Surveillance

Surveillance is used by governments for intelligence gathering, prevention of crime, the protection of a process, person, group or object, or the investigation of crime.
(https://en.m.wikipedia.org › wiki).

Surveillance when used properly can really help any government in their crime watch campaign. That’s why it has become mandatory to put up CCTV cameras in most public areas and even owners of private homes and businesses have also invested in this. Lately, the use of drones for surveillance has also been utilized.

But do you know that in the Philippines, there is an emerging culture of so-called “human CCTV’s”? where some people are actually spreading news/stories (regardless of true or not) as if they have witnessed it first hand like a CCTV camera.

Its origin can be traced back to the culture of gossip in the Philippines.

Gossip Culture, the “spice of life” among Filipinos. The dictionary defines gossip or “tsismis” in the Philippines as idle talk or rumor, about the personal or private affairs of others. And the act of gossiping is known as dishing or tattling. Filipinos’ fascination with idle talk dates back to the pre-Spanish period.

This usually involves middle-aged married women (although this is now also being observed among the Filipino youths) living in the villages, who after their husbands left for work would gather around outside their homes and ditch out some dirty little gossips around the village. They would gather around and kick off their conversation with “anong bagong tsismis”? (what’s the new gossip?). Stories can range from a simple who is new in the village to a cheating husband/wife. Even so, these women seemed to be so sure about everything.

There is a local TV/Radio program in Manila with a format of helping people solve their problems from the simple ones to the most complex. The program has complainants whom they would put on the air and then calls the other party being accused of a certain irregularity or crime. Then the host, along with his team would make an effort to pacify both parties. They have helped many Filipinos especially the ones who can’t afford to pay for legal services. The program has become so popular that lately even wives complaining about their husbands cheating or having an affair have appeared in this program.

It was in this radio program that I first heard of the term “human CCTV”; at times when the complainant would bring in friends or neighbors to back them up with their claims. These neighbors and friends would tell their versions of the story as if they were really present or have witnessed it first hand. From then on, the host calls these friends/neighbors as “human CCTV’s”.

For some of the viewers and followers of the program, these so-called “human CCTV’s” are merely the ones who heard the story from another which was passed on by another person, which later on would result in a chain of hearsays (though not always the case).
Gossiping can be very damaging to one’s credibility and character; but even then and despite this awareness, some people still really love to gossip. And if we look closely at these gossipmongers or tsismosas, we would notice one common denominator – they are mostly full of insecurities.
Can insecurity triggers gossip? The answer is yes. Why? ” People who talk just to fill in the silence, talk constantly about themselves, or talk even when others are noticeably bored, are often desperate to be noticed.  A secure person is not threatened by silence and doesn’t mind actively listening to others instead. A secure person doesn’t feel the need to spread rumors for attention or to backstab someone, and would rather spend their energies on something positive and uplifting.”
(Trudy Adams, 10 Signs of Insecurity)

So the next time you open your mouth and say something about someone, think about this: why are you doing it? Will it be for the common good? Or you are just simply channeling away your insecurity? You may not want to admit it but that could be true. Maybe that person has something that you don’t have or you have been dying to have, but you can’t.

Gossip can and may come in many forms. Think about its effect or repercussions before you do it. Or, maybe you just can’t stand the fact that that person is a lot better than you are.
They say, “We hate the things that we don’t have” and that hate could result in gossip.

 Untitled (tanaga)

 

ang aga mong maglibot
ikaw ay isang salot
pighati iyong dulot
tsismosa kang may hugot

 

English Translation

it’s too soon to wander
you are like a plague
bringing sorrow and heartache
gossipmonger,  that’s what you are.

img_1607

In response to the above photo challenge of Sadje https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2020/05/04/what-do-you-see-25-13-april-2020/

That photo reminds me of those village women who eagerly wait for their husbands to leave for work so that they can start with their gossip spree

As men/husbands joyfully leave early morning for work with the hope of providing a better quality of life for their family, women/wives on the other hand eagerly await for them to leave and begin their own daily routine of potentially destroying another human being.

