In her column entitled, "Piolo at Sam, huling-huling naglalampungan," Lolit Solis claims that she saw Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby at the Sofitel (former Philippine Plaza) coffee shop. Quote: "Dalawang mhin ang napansin ko dahil kakaiba ang kanilang ikinikilos as in sweet sila habang nagbubulungan. Halos magkadikit na nga ang mga pisngi nila noh!"
She then says that the two men bolted when a waiter called out her name. It was then that she claims to have recognized the two idols. "Kung dinedma nila ako, hindi ko sila mapapansin. Hindi ko malalaman na nasa iisang lugar pala kami."
Continuing, she writes that she wouldn't make much of a fuzz if the two men hadn't done the same. "Kung lumapit at bumati sa akin sina Piolo at Sam kahit hindi kami magkakilala, hindi talaga ako makakaramdam ng kakaibang malisya."
The result: Statements from Angel Locsin, Pokwang, ABS-CBN, Timex Corporation, all of whom denounce Solis' supposedly malice-laden story. Meanwhile, pedestrian opinions poured in by the truckloads. Sam Milby threatens to sue if Solis doesn't make a retraction and a public apology.
It's no secret that I find Piolo Pascual appealing, him being the inspiration for the character of Dodong. And this is the only reason why I chose to blog about this trivial issue, though not to rush to anyone's defense.
On one end, I perceive Lolit Solis' column as a column, wherein she has the freedom to make opinions. It was written as a personal account, not a news report, establishing by definition that this was her point of view. That's what columns are for.
She also admitted that she did feel malice, only because of the sudden exit of the subjects concerned.
But then, she did not say, "Nakita ko si Sam at Piolo, o baka naman mga kamukha ni Sam at Piolo. Kaya lang bakit para silang mga langaw na biglang lumipad nang banggitin ang pangalan ko?" This, of course, would have been far less meaty.
Also, if she didn't recognize them at first, they must've been seated some distance away. Do Sofitel waiters call out the names of guests loud enough for everyone to hear?
I read somewhere that Solis claimed it was her editor who tweaked the title of her write-up to include "naglalampungan," a word that tends to indicate malicious intent. She should have made that clear from the moment people started hurling acid at her. The word doesn't even appear anywhere in her write-up.
On the other end, the most practical thing Sam and Piolo could have said was, "If she believes she saw us, then that's okay. As far as we're concerned, the two guys weren't us. We were somewhere else." Afterwhich it would be business as usual.
End of issue. Fini.
It's not unfounded to think that Solis, Sam and Piolo are all being victimized by a system that benefits from these events, no matter how inconsequential or irrelevant these events may be. Ironically, it may be that these three personalities are indirectly benefiting as well. Publicity, after all, is a double-faced Janus with an objective that's as old as politics. Onlookers (myself included) who've become unnecessarily passionate about this issue are victims as well. We all fell for it, more often willingly, and we've been feeding the fire.