Bagong Lipunan

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Masa Vote and Meteor Garden Tomfoolery

Below is a snippet from the Inquirer containing the editorial titled "Adoring Aliens" by Isagani Cruz. It poignantly describes the intellectually bankrupting "showbiz mentality" that the people have. Imagine, if some foreign star can upstage the President of the Philippines in Malacanang itself, then it is no wonder that the likes of Erap or (perish the thought) FPJ can pull it off.

Have you seen the TV shows lately? Even little children are being made to imitate those "sex bomb" dancers. Shows are sprinked with doses of bikini clad bimbos who blurt out banalities. Lasciviousness isn't the only garbage Pinoy TV shows are inculcating into the minds of the people nowadays but extreme stupidity as well. Aren't you wondering why "comedy" shows like Arriba Arriba, Kaya ni Mister Kaya ni Misis, Tanging Ina , "Yeah Right Whatever" or Whattamen (stupid title to amuse morons) are still airing? I happen to be subjected to these shows whenever I eat in TFC-showing Pinoy restaurants here in the US and I can't help but observe how lame and stupid their scripts are. I thought to myself that any self- respecting human being wouldn't deliberately patronize such inspidities unless they're total imbeciles with brains going "otcho- otcho."

The fact that these kinds of shows flourish would make one deduce that a considerable number of our people have the intelligence of an average eggplant. Even the worst US shows like Jenny Jones or Jerry Springer would look like Emmy Award winners compared to those cretin pleasers. The low standards of entertainment these shows exhibit would be relfected in the continously lowering intellect of the Pinoy public.

Aren't you wondering why a growing number of professionals and decent thinking masses are leaving for other countries? Well, all you have to do is turn on the TV, surf the local channels and remember the old adage: "Life imitates art."

Have fun reading!

Adoring aliens

WHILE the nation teetered on the brink of a constitutional crisis over the impeachment case, President Macapagal-Arroyo took time off from her serious duties to extend an official welcome to the star of a Chinese TV show that had fascinated the bakya crowd, some prominent members of her Cabinet and other tasteless people.

As the Inquirer reported the other Friday, "Work stopped in Malaca�ang for nearly three hours yesterday as Cabinet officials and Palace employees and their children plus orphans, cancer victims, journalists and other star-struck fans turned up to give Jerry Yan, star of the popular chinovela 'Meteor Garden,' a welcome that was rather unprecedented. No, try 'frenzied.'" By-liner Juliet Labog- Javellana couldn't have put it better.

"Pandemonium broke loose in the hallowed Malaca�ang Ceremonial Hall," she continued, when the Chinese star appeared from the music room after his courtesy call on the President. Speaker Jose de Venecia's wife gushed as she waited with Ricky Reyes, the hairdresser, to personally greet the actor. "I like his dimples," she said of the actor, who was obviously overwhelmed by the unruly welcome of his fans. Notably, these included even the usually serious-minded Secretary Ignacio Bunye, whose camera clicked furiously.

The commotion caused by the crowd of admirers became uncontrollable, causing the actor to seek refuge in the state dining hall with La Gloria, who must have been displeased over being upstaged by the young foreigner. The fans wanted his autograph, not hers, to pose with him, not her. She got little attention from even the more mature people who were jostling with the younger fans to shake the hands of the Chinese actor.

This tomfoolery happened (just to stress the point) in Malaca�ang, the Palace of the people and the official residence of the President of the Philippines. The orgy of adoration by teenagers and adults alike was not for a deserving citizen or a distinguished foreigner but for a young television star of a what is now locally known as a chinovela. It would have been understandable if it had happened in the premises of ABS-CBN as sponsors of "Meteor Garden." With no less than our chief executive as unofficial barker, the Republic became an unwitting promoter of the so-so show.

What's with the Filipino people? Why are we so enamored of foreign actors as if they were habitu�s of some exclusive planet with distinctive attractions denied ordinary mortals like us?

Our ludicrous regard for Hollywood stars has become practically a way of life with many of us. Except for the level-headed, everybody wanted to look like Marilyn Monroe or John Wayne, to be replaced now by Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt. There was much excitement when Elizabeth Taylor came for a visit and Naomi Campbell, another guest, was annoyed by the way her imitators fawned upon her.

And do you remember the phenomenon of Thalia, the beautiful actress from Mexico who captivated the television audience some years ago? She had a stunning face and figure like many of her colleagues in the foreign entertainment world, and many of her Filipino admirers embraced her vicariously as another temptress from the Caucasian race.

But now we have Yan, an Oriental like us, who is mesmerizing many of our people as if he were also from an unattainable realm where only beautiful people from the Americas and Europe dwell in splendor. They are there to enthrall with their distant charms the gaping hewers of wood and drawers of water from the primitive continent of Asia.

What must have possessed Ms Macapagal, with all the serious problems whirling around her, to receive the Chinese non-entity in Malaca�ang? Many of our people from various groups and places in our country are anxious to discuss their problems with the President and ask for her assistance in solving them. But the doors of the Palace have not opened for them as they graciously did for the tousled alien guest.

Our people have more claim to her personal attention than a foreign entertainer whose only accomplishment is to exploit the vulgar tastes of the bakya crowd. By making a big production of Yan's courtesy call on her, President Macapagal was probably hoping that some of the lad's appeal would brush off on her and make her more acceptable to the unthinking fans who regard our tinsel entertainers as the saviors of the nation.

It's bad enough that television clowns like Tito Sotto and basketball roughnecks like Robert Jaworski have been allowed to debase the Senate, and Fernando Poe Jr., Da King of Philippine Movies, threatens to invade Malaca�ang with his make-believe machismo and not much else. At least they are Filipinos to whom we may offer our affection erroneously, even slavishly. It's not so bad to be beguiled by our own countrymen as to be mindlessly enchanted by vacuous foreigners.

The exaggerated welcome extended by Malaca�ang to Jerry Yan betrays once again our often gawking adoration of the alien. Instead of giving the Chinese actor her cloying reception, President Macapagal should have exhibited a more judicious sense of values befitting the national pride and deportment of the self-respecting Filipino.


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