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Okay, can we just talk about this unsettling Alan Peter Cayetano painting?

Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos for Scout x Globe

The votes are in as to what “the Alan Peter Cayetano painting” is about. Oh, which Alan Peter Cayetano painting?  You know, the one where he’s being prayed over by all the lawmakers in the plenary hall of the House of Representatives as he lowers his head dutifully. That one. 

Images of the zoomed in painting went viral yesterday as people started noticing the less-than-usual imagery from a Rappler reporter’s social media coverage of a press con. The press gathering was originally held to discuss Cayetano’s opposition to ABS-CBN’s provisional authority to operate post-franchise termination. In the end, another issue had branched out from that very conference: What is that painting and is it weird to find it weird?

Self-portraits are a norm, but the Where’s Waldo type of imagery with the entire plenary hall encapsulated along with identifiable lawmakers made it a bit of a stand out. A viral stand out to be exact. 

Okay now back to the speculation, what exactly was it? There were people online saying it eerily looked like this photo of Hitler being hailed by fellow Nazis back in 1939.

But Mara Cepeda, the reporter who originally tweeted the press photos confirmed that the painting was, in fact, based from a real moment and not a vague symbolic representation of something we cannot understand (or need to fear). 

So there, in conclusion: defend press freedom.

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