I’ve had enough of this circus. It’s about time people see beyond their supposed ‘good intentions’ and realize just who these people really are deep inside. And why is the public letting both of them off the hook so easily? No, I demand justice be served. Both Lacson and Revillame represent everything that I hate about politicians and entertainers: they think they can get away with their sins by showing up on TV wearing their fake halos and crocodile tears.
On the one hand, we have Willie Revillame, a controversy darling.
The infamous Willie got himself another controversy when his TV show that aired on March 12 showed him humiliating a little kid named Jan Jan in exchange for 10,000 pesos. Jan Jan was asked to dance like a ‘macho dancer’ to the tune of Snoop Dog. It would have been fun except that the kid was not having the best time of his life. He was crying, at a loss as to why he was there in the first place (shame on your parents!), and the worst part of it all was Willie who was not content with his public humiliation. “Umiiyak pa iyan. Ganyan ho talaga ang hirap ng buhay ng tao. Si Jan-Jan nagsasayaw bilang isang macho dancer, sa edad niyang iyan. Para sa kanyang pamilya.” He hands over 10,000 pesos to the crying boy then likens his dance act to that of Burlesque Queen.
Where is dignity?
We can blame this to the effects of poverty all we want, but we must not overlook the fact that exploitation and abuse are happening here in front of the television. Just what lessons exactly do Willie and his program channel hope to give the public? That you can earn easy money through dirty dancing? That your dignity is worth only a few thousand pesos? That it’s okay to be laughed at, because after all, you get your money and that’s what matters, right? Poor us, are we now tolerating prostitution on TV? What about the lessons of hard work and perseverance? So many students are graduating this month yet they get the message that they don’t really have to work hard to earn money. They just have to cry, dance, be a fool in front of national television and money will come to them.
One would think that for all the trials Willie has been through, he would have already learned his lesson. But you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, like they say. And you can’t fool people twice. Sooner or later, people would realize what they’ve long observed but perhaps have just turned a blind eye to. People like Willie Revillame do not really care about the poor. The irony here is that he parades himself as their hero, but he would gladly disregard their feelings and be insensitive all he wants. Wait, that isn’t irony. That’s Philippine entertainment and politics for you.
There is nothing noble about what he does on TV. Let me make that clear. The kind of help he’s giving the poor isn’t the help they need and it reeks of ignorance and disrespect to a person’s dignity. You cannot hope to take a person out from poverty by throwing in cash and dole-outs because these only make people even more dependent and ‘helpless’. Instead of being empowered to look for other means, people are encouraged to take the easy way out. Where is sustainability? Obviously, Willie and his show have such a limited (distorted) view of development.
And just what gives him the right to make fun of people because he’s giving them money, anyway? Just because his life is so much better now with all his jet skis, cars, houses and gazillions of money does not entitle him to put down people or step on their dignity. Especially to a child. Because he won’t be thinking about the money; he would be thinking about the process that got him his money. This isn’t helping education at all.
I’m equally appalled at parents who allow their kids to be disparaged this way. Is this how we pass on education to kids? What hope do we give them, what legacies can they take with them home? My heart breaks for parents who are not responsible and are misguided. They, too, are victims of exploitation. Something must be done about this.
On the other hand, we have Senator Ping Lacson, erstwhile PNP chief who used his intelligence skills to play hide and seek with the Philippine government.
His return caused a sensation. Where has he been all this time and how has he managed to evade arrest? Ah, but our Senator has a trick he’s mastered over the years: he’s a good secret keeper and can vanish into thin air.
When he arrived, I had hoped he would face all the accusations at him and do a Rabusa: come clean and be answerable to your sins.
Yet all he could say upon resurfacing was that he would vow to make up for the bills he did not pass, and that his detractors better stop pointing fingers at him without evidence. Did he learn any lesson from his year-long hiding? Oh yes, he learned how to cook afritada and embotido. Now the crook becomes a cook.
This is Philippine entertainment and Politics for you today. It’s such a sad reality.