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Monday, September 19, 2011

Trivial Pursuits

The recent "debacle" about Ms. Supsup's third runner up finish in the 2011 Ms. Universe pageant seemed like one giant circus to me: online beauty pageant junkies going racist on Ms. Angola for winning, Pinoys blaming Lea Salonga for making it easy for the winner to clinch the crown, Supsup having to defend her answer... I thought we were done with this last week, and yet, I open my online newspaper and the first thing I see is Supsup plastered all over giving a "conference".

What is it about us as a nation that we seem to be enthralled with matters that, frankly, have little to absolutely no importance in our daily lives and how we fare as a nation? Are we really THAT shallow?

I seem to remember P-Noy (President Noynoy Aquino) telling reporters in the not-too-distant past that they desist from asking him about his lovelife (him being the first Bachelor President) because he would like to concentrate on more "important" things.

But the week before the Ms. Universe pageant, you couldn't open your nightly newscast on TV without seeing a clip of P-Noy being asked about a "possible" romance blooming between him and a lady mayor or governor, who happened to be single and in her 30's. (That is a topic for another post, when women of a certain age are being pressured into marrying, because there are few things worse than an unmarried woman in her 30's in this country. RIGHT.)

I would have written it off as the fault of insipid news reporters who had nothing better to do, or ask the President, but the kicker was: it was P-Noy himself who opened the topic. In his speech for whatever official function he was supposed to be conducting, he used the local dialect to "appreciate" the beauty of the women of that particular place, with a "special mention" of the lady executive as a standout - in terms of beauty.

Is this a sampling of something "important"?

I know many of you will think of me as a grouch and a scrooge, for berating P-Noy on this. I can hear the defense now, people saying things like "he was just being carinyoso/malambing" (affectionate). But what worries me is that this overtook the news item: I don't even recall what P-Noy was there in that province for, the reporters took their cue from him and dwelled on the "romance" angle, and it segued right into his former girlfriend Shalani, who also arrived in that place and they crossed paths, prompting reporters to speculate about their relationship status, and even interviewing P-Noy about it.

(Photo courtesy of

And now, a week after the Ms. Universe non-win, we have the candidate still splashed over the (online) papers.

What is it, Philippines?

Is there nothing else to talk about?

Why do we persist in focusing on things that are, to put it bluntly, trivial?

Who cares if P-Noy gets a girlfriend or not?

Who cares if Supsup won or not?

I would rather know why until now, more than a year from his election, the promise of charging officials from the past adminstration for alleged fraud, corruption and decption is going at a glacial pace?

I would rather know what the new Department of Tourism head honcho plans to do about the fact that tourist arrivals in this country are a pale shadow of what our other Asian neighbors are receiving, translating to more revenue generation for them and not us?

One look at the TV shows that pervade the idiot box is enough to convince me that we really are a nation that prides in being masters on inutile things: entertainment shows that require you to gyrate lasciviously to get a sum of cash, serial dramas with the same "I've been wronged, I'll have my revenge" plots, or importing more of the same from other Asian or Latin American countries.

What will it take to elevate the Filipino mind and consciousness into a higher level of discourse? How long before we stop being an Asian Tiger cub, if we can even be considered as one at this point in time? Is this another attempt to "laugh our hardships away", the way I hear people defend their anti-RH (Reproductive Health) Bill stance, saying things like "it's OK that we're poor with 9 children and no means to feed or clothe them, as long as we're one big, happy family"?

How much further before we can see that the pursuits we've been so passionate about are sadly, painfully, trivial?

1 comment:

  1. this is precisely why PNoy won the election. Most Filipinos are shallow. Pinoys are more interested on trivial issues like lovelife and PNoy has a showbiz mileage in the person of the most showbiz of them all, Kris Aquino.