Friday, December 2, 2011


A video supposedly shot in Singapore some time earlier this year goes viral in the internet.  Again, all hell breaks loose ... or a part of it, anyway.

Snippets about this story were already floated last weekend. 

There was supposed to be a bomb to explode in another Sunday afternoon talk show but that was supposedly neutralized by powers that be. Even more ironic is that the big news about the alleged abortion was completely superseded by the cliffhanging and tearful confessions of a girl involving her Break-Up of the Year.  

So just when curious insiders were convinced that the whole revelation about the abortion issue was now a dud, out came the viral video in YouTube. Quite timely, really. Because the whole Is-He-or-Isn't-He issue about the battered love birds has now simmered into tired whispers and puede ba, tama na, tantanan na!

This leads us to wonder how the public has been so particularly addicted to juicy and controversial news bits about the private lives of celebrities. This has become part of our weekly diet. Hindi kumpleto ang linggo kung walang iskandalo. 

We cannot seem to find adequate excitement in our lives by just talking about our own problems. As mere mortals we are really quite uninteresting. We are not product endorsers, we are not red carpet habitues and our living quarters are not featured in twenty pages of Yes Magazine.  As humble members of the madlang masa or the dwindling middle class, our lives are really insipid, devoid of excitement and saddled with problems that are oh-so-boring and predictable. Like budgeting. Or traffic in December. Or finding the best cure for athlete's foot. We are not telenovela material.

We do not have partners who record videos announcing to the world that the next morning our baby will be aborted for the sake of career and under strict instructions from management.  Hu-wow!

We do not have the courage to go on nationwide television to discuss the tragic yet fantastic turns of our much romanticized love lives --- whether this involves questions of the authenticity of gender of mate, physical abuse that include a variety of wrestling moves or even the infliction of STD.  Di ba? 

In our little simple lives, teen-age girls giving birth out of wedlock are not reason enough for national coverage.  They happen every day and are usually discussed over coffee and pan de sals stuffed with potted meat lasting for a maximum of ten minutes.

Although things like that happen to the children of our next door neighbor or even our own relatives, media will not be interested in finding out the gory or schmaltzy details not unless it will be used in an episode of Face to Face or re-enacted in a weekly drama anthology.  More so, debates on the real identity of the father of the child will be utterly insignificant because honestly ... who cares about us and our problems? We are mere manifestations of statistics.

But when these jests of fate or fruits of carelessness happen to celebrities ... we are talking national issues. 

We are dealing with sociological and even theological problems that seemingly affect the lives of everyone who still believes in God and human decency.  We must know the facts in order to have opinions.  It seems that we are talking about creatures that exist in a completely different dimension or solar system.

But wait ... there's more.

Our fondness for the mind-boggling, moral challenging twists and turns in the lives of media personalities is not merely living our existence vicariously.  It gives us a feeling of superiority --- even of sanctimony.  Despite the wealth, power, fame and glory of these stars, we see their vulnerabilities and tell ourselves that we are far better off because we have scruples. 

Because of our fortitude, we know what is right from wrong --- unlike these false idols. We savor and relish the pay-off: wealth for miserable scandalous lives --- while we claim that we love them so much.  (There must be a logic there somewhere.)

Oh, let them drive their Hummers, lug their LV and Hermes bags and earn eight-digit fees for endorsing everything from hollow blocks to feminine hygiene washes. Let them live in their mansions, have their European and African vacations and don clothes that approximately cost our gross income for a year. But reading about their public sins, discussing their foibles and fixating on their national confessions give us a kind of moral authority that makes us feel so good. Even if we idolize them, seeing them make fools of themselves and behave like bejeweled monkeys level the playing field --- or so we would like to think.

All these seem to prove that God can actually be very fair. 

Oh, yes! Let them live in their fantasy world where an eternal spotlight is aimed at them --- but are they truly happy?  This gives us a feeling of peace. Of evenness.  Of balance in the Universe.  Why?  Because we have the discretion to make valid judgments even based on press releases and presumptions. And why do we do this?  Because we are seeking for the truth.

That's it: we are feeling indignation, fascination and even addiction because we seek for the truth. This is the truth that can be found when a man talks to us on a video on the plans of his girlfriend to have an abortion the next day.  This is the truth we savor watching a young woman in tears yield cryptic statements as to why she broke off with her  popular boyfriend. This is the truth we relish when two boys wearing tuxedos pounce on each other at a bar in a five-star hotel right after a dress-up ball.

And sometimes we are no longer sure about the truth that we are looking for.  After all, in a world where one can be bombarded by so much information, something repeated over and over again will become the truth even if it is not real.  In an age where everything is based on perception, truth has ceased from being absolute.  It has become relative ... and based on consensus.  

With that follows unspeakable consequences because we may not even know what we are looking for in the first place.


  1. so true yet so sad that several times we replace celebrity gossip from ice cream for our guilty pleasure :(

  2. aaah.. truth.. it's not even clear if truth is true anymore.

  3. Ah, showbiz... it seems like its denizens are not just being viewed on telenovelas and films. It's almost as if having a scandalous private life is almost a requirement for marketability. Haaaaaaay, how I hanker for the good ol' days... sure it had its share of controversy, but nothing like this.

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  5. i check on these scandals every now and then and they entertain, annoy and amuse me... but i still keep on reading:-)... i don't ask for them and i am sure most viewers do not also... they are freely given by dysfunctional people who love the limelight. who's to refuse a bit of entertainment every now and then?:-)

  6. i became an instant fan after watching ur interview w/ carlos celdran.. and much more of a fan after reading ur blogs.. so <3 entertaining and educational..

  7. There's a reason why, of all days, I read this blog entry today. Thank you, took the words right out of my mouth. Nailed it right with bonuses of dotted "i"'s and crosssed "t"'s!