A RECENT global survey conducted by Pew Research Center (2013 Global Attitudes Project) revealed that 85 percent of Filipinos polled have a most “favorable” view of Americans, while Americans only came second, at 84 percent in having a “favorable” view of themselves.
According to Pew Research’s website, the Global Attitudes Project “conducts public opinion surveys around the world on a broad array of subjects ranging from people’s assessments of their own lives to their views about the current state of the world and important issues of the day.”
The 2013 survey was conducted in 39 countries, with 37,653 respondents, reports Inquirer.net.
The results were based on the responses made to the survey directive: “Please tell me if you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of Americans.” (with “Favorable” combining “very favorable” and “somewhat favorable” responses. Unfavorable combines “very unfavorable” and “somewhat unfavorable.”)
When it came to the category “opinion of the United States,” Americans (81 percent) lagged behind the Philippines (85 percent), Israel (83 percent) and Ghana (83 percent).
The Philippines also came on top in other categories: first in “US consideration of other countries’ interests” at 85 percent; 2nd in “Confidence in the US President” at 84 percent; first in “US Influence on Country” at 90 percent; 3rd in “US President’s International Policies” at 76 percent; and 4th on”US as a partner/enemy” at 81 percent.
The result of the “Confidence in US President” (with the Philippines at 84 percent) comes at a crucial time, with Pres. Obama’s upcoming and first-time visit to the country on April 28-29.
But going beyond Pew’s survey, a more telling sign of Filipinos’ general attitude towards the US overwhelmed social media this week, when netizens reacted to a “satire/hoax” news article from The Adobo Chronicles.
Headlined, “US ANNOUNCES ‘NO VISA’ POLICY FOR FILIPINOS,’ the article indicated that an announcement was made by the US State Dept. regarding a “no-visa” policy for Filipinos.
“The policy to take the Philippines off the list of countries whose citizens are required to obtain visas for travel to the US is effective immediately. The new policy comes on the heels of a recent survey showing that an overwhelming majority of Filipinos have a favorable view of the United States. The Philippines ranked first in a global survey on the image of the United States worldwide, beating even the US itself when it comes to a favorable view on the American people,” the article elaborated further.
While The Adobo Chronicles’ website alludes to satirical content in its description: “The Best Source of Unbelievable News *Up-to-date*Informative*Reliable*Entertaining,” the article was taken as truth by some and quickly became viral.
This prompted the US Embassy to issue a statement on its Facebook account: “There has been no change in US visa policy for Philippine citizens wishing to travel to the United States. “The Philippines has not been added to the list of countries eligible for participation in the Visa Waiver Program.” The same disclosure has been posted alongside the fake article in Adobo Chronicles’ website.
For a country that thrives on humor and social media, Filipinos still have a long way to go, when it comes to appreciating satirical witticisms.
But for those who can relate to this type of raillery, the satire can be both entertaining and enlightening.
After all, it only seeks to expose and deride human folly and vice, not to distort facts and truth.
It is up to us to be more discerning.