEASE?”
While researching more about this December 2016 issue, we found this Kami article containing various screenshots of some netizens’ reactions to Badoy’s ‘chismax.’
One Pisay student, who said that she was one of the students who made the ‘Bayani’ mag project, spoke up.
Another netizen urged Badoy to apologize for her post, while others slammed her for saying how the kids needed to know the “clearer definition of what constitutes ‘heroism.’”
Badoy was accused by netizens of bullying after she called Robredo ‘Uncle Sam’s basurera,’ after which Therese “Gang” Badoy Capati, her half-sister, social activist and Rock Ed PH co-founder, asked her why she is “so vile, so deeply and unnecessarily mean.”
But the DSWD Asec denied all these bullying allegations, saying that Robredo is in a more powerful position and is the one who “relentlessly tries to sabotage efforts of a working government to serve its people well.”