Written for kate’s Friday fun https://aroused.blog/2020/05/02/friday-fun-surveillance/
Tanaga, a Filipino form of poetry with 4 lines and with 7 syllables each. The rhyming scheme could be AAAA

For

Snowheart eto https://snowheart0529.wordpress.com/2020/05/03/para-sa-mga-mag-aaral/ na ang unang tanaga ko sana maayos ang tagalog ko

I have been wanting to write this one; but as soon as i saw Gina’s https://alifelesslivedblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/02/tiny-tanaga-on-the-second-of-may-2020/   Tanaga i thought, I am a Fililipo i should be writing this form..lol..

Published by michnavs

Philippine-born Michelle Navajas, currently residing in Malaysia. Michelle authored the book “After – Rain Skies: A Million Stars” for PWW during their Million Stars campaign. Graduated with a Master of Education majoring in English in the Philippines, Michelle was a former college professor, teaching literature, speech & oral communication, creative writing, drama, and theatre arts. Michelle is active in her writing profession and works as a freelance creative writer. Michelle passionately blogs at www.michnavs.wordpress.com, where you can find her prose and poetry on love, life, motherhood, and her advocacy on abuse and violence. A published author on Spillwords NYC https://spillwords.com/what-if-snowflakes-dont-fall-in-winter/ Her poem “Again” is published on three platforms, on MEDIUM -an International Writers and Readers Space, AFRICA WRITERS CARAVAN, and at WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS. kindly go check the following links –https://womawordsliterarypress.home.blog/2020/06/29/imagining-life-after-the-ravaging-virulent-covid-19-pandemic-a-special-journal/ –https://personalitiesofinspiration.wordpress.com/2020/06/29/imagining-life-after-covid-19-a-womawords-june-edition/

67 thoughts on “Surveillance

  1. great post Mich and you sure have covered a few prompts! Well done 🙂

    insecurity and desire for attention are big motivators for gossip mongers with no consideration of the lives they ruin. I tend to change the subject or move away when someone starts to gossip .. Gossip is full of lies and harm and it can only be spread if people listen … Don’t listen and certainly don’t spread!

    Can’t believe you have a radio show that specialises it … may help some but what about those they harm? And some would agree to be human cctv’s purely for the few minutes of fame with total disregard for the truth … very sad!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much kate for the prompt. It lead me to this post. And i agree some people will do everything for a few minutes of fame and i still dont understand why they do such.

      With the current pandemic i heard from some few friends back home, gossiping has become intensed as they have more time to gather and gossip not mindful of the lockdown policies ..well, they actually dispersed and run whenever they hear the serene of the police patrol.
      Really sad..

      Liked by 2 people

      1. such a tragic waste of life and time … and the harm they cause is very real!
        Must say I’d be tempted to video record them … show their husbands and then the police ….

        Like

  2. I’m so glad that you wrote this. Indeed, just a little fun gossip mongers don’t realize the harm that they can cause. And heresy always gets distorted as the version keeps repeating from one person to another. Like the story of a very fair woman who gave birth to a child who was fair but not fair as the mother and finally the rumour became the mother is as fair as snow and the child as dark as coal!

    Like

    1. Ohhh dear that’s really true…stories told over and over again gets distorted and would eventually have a diffirent final version. Its just sad though how many people opt to do this despite and inspite of the awareness on the repercussions of gossips.
      Thank you for reading and for adding your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, thank you for speaking up about this, gossip really is a huge issue in today’s world! It was really interesting to learn about “human CCTVs” and how it plays out in the Philippines…..As a teen myself, I can definitely say that gossip is everywhere in high school (well, that’s how it’s always been for generations!) and it really does more harm than good! You’re right, insecurities are the fuel for gossip – people bring down others to make themselves feel superior and to give themselves a sense of security. But if they were truly confident, they wouldn’t reassure themselves by pointing out other people’s faults. They would be confident simply with the fact that they are comfortable with themselves. Very well-written!! 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you my dear for speaking up against this …and as a young girl i am so impressed by your amount of understanding way better than the adults actually. Gossigmongers are present everywhere…in our neighborhood, school and in our workplace. Its not healthy and its damaging.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. And oh yeah its common in my country..very sad but that’s true.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahhh, thank you mich!! I agree, it’s definitely really toxic and damaging for everyone – even the gossipmongers themselves…I know your post will make good differences though, hopefully people will be more aware!!

