Isn’t it amazing that something so wrong can be right all along? Well, it’s not that right but okay, I guess.

There was a meme that circulated on the internet. It was somehow bizarre and quite specific; it made everyone stop and raised their eyebrows.

The meme was about a certain magazine column that explores weird yet very common problems that most countries experience but, luckily, not in the Philippines. I’m talking about why there aren’t serial killers in the Philippines. There are many out-of-the ordinary theories on why this problem doesn’t cease to exist, but one theory did stand out for its peculiarity: the Chismosa Culture.

With this stuck in my mind for almost a week now, I ponder, how did this deemed bad culture found its silver lining?

When we are young, we are taught that being chismosa, or being nosy and loudmouth, is a bad habit. The lives of our neighbors are not our business, and if it does not affect us, why bother? Being chismosa is bad, you get the gist. Then how could this bad habit be considered having a positive effect?

The magazine expounded that the Chismosa Culture is the most fitting reason as to why serial killers don’t subsist. The magazine column narrowed down this ‘culture’ as a sense of neighborhood familiarity. Chismosas are skilled in gathering inputs from different directions to make them – what’s the word – omniscient, of their surroundings. Give them a name and they will tell you a narration, from the introduction down to conclusion with a drizzle of unsolicited opinions here and there.

I’ll commend those chismosas’ skills. They are the living proofs that the old ways are still better than the modern technology. Honey, they can beat the CCTVs in knowing who did who, who dated who, and who’s pregnant. The country’s chismosa culture has everyone up in everybody else’s business.

Speaking of who knows who and who did who, this is the main reason why chismosas are beneficial, it may also be their downfall, but who cares? Chismosas can pinpoint a date and place with the matching event that took place there; it might not be hundred percent factual but these statements can actually serve as a lead and a gateway to a probable answer.

It’s hard to be a serial killer in a country where everyone is so nosy. With the omniscient nature of the chismosas, any sketchy movement will be busted even before they’re made.

Hate them or be okay with them, chismosas are like magnifying glass, amplifying the scenarios with their eyes, and megaphone, volleying the events with their mouths. It’s an exquisite art form, you can either be an all-knowing neighbor or a nosy loudmouth, there’s no in between.

But we cannot deny that being nosy sometimes brings unbeknownst success? I don’t know what’s the right term here, so bear with me. So, maybe a nosy neighbor and a long-lost tita checking up on you aren’t so bad, after all?

But well, who am I to judge. I’m just a simple boy using my voice to raise awareness that reciprocates as rants and raves. – NWI