Philippines: How “I’m a Liar?” Became #amalayer Hashtag

“So you're telling me I'm a liar? I'm a liar? I'm a liar? Answer me!

College student Paula Jamie Salvosa berated a lady guard at a Manila train station and accused the latter of being rude during a security inspection. Unknown to her, Gregory Paulo Llamoso took a video of her outburst and uploaded it on the internet.

Filipino netizens who saw the video accused the student of being arrogant and disrespectful. They used the hashtag #amalayer in reference to the student’s pronunciation of ‘I'm a liar’. The hashtag trended in the Philippines and worldwide.

The issue generated an intense discussion about privacy, ethics, and bullying in the social media. On Facebook, Miles Aguilar laments the strong public reaction about the incident without hearing the side of the student:

Its saddening how people react to such issues… without having any skepticism on what really happened, it could be possible that the lady guard shouted at her aggravatingly and she reacted just like most of us.

Mel Sta Maria thinks the Facebook user who posted the video committed a mistake:

A wrong cannot be corrected by another wrong. The one who posted the video may claim some “justifiable” motive for his actions, but the sincerity, truthfulness and repercussions of his deed must more importantly be judged by the most elementary tenets of decency, prudence, fairness and respect for the rights of others.

Posting the video was hugely unfair to the girl. And this unfairness could cause and probably might have caused her already enormous anguish and a degree of shame beyond the acceptable.

Joseph Solis Alcayde asks the people to remember the lessons of the incident:

The lesson of that incident was that we need to keep our temper from exploding that could cause your destruction of reputation in front of many people especially if there is someone taking a video then uploading it on the internet and to the persons who want to take videos during incidents like what happened at the LRT Santolan station should be careful and conscious enough that he/she cannot destroys person’s reputation who may have a potential for redemption.

We behaved like the #amalayer girl at one point of our lives, according to living the life:

It may sound that I am defending Ms. Amalayer, but actually I am not because I agree that what she did was wrong,was kinda funny, but this post is to remind everyone (including myself) that “hey aren’t we like her in some point of our lives? Except that we weren’t caught in a video? It is easy to say that if we were Ms. AMALAYER we would not do the same thing, but hey my friend you’ll never know!”

roxyisferox appeals to security guards to be more considerate:

Back to the guards. They don’t need to be too humble or too polite, but they don’t need to go so far as grabbing your arm or your stuff, or raising their voices when they see something ‘anomalous’. They should be the mediator between the establishment and the people, not being the Nazi one.

The ‏#amalayer student has supporters and critics on twitter:

@glennachristina The #Amalayer video simply teaches us that wherever we are, always act with class. Even if you think you're right, you never make a scene.

@PnoyBookOfLove Speaking English in public doesn't make you educated & being educated doesn't give you the right to be rude. #AMALAYER

@jedseverino My prayers go to the lady guard and to the student. May this cruel world learn to forgive. #AMALAYER

@tjdimacali Public outrage over #AMALAYER reflects our culture of smallness, a false sense of righteousness vs a scapegoat so easily caught and vilified

@evilkyumond Good in English but poor in humanity. #AMALAYER

Inday Varona reflects on the ‘battles’ we wage in the social media:

No matter how addictive social media can be, most people reflect their own personalities on the Web, whether they post their true names and faces or some exotic avatar. The anger that people feel are rooted in very real experiences. We can shout all we want for a gentle, cyber media world — but the final shaping of this space will depend on how we deal with each other on the ground.

There, in the trenches where people bleed and die, and hunger, and nurse obvious and unseen wounds — that is where our social battles will be resolved.


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