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Enchong Dee; Agot Isidro; Robin Padilla.

Taking a stand in socio-political issues in showbiz

Life isn’t simple.

As taking a stand in socio-political issues in showbiz isn’t simple.

In the current dichotomy of political beliefs, persuasions and taking sides—Dutertards (pro-Duterte) and dilawan or yellowtards (inadvertently referred to as mostly anti-Duterte and followers of the past administration of Benigno C. Aquino III or anything antithetical on Duterte or what he represents but mostly carelessly pointing to the legions of the Liberal Party) among show business people, being neutral is the most intelligent stand on the discussion and association. It isn’t true anymore that to be in the middle one is caught in casualty.

In this day and age of enlightenment and modern life, to be neutral is to be analytical socially and politically and mostly culturally. Popular culture is the main smokescreen of the two-way pipeline. Inside are fence-sitters too many only a few are vocal like Agot Isidro, Jim Paredes, Leah Navarro, Enchong Dee, Mocha Uson, Arnell Igancio, Dulce, Cesar Montano, Robin Padilla, Freddie Aguilar and their ilk.

There might be stage, radio, TV and movie celebrities who speak their thoughts about their socio-politico-cultural alliances but they are far and between only on particular, chosen issues which are more logical and practical unlike being dye-in-the-wool believers. Of course, being hardcore does serve well only if a comprehensive knowledge of the historical materialism is employed. Wisdom also plays a significant role in defense of a person or a cause but one that is rooted not only in experiential or empirical notes but in ideological sense or set of concepts as well. Cause and effect is one of them.  

The nation isn’t divided yet as many perceived it to be. If the trust rating of the Filipino people on President Rodrigo Duterte is to be the gauge, the most number of Filipinos are united even if their approval of him is out of fear.

The nation which also comprises showbiz is intact wanting and waiting to be analyzed.

Of course, Extra-Judicial Killings (EJK), misogyny, use of cuss words, narcissism, debasing social institutions in and out of showbiz (there were reports of entertainment-related EJK; anti-women sentiments in many workplaces including media; profanity in the television, radio, film and stage environment; prima donna attitude among powerful people in the glitz and glamour world; disrespectful of entertainment institutions) are condemnable.

Yet, we just take them on face value.

One of the most important virtues is tolerance if not complete acceptance of criticism especially if is it constructive, professional and contextual. In a democracy such as ours, we must take criticism wholeheartedly if we want to mature and to improve for the better.

We rarely protest against wrongdoings of showbiz people. Even if high places, we condone them. The feudal values of pakikisama, utang na loob, may pinagsamahan even at the expense of truth and humane treatment among fellow citizens, peers and co-workers are practiced without thinking their negative effects. Just because one is a kin or a colleague we just shrug our shoulders or worst, we keep quiet if a misdemeanor is committed.

We don’t analyze a bad situation socially, politically and culturally. There are reasons behind it. It is easy to accuse the drug users and drug pushers of crimes but surely there causes of their perdition. EJK isn’t the solution for them. Mostly, poverty and fulfilling elusive dreams are in the paper trail. We don’t stop there, though. What causes poverty? Is the indolence of the Filipinos part of it? Is unfair and unequal distribution of opportunities also brings disappointment and frustration among the poor? What about exploitation in the work system? Who are the culprits and the accomplices why there are exploitations and unfair labor practices?

The working class is calling for the abolition of the “contractualization” scheme especially in show business and other allied arts.

Does the government sincerely and really do something about it?  Those root causes especially the bad seeds should be crashed once and for all.

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