Thursday, September 4, 2008

So what’s for breakfast?

Half a glass of coffee-flavored milk—to wake up my sleepy brain without messing up with my heart nor my stomach, a slice of chocolate cake—to make me smile, and, my constant companion, The Straits Times Classified Ads—to hopefully land me a decent job.

Some comments on The Straits Times:

Their sheets are more colorful than ours. The publishers of this paper invest on more of their pages than we usually do back home. Well, they should. After all, each issue costs S$ 0.80 (Php 27.00). If there’s anything, their Saturday issue, the one with a thousand job openings and ads, may well weigh up to one pound if not heavier. You’d think that by now they're using special ink, one that doesn’t stain the hands as much as our papers do, but apparently they remained traditionally messy in that aspect.

However, the articles found in The Straits Times are not as pressing as those found in our papers but we cannot blame them. This country is so peaceful, nothing seems to happen. International news even outnumber the local ones. Kind of makes you appreciate the action-packed daily dose of news we get in the Philippines, huh? And don’t even get me started on their showbiz chikka—that is, if there is a showbiz bit for the day to begin with.

Reading the paper here makes one realize how laid back this country is, how pampered their citizens are (recurrent news often cover the issue on baby bonus and other means to encourage child-bearing among citizens—nauubos na yata ang lahi nila!), how hooked on technology locals can be (the ads and techie news say it all), and how health-conscious people around here are. Compared with the contents of our broadsheets, theirs seem Zen.

Turn to the opinions page and you'll see that although their writers go critical about political and social issues, their voices seem to always sound safe. There may be two reasons for this: one, press freedom around here is not as lax as ours and, two, there is not much reason to fume about the indiscretions of their government. There really is no need to rant. Our Pinoy columnists should feel blessed because most likely, they wouldn’t run out of intellectually stimulating topics to analyze, criticize, attack or lecture on.

But then, The Straits Times ought to do better at their editing. I mean, hey, I wasn’t happy reading the word “Filippino” the first time; it had to happen again. Occasional typographical errors are distracting, even for a non-grammar Nazi. The Philippine Daily Inquirer Classifieds and Obituaries section presents more perfect pages. (Eherm!) Maybe The Straits Times should hire more efficient proofreaders. I don’t know, me perhaps?


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