Let me start by saying that I’m neither an AlDub nor an Eat Bulaga fan. I first heard of “Yaya Dub” when I was considering applying for a website management job, which entails updating a news site every day, and didn’t think much of what or who Yaya Dub was. During a work meeting, one of my coworkers said that she was a proud member of AlDub Nation. After a while, I heard that Alden Richards was a part of it, and I thought, “Cool.” I had admired Alden Richards for a couple of years and I’d been wondering when his popularity was going to explode on a much bigger scale.
Apparently, his time has come, and this year is his year, along with Maine Mendoza, who initially rose to fame via her Dubsmash videos and then as Yaya Dub on Eat Bulaga’s Juan for All, All for Juan segment. I’m not going to try to retell the story of how the AlDub phenomenon began and how it has progressed since then. Their Wikipedia page can give all details you’ll ever need.
There have been some harsh comments about people’s obsession with AlDub. In sum, some people say that this nation is careening towards disaster because people are shallow and obsessed with a fictional love story on a noontime show. Some bring up how our national heroes died for the country at a young age 1 and yet young people today are heavily into things that critics perceive as worthless and silly rather than think about serious issues. Some would call this a reflection of Filipino society and how we like to escape into fantasy and deny the bad things that are happening around us.
This kind of thinking is snooty and narrow, and it reduces AlDub fans to nothing but a squealing mass of giddiness. People are capable of liking and being interested in multiple things. AlDub fans come from all walks of life. Being AlDub fans does not mean that those people are stupid. More likely than not, they are also painfully aware of what is wrong with the Philippines and are doing their own part in helping society, but they are nevertheless still able to enjoy something fairly harmless 2. Nobody wants to be judged based only on the things they enjoy 3, and nobody should be judging people based on what they like. If you don’t approve of something that other people like, there’s no need to get in their faces, condemn them, and say that they’re causing this country’s downfall. There are bigger fish that are responsible for whatever mess this country is in, and the critics who think they’re smarter than AlDub fans should know that.
I’ll be renewing my passport later this month, so I was reading an old post I wrote about the passport renewal process here. It’s amusing to see that there were “technical difficulties that cause a delay in the processing of passport applications” back then, which I heard remains true today, five years later. Why technical problems still exist today, I’ll never know.
And by again, I mean this is another post about birding in La Mesa Ecopark, not that it’s our second time there. I don’t know how many times we’ve gone there to bird, but it’s definitely way way way more than two times. We’ve met quite a few birders already, like a group that came from Singapore, another one from Bulacan, and another one from Manila. It only just occurred to me that La Mesa Ecopark is quite a long trip if you’re coming from Manila.
I’m going to try to start writing in this blog again, and I figured posting bird photos is a good way to get the ball rolling. These are just some of the birds we’ve seen in the park, and hopefully one of these days, we can see a guaiabero.
I’ve had some time to chew on the issue, and I think I’ve finally sorted out what I think about the whole thing. Basically, people here are raising hell about the recently concluded fashion show by Bench, a Philippine clothing company. The show mainly features underwear and denim, but naturally, the underwear bit gets many people excited. How many chances do they get to see their favorite celebrities in nothing but underwear, after all?
Prior to the show, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines has already expressed outrage over the taglines on the billboards announcing the event, like “Come play” or “Bare your soul,” prompting the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to make the rounds of all such billboards to cover the “offensive” lines in red.
There were some comments about the show expressing dismay that the celebs and models were baring their bodies, which I find laughable. The show is mostly an underwear fashion show, after all, and I don’t know how effective it would be if the celebs and models who were modeling underwear were fully clothed.
The part of the show that really had people shaking with rage was the one where actor Coco Martin was leading a woman onstage on a leash. Women’s groups, among others, condemned this as demeaning, dehumanizing, and objectifying. In the face of such outrage, Bench issued an apology and promise to do better and be sensitive next time.
Personally, the only thing I think they should apologize for are the more or less homogeneous body types during the show, poorly designed clothing, and for thinking it was a good idea to have Coco Martin pretend to be a dom.
Years ago, I would have joined in the condemnation of Bench for their show and that specific portion with Coco. Today, I just find it mildly amusing, as I’m aware that all it has are mere inexpertly applied tones of BDSM, as the real thing would most likely shock people. (And if someone tells me that that sort of thing should not have been done because we’re a good, conservative, Catholic country, please do me a favor and shut up. For a good, conservative, Catholic country, people are strangely unafraid of committing abuse and being unfaithful, and our politicians are perfectly happy to rob us and kill their opponents).
And if people really want to get angry about the objectification of women, get mad at car shows where women are needlessly put on display alongside cars. Get mad at the annual FHM 100 Sexiest event, where a lot of the models look stunned and slightly afraid in the spotlight, and where they engage in many acts specifically geared to satisfy the male audience. Get mad at beauty pageants for still forcing women to compete on the basis of their looks, and stop calling the candidates role models and stunning examples of what Filipinas should be like.
But let’s not stop there. Get mad at commercials too for telling women that their underarms are too dark, that their hair isn’t long, black, and straight enough, that their skin is too dark and they should have a rosy white glow. A brief moment of onstage dom/sub play-acting–or indeed an underwear show that lasted less than three hours–is less dangerous than the messages being forced down our throats every day.
I gave the book to my friend as a gift a few years ago, and I’ve had a digital copy since forever, but I only started reading it a couple of days ago and just finished it tonight. It’s not a bad book. Not extremely well-written; its strength lies in its subject and the characters, although I felt that there were such a lot of lines that you don’t really think would ever come out of people’s mouths, and a lot seem quite like wishful thinking. But then again, this is a book after all. I’m not familiar with John Green’s work, so perhaps that’s just his thing.
This line is particularly stellar, though:
…the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again.
In light of the outrage over school dress codes targeting female students in the U.S. and the ongoing battle over ownership of women’s bodies, I’m sharing this old post I wrote a couple of years ago. Here in the Philippines, many people still think that women should dress “properly,” that is, “conservatively” if we want to avoid lewd gazes and comments. The concept that men should learn to control themselves still hasn’t caught on here, as many people continue to ardently defend the idea that guys will be guys and that they are slaves to their urges.
Because you said,
Among the rare bird species found was the Black Naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis), which can be clearly defined by its bright yellow mantle and black stripe from the eyes to the back of the head.
Duuuude. The black-naped oriole is a common urban bird. You only have to go to UP Diliman and La Mesa Ecopark to see quite a lot of these birds, usually hanging out in twos or threes. They’re even in my neighborhood, typically singing in the early morning and swooping around all day. 1
- I’m not a super birder and I don’t want to be smug. But I feel like this is something basic that DENR-NCR should at least know about. ↩
The second show has been announced, a lot of tickets have been sold (if not sold out yet), and now the long long wait begins for the show. Here’s what a lot of Filipino Directioners are most likely thinking of.
1. Boy, I hope they don’t break up before they get here.
2. Boy, I hope none of them dies before their concert.
3. Boy, I hope I don’t die before their concert.
4. Basically, I hope nothing comes up in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the concert that could potentially prevent me from going.
I try to eat more yogurt because that stuff’s good for the belly, but if I had to be honest, I couldn’t stand it. Today made me change my mind, though. I sliced some mangoes, stewed them in butter and sugar until they were somewhat soft, and then I poured them all over a cup of plain yogurt. The result: the only yogurt I’ve legitimately fallen in love with. Will try it next with bananas, peaches, and pineapples. Sure the butter and sugar likely made it less healthy. But at least I know that they’re the only stuff I added to the fruit.