On Our TV Culture — Shake, Shaker, Shakest

Just a few learnings from Bob Ong’s Lumayo Ka Nga Sa Akin — Shake, Shaker, Shakest

TV
Source: http://agnespages.typepad.com/.a/6a010536e55e01970b010537041101970c-pi

1. TV

“Isa pa, pwede nga ring yung TV ang may sumpa. Dahil ang TