NOW, we come to the ultimate cyber bullying I’ve been subjected to so far. And it involves a silly girl with zero foresight and a seemingly déclassé designer who always ends up mangling Shakespeare’s favorite language as seen in his constant ululations on Facebook.
But before I continue, let me get a few things straight.
Quoting loosely from Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, the supposed architect of martial law who has successfully reinvented himself in the eyes of a new generation of Filipinos as an elder statesman-slash-rock star, I’m not doing this to settle scores. Had I wanted to, I would have done it a long time ago with guns blazing.
Like Enrile, who was also quoted to have said these words during the recent launch of his published memoirs, neither am I doing this to look good. Nothing I say would make me look any better or wiser to people who hate me. That’s why I’ve stopped trying a long time ago.
I just want to impart a few life’s lessons I’ve managed to learn along the way to those who care to listen. There may be a fine line that separates the professional from the personal, but there is, nonetheless, a line that divides the two.
Should we dare cross this line by taking legitimate criticisms related to our work personally, we would end up revealing more about ourselves than the object of our derision.
My latest brush with cyber bullies happened during the latter part of 2010 after one of my fashion reviews came out. (Why are you not surprised?) This time, the perpetrators were brave enough, or, so it seemed, to identify themselves.
It was one of those smorgasbord shows cooked up by people behind Philippine Fashion Week (PFW), which featured a group of designers. To cut a long story short, one of the featured talents was Raoul Ramirez, whom I don’t know personally.
Ramirez took offense at my less-than-glowing reviews of his collection, and made his feelings known by posting all sorts of insults against my person on Facebook—from my looks to my supposed lowly origins and inability to travel abroad to be able to discern what real fashion was all about.
When somebody told him that I’ve been to almost every continent in the world except Antarctica, Ramirez was reportedly adamant that I couldn’t have afforded all those trips on my own. Wow, how could I even hope to meet his standards of chicness when he kept on raising the bar at every turn? No fair! 😀
Ramirez, in his own brand of fractured English that could have turned the likes of Melanie Marquez into a seasoned English major, kept at it on Facebook for weeks on end without getting any reply from me.
The funny part was I didn’t even know initially that he was throwing everything at me, including the kitchen sink. He obviously took my review personally, and couldn’t stand the fact that someone had dared to point out obvious weaknesses in his collection.
It took a mutual friend of ours on Facebook to update me of his fury. Even funnier was I didn’t even know that Ramirez was also on my list of Facebook friends until a friend—a real and not virtual one—pointed it out to me while I was covering a cruise in the Caribbean. I was most likely too engrossed with all those nice, hard bodies to pay any attention to my newsfeeds. 😉
I had this bad habit before of accepting friend requests from strangers based on the number and quality of mutual friends we have. If your friends were my friends, then I didn’t see any reason why we couldn’t be friends. Sadly, based on my experience with Ramirez, it doesn’t always work out that way. (Coming up next, the chubby girl’s identity and my conclusion to this tale of bloody injustice. Natch!) 😉