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.
( › 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.


In response to the above photo challenge of Sadje

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
Tanaga, a Filipino form of poetry with 4 lines and with 7 syllables each. The rhyming scheme could be AAAA


Snowheart eto 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   Tanaga i thought, I am a Fililipo i should be writing this