Anatomy of a rumor: that leads to nowhere
by: ELY P. DEJARESCO
What is a rumor? A rumor is an idea, or an event, heard or relayed by any means to anyone which has no basis in fact, but, which the human mind usually wants to believe as true.
Such was the much talked about another sex scandal in Dumaguete, they say, as part II sequel of the voyeurism controversy a year back. Medically, the scandal bordered around the sickness called Vaginismus. If you want the meaning, just google it and you will have it in full and complete with anatomical fotos. This item is only for the educated and mature audience to know further. It will not help the ignorant since they will just simply fantasize about all their misunderstanding, as the guilty rumor monger did, whoever he was.
Fact is, there is no evidence at all that it did happen in Dumaguete. Our fact finding expedition rendered the following rumor as untrue and all in the negative. First, the Holy Child Hospital administration denied that they have any record of such occurrence nor did they have a consultation that fit the rumor at anytime in the last 3 weeks. Yet, all who heard claim they heard it from DYGB and no other station. DYGB thru Prox Balatayo and Diones Manaban said they will issue a reply not later than August 6.
Second, St. Paul Universtiy claimed in a statement that SPUD was singled out by the alleged rumor monger (whom SPUD claimed to be a broadcaster and will now be sued by SPUD administratively and criminally, since that is their perfect right) denied that the woman involved was one of their teachers. In fact, SPUD issued a media statement to that effect. After the school made an actual headcount among their faculty and staff, no one was missing nor dead, as the rumor intimated. SPUD filed a formal complaint against the broadcaster before the KBP chapter here headed by Roy Bustillo. Bustillo called a KBP board meeting last Friday to evaluate the complaint of St. Paul University signed by 16 of its faculty, heads and deans led by VP for Academic Affairs Dr. Batchiba Lacdo-o and Atty. Jojo Sedigo, president of the SPUD employees’ association, including lead city councilor Antonio Remollo who is the president of the SPUD Alumni Association whom Lacdo-o believed will also sign the complaint. (see page 3)
Third, in pursuit of KBP guidelines, I personally investigated the records of the emergency room of the HCH hospital and no such incident happened. Then I got out of the emergency room and proceeded to the crowd who were milling outside. I asked at least 20 people, and their answers were: not one of them even could say exactly what happened. They all had different, inconsistent and impossible versions claiming they heard it from a radio broadcast. This proves the aired rumor was a dud. But SPUD claims their revered institution was obviously alluded to by the broadcast.
In fairness, I was curious and still asked: but why did people continue to mill around the premises of the hospital and looked desirous to believe as if the rumor was true? We could only assess their acts this way:
We found out that earlier, two cable TV News camera men were seen rushing inside the hospital. We found out that Choy Gallarde, their newscaster, was hospitalized also at Holy Child Hospital and they visited him. Some people must have thought the TV cameramen were there to cover the rumored event.
From my first-hand probe, the newsmen’s presence had nothing to do with the rumor. Rumor is dud, again. Still in fairness, if someone can present further proof that the event actually happened, then we will gladly lend him a kind ear at least.
Why do Filipinos love to circulate this kind of rumor? We believe it is because people want to feel good and feast upon the misery of others. Why? Because misery loves company. And those who want others to be miserable, are themselves eager to share, witness and get others to feel their own misery. If only these people could have other gainful things to do, they would not even bother to mind this rumor.