Reacting to the Twitter meltdown of Senator Sherwin Gatchalian where he responded to his bashers with cuss words in the vernacular, acclaimed musical theater actress Lea Salonga tweeted her two cents worth on what being a public figure means.
“Oh dear. If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. Being a public figure means having to deal with haters and bashers from time to time, whether in person or on social media. Keeping the eyes on what’s important is what keeps one sane through the craziness.
“The stuff I’ve been called on social media through the years is enough to drive one crazy, but it hasn’t. I won’t let the haters and bashers win. Besides, there are more good people out there than not.
“Let this be a reminder to celebs, politicos, etc. on social media, only one degree of separation from everyone else. You’re fair game the moment you open an account, and it can really test your patience and resolve.
“That said however, we should all engage fully mindful of the impact our words have on one another. Let’s keep all discourses respectful, even when our opinions are contrary to someone else’s. Thanks, that is all.”
Gatchalian, who is currently in the United States, surprised netizens on New Year’s Day (Manila time) when he responded to bashers with the words “gago” (stupid) and “ulol” (mad) on what he would later confirm to Rappler as his personal Twitter account.
In admitting his colorful tweets, the embattled solon also told Rappler that he had sent them out because “daming nang-iinis (many annoying people).”
Fellow senator JV Ejercito later came to Gatchalian’s defense and tweeted that “it goes to show that we are also human, we get hurt & affected too.”
“What is scary is if we public servants become immune from bashing & attacks from rabid haters, then we become insensitive & are like political robots,” Ejercito further posted.