We are a people obsessed with form over function. Images and words become the avatar of actual and measured achievement. All else become secondary since let’s face it, we’re too lazy and scared to uncover facts behind tall tales.
Epal is a necessary activity in the life of a Filipino politician. Yes, yes, with the anti-epal campaign springing up everywhere in the internet it’s hard to go against the flow of popular condemnation. But as with most things, it really boils down to realpolitik. Because if our people aren’t so lazy to rely on icons, we wouldn’t have epal.
UPDATE: Prof. Louis Teodoro summarizes the middle class disdain for stamping relief goods with names.
One suspects that although unarticulated, the sense that in the first instance disaster victims are being made to feel grateful to this politician or that for being provided relief with public, meaning their own, funds, drives the disdain and even contempt for such efforts among the victimized.