Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

And The Show Continues

And so Willie Revillame trots out Jan-Jan, his sister and his parents, to explain their side on the issue.

Here is the longer clip found on YouTube. Sadly, the quality of the clip isn’t so crisp and clear, but the parents’ message still ring out loud:

If you want to view a clearer and shorter version, here it is:

As you can see, Jan-Jan cried because he got scared of the tall comedian. It is also clear that Jan-Jan cries easily, or in Filipino, mababaw ang luha.

The parents’ defense is simple. Jan-Jan wants to dance, so as parents they are supporting him in what he likes to do. For them, Jan-Jan’s talent is something laudable, something they are proud of. They see nothing wrong with a kid macho-dancing, and they aren’t the only ones who think that way. As the father proudly shares on air, even their relatives and a lot of commenters on YouTube have said, “Magaling ang anak mo!” And the studio audience claps; whether in agreement or in blind obedience to the floor director, I am not sure.

Jan-Jan learned the dance from his cousin. His cousin claims that Jan-Jan liked that dance. Apparently the adults also don’t see anything wrong with teaching that kind of dancing to kids. They made the younger sister dance, and her moves aren’t your typical “Pearly Shells” choreography:

It’s clear that there are people out there who do not see anything wrong with a 6-year old doing the giling dance, just as there are those who find it deplorable. The same clip of Jan-Jan dancing was posted on YouTube, and the description said, “Jan-Jan na IMBA sumayaw sa Willing Willie Mar.12, 2011.” (“IMBA” is a term which, in this case, meant “astig.”)

Let’s go ahead and ask the difficult question: what is so wrong with macho dancing anyway? A related, and more difficult question: what is so wrong with a 6-year old doing macho dancing anyway? After all, samba was considered vulgar and obscene at the start.

What’s also quite telling for me is that the parents and Jan-Jan himself see appearing on Willing Willie as a way out of poverty. They themselves admitted that on-air. And Willie repeats this message towards the end, when he said: “Nandito po kami para magbigay ng saya at tulong at pag-asa sa mga, kamukha nitong mga bata’ng ‘to, hindi pa nangangarap eh, sa hirap ng buhay. Poverty ang pinag-uusapan dito.

So the more difficult question to ask (and answer) is this: what can be done when people see nothing wrong with joining noontime shows as a way to improve their lives from poverty? How far removed is Willing Willie from Wheel Of Fortune?


Fickle Cattle said...

How is getting on Willing Willie a way out of poverty? It doesn't make any sense.

joelmcvie said...

@FC: Join a contest, dance a bit, hug Willie once in a while, and then win some money. For contestants and those in the studio audience, it makes perfect sense.

Mu[g]en said...

I'm tempted to say, "Of course, they would defend Willie Revillame to death. Kumita sila ng 15K without any backbreaking work, tapos sila pa ang magrereklamo."

But of course, no matter how plausible my thoughts are, these are mere assumptions.

But in the end, we all know that morals and values are changing, and in our highly materialistic world, people even sell their souls.

Willie Revillame will get out of this rut unscathed.

Tony said...

the question I would like to ask is.... why does everyone in the Philippines know how a macho dancer dances when not everyone goes to a gay bar to watch one. Movie? TV? Isn't it interesting that it is almost a cultural knowledge, almost as if it is impregnated into us? Do we react to the dance moves (giling) per se or what it implies (that it is done only my men who want to invoke a sense of carnal pleasure).

I actually watched the vid of Jan-jan dancing trying to separate the context of 'macho dancing' and it wasn't that obscene.... but of course taking things out of context is what we got us here in the first place (the out of context crying of jan jan).

ONAI said...

All I could think of is tolerating this in National TV and giving access to all the sexual predators out there. Did you see that movie Little Children ? That scene where he parked his car at night outside the playground and just stared at the swing - It was haunting.

palma tayona said...

sorry ha, pero the parents making poverty as an excuse to have their child gyrate on tv is a load of bull. these are the same parents who bought the child a bike and video games from his prize money. if they were poor indeed, they'd be scrambling to buy the more basic necessities. why don't they simply say, gusto naming pagkakitaan anak namin sa talento niya (period). and they can't even use the poverty card here. the father owns and runs a beauty parlor for pete's sake. THAT IS NOT BEING POOR.

what is so telling of us, as a culture, is we love underdogs. there's really nothing wrong in that. who doesn't love an underdog who rises from his dilemma and emerge later on a winner? BUT to deeply be ingrained in our psyche to a point na kahit hindi na dapat eh feeling 'naaapi pa rin'. the bigger tearjerking story we have, the more bestseller we believe we can become. putting a child, a crying child, as he gyrates ON TV for everyone to see... and worse, the host encouraging it and then in the end doling out money for this effort, what does that say to everyone? it's a cultural malaise where showing misery and poverty, and making one self as the victim is the easy way out. you get a few thousand pesos out of it.

how about hard work - the dignity in labor, pride in ones hard-earned reward for a good work done... qualities that are lasting and build more character instead of doing macho dancing because 'it's an easy way out.'

i have no issue about the dance, the child can strip to his undies for all i care IF THAT FORM of dancing is culturally accepted within a community. (the ifugaos and igorots shake their bare bums while hitting gongs is never seen lewd for it's culturally intrinsic) methinks the bigger and deeper issue that many parents and people who work with children placed forward is the manner the show, together with the child's ill-informed parents is exploiting poverty and misery to strip the child - the Pinoy child - of his capacity to grow up with the values of dignity and pride of self, not as a mere object of derision for others to toy with.