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For Real or For Show?

Column: Reality Bites
By Mervyn Tan

“All the world’s a stage; and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time, plays many parts.” – Shakespeare

As the beloved Nursing Week commences, one can’t help but think back on all the presentations that transpired. From singing to dancing to acting, the Nursing community definitely showcased its undeniable talents in various captivating performances. It was enticing and it was entertaining especially from where we were seated. But how would the view be from backstage?

As performers would always say, and I would definitely agree, it’s crazy backstage. The microphone may be on even when it’s not, the gigantic props are too big to be concealed or there are too many cast and crew members for the lead to squeeze in and enter the stage. Things don’t always happen as planned and mishaps are bound to take place. When they do, the best thing that we can do is to cover them up and pretend everything is going just fine and it was all part of the show. No one will be able to know the difference as long as you’re quick and keen to mask the flaws. But the stage is not the only place where acting or even directing takes place. Everyone we meet in our everyday life can put up a show and pretend that they are okay even if they are not. And as surprising as it may sound, even the government and its politics can put up a great show.
Of course, we would not be able to know that it was a cover-up until things blow out of proportion or we’re too keen to detect what might just be a manipulated broadcast. The spokesman would be quick to assure everyone during press releases that the situation is under control even when in reality it is not. Take the hostage-taking incident a few months back, for instance. At first, it was said to be under control until we found out that the hostage-taker had already murdered seven tourists. After quite some time, we learned the story behind the whole drama and what was happening backstage. Another incident would be the recent bus transportation strike which, again, was said to be under control. However, the traffic jam that day was a nightmare of epic proportions. Perhaps, there were measures taken to alleviate the situation. But the cover-up was not enough because we have not only seen but also felt the consequences of the predicament. The list can go on and on but we would not really be able to figure everything out because the only ones who know the real score would be the ones behind the whole production.

This makes me wonder what else could the administration have covered up and what else will they be concealing from the people? A news blackout here, a bribery there - how difficult could it be to hide the flaws of their performance? Although the media tries as much to deliver accurate and reliable news to us, we can never really be sure what reaches us is the truth or just a made up story by the government to assure damage control especially now that the current administration is still in its primacy. We need to be careful and figure out the story behind the story, if ever there is one.

For now, we just have to scrutinize: Is what we see for real or for show?


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