Thursday, April 29, 2004

.:Long Time, No Hear:.

Ellen Sheila Limiac has been one of my most esteemed friends. She was a veritable genius way back in high school, having graduated valedictorian in her school. She's currently a nursing student who will be graduating come next schoolyear. Ever-witty and ever-interesting, it was a good idea for me to give her a call yesterday.

I've known Ellen since about third year in High School, and I must say, she's always been interesting to speak to. I'm exceedingly glad to have heard from her. She seems to be doing pretty well (No lovelife yet, but it's not like she needs one.), and she more or less has a plan for herself already. I got her into the Broadcast back in 4th Year, and she wasn't so bad, really. This was during the height of Brod Pete and company, so you could tell that someone named Ellen was perfect material to pun along with...

Our conversation mostly revolved around politics, and that was pretty interesting, for the most part. I'm happy about the fact that her insights are rather straightforward, and like most people, she knows whom not to vote, but not whom to vote... had I registered, I would've gone for Eddie Villanueva.

I recently heard that Eat Bulaga is heavily for FPJ. That's sad. Even Joey De Leon is apparently for it, which saddens me, as he once ran afoul with Vic Sotto over their differences regarding Edsa II...


There's no better way to put it. I was plain disturbed when I saw last night's episode of Startruck Kids. Kids of less than ten years of age are being paired up there as love teams, being taught about crushes and the like out of the right context, and simply being fed atrociously adolescent lines.

You jabronis know I'm anything but a moralist. In spite of that, a cold chill ran down my spine seeing these kids do what they were tasked to do because these are bloody children we're talking about here. It's fairly obvious that they have no idea about what they're being taught, and these kid were essentially being treated like adults already. I thought that practice went out with the middle ages.

This is not to say that the Channel 2 counterpart is doing much better, either. In their attempt to rip off American Idol, the evaluators have ended up being rather brutal in their opinions about the contestants and not even the kids were spared of this. To make matters worse, as soon as a kid is eliminated, the hosts mercilessly interview the kid about how they feel over being eliminated. This is traumatic to these kids, any which way you look at it. I don't know why these people running both channels are treating these kids without any (pardon the pun) kid gloves. I wouldn't mind this stuff so much if it were the teenagers they were requiring to do stuff like talk about love and crushes, but come on! You realize how old these kid contestants are? Bah Gawd, what's wrong with these people?

I am flat-out disturbed. Coming from someone who's 93% evil, you know that something is horribly wrong about this...

.:Scathing Commentary On Our So-Called "Nationalism":.

I am proud to be a Filipino. There is no question about this. I simply am, as I have been for the longest time. I command the English language well, I love anime to bits, I am a fan of German Philosophers, but that doesn't take away my Filipino roots for one second, nor does it undermine my esteem for what our culture has brought to the table of man's history, no matter how trivial or how meager it may actually seem to the world at large.

... This pride in being a Filipino is precisely the reason why I find better things to do than scrounging the bottom of the Filipino barrel to look for some guy or girl, any guy or girl, in fact, with remotely Filipino roots, making it big, or even just remotely big, somewhere in the world. I'm talking about the Crista Velascos, the Hawaiian Governors who're half Filipino, the Special Effects Awardees who're somewhat Filipino, the Tia Carerres, and the Rob Schneiders of this world.

What do these jabronis have in common? All of them are Filipino or part Filipino, and they have found some measure of success abroad. We, as Filipinos, look to these people as a sign of our greatness, and proudly acclaim that these are "one of us". Codswallop! Just because Rob Schneider likes bibingka does not mean that he's outside and in, through and through Filipino. Just because Crista Velasco is half-Filipina does not mean she has a big spoon and fork in her house, or that she points to directions using her lips. Why am I not surprised that some people think that Crista Velasco was robbed when she got voted off of American Idol?

The problem with a good chunk of us Filipinos (And this idea I got from someone who made a false open letter about some DJ saying we Filipinos claim the success of any Asians as "one of our own". Absurd on that scale, true on this scale.) is that we can't seem to find anything to be proud of if it's not some person who's Filipino who's making it big anywhere but in the Philippines. I adore Lea Salonga like anything, but come on! Enough with the "Miss Saigon" references already! She's done things that didn't entail "Miss Saigon" that are equally worth of attention, you know.

I'm not taking a shot at the success of a Lea Salonga or a Rob Schneider (If you call that success...). I am merely pointing out how annoying it gets that we feel that the only time we can prove something is by looking good in the eyes of others. That we are naturally blinded (This aspect, I could understand.) to one's shortcomings when stumbling in the international scene by pure virtue of his or her being Filipino. Or am I the only person who thought Miriam Quiambao had no chance of winning Ms. Universe when she botched answering the final question? So Ms. Botswana won. Why hate her for it, neh? Because she's not Filipino? Well, well, well. Look who's racist now.

We have a lot to be proud about. Why do we even have to turn to people who aren't even that Filipino for pride? What has Rob Schneider done for this country by making a reference to bibingka? Has that actually raised our GNP by half a percentage point? Has Crista Velasco been such a great performer that she can outsell William Hung if she were to release her own CD? Will these jabronis even begin to compare to some of the great people, named or nameless as they may be, who are actually still here in the Philippines, doing their part? I'm a bit hesitant to call us "pure Filipinos", knowing how mixed our bloodlines are. But I'm not balking at calling a spade a spade, and I'm telling it like it is: as a nation, we're scraping the bottom of the barrel if all we could come up with as a source of national pride is some litte measure of success "one of us" happens to make abroad, neglecting to realize whether or not this person is actually representative of us as Filipinos, or if they're simply another person living out the American dream so many of us would want to live out.

It's codswallop, it's annoying, and it's downright demeaning. Or is this really the best we could come up with?

I hope not.

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