        Like

  4. Well done Mich, achieving four challenges, that’s a real act of positive and constructive achievement to be proud of, unlike the idle gossip of sad and lonely people who would rather destroy the lives of others rather than work to improve their own insignificant one! Xx

    Like

  5. This is a great post Mich. We do need a reminder how damaging gossip can be. And going out too soon too.
    Thanks for joining in the challenge.

    Like

  6. A great post and well said about these gossip mongers. It is everywhere in every country. When people have no work they do this and point fingers at others. They will not talk about their family but talk about others and ridicule them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a really good point kamal…gossip mongers only find faults on other people but seldom (or never at all) talk about their own faults ..and when confronted, they even have the audacity to be mad …ahhhh such kind of people should be avoided

      Liked by 2 people

  7. That is a good message. When someone has been hurt on an accident I believe spreading the word is good so more prayers are said. But day to day gossip can be hurtful especially in a small town. For living in a small town most people don’t even realize I still live there because we are so seldom home and when we are home we keep to ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So much truth! The gossip is a real problem in small towns in the US. The phrase is that “everyone knows everyone’s business.” Seems the hot bed of gossip is the grocery cashiers! All the women pass through and spill the beans on everyone. Sometimes it is true and most of the time it is just petty lies. That is one aspect of big city living that is a positive – relative anonymity. I love this poetry form. I’m going to have to try it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I Love the Human CCTV exactly that. Describes Aswan to a “T” the men and women gossip. Empty vessels always wanting to destroy another’s relationship. I refuse to talk to my neighbours and this makes them sick in the head as they have to know what I am doing. People even stalk you to know what you are doing. Very sick society of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its good to know you are able to stay away from nosy neighbors Nanette..and yes its true these neighbors seemed to be in dire need of wanting to know whats goin on..as if you owe them something..

      Keep safe my friend

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I had not heard of this. 😮 It is scary. 😦
    Gossip is never helpful. Sadly these days with the internet people think if something is said/ or “in print” it is the truth. And a lot of times it is not.

    People rarely try gossip with me anymore, because they’ve learned if they say something to me about “Joe”, I will say to them, “I wonder if Joe knows about what you are saying. Let’s go ask him together and find out.” Of course they don’t want Joe to know what they are saying or passing on about him, so that ends them gossiping with about Joe with me. 🙂 I won’t put up with gossip.
    (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol ..i love how you deal with these kind of people Carolyn.
      Back home when a relative or a friend hosts a party, they would say ” you should come, otherwise you’d be the topic in the party”. This is true, as i have attended dinners and other events and i have observed the friend or relative who is absent is the topic of in the dinner…that’s why i slowly stop attending events especially if i know that the host have friends who love to back stab people.

      Thank you so much Carolyn..😊😊😊

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That is so sad to me. Especially if it’s a relative. 😦
        No one should be talked about behind their back unless people are only saying good and wonderful things about them.
        You’re welcome!
        (((HUGS))) ❤ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. excellent tanaga! I got Isaac to translate as much as he could understand! Wow powerful stuff here Mich. Insecurity makes monsters out of people it seems, and I also see some inferiority complex. Probably both are linked. When a person has that, fear becomes a religion and they find the only way to feel good is to find fault with others. It makes me feel vulnerable and unsafe if I had people like that around. An act of kindness might be misunderstood and communication must be sorely lacking. Stellar writing my friend. your points hit home!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow…Isaac can speak and understand tagalog?…wonderful😊😊😊

      This situation really happens Gina and you are right to say you will be unsafe to be sorrounded by this kind of people..and if you live in a small town or village, when everybody wants to lay their hands on everyone’s life, its really dangerous.
      And for most of them they are not aware that they are damaging people’s lives and credibility and when confronted they even have the audacity to be angry and mad…and would make excuses… i have witnessed and seen these kind of individuals and i must say, no amount of kindness or generousity will make them change their ways.
      Best regards to Isaac..😊😊😊

      Liked by 2 people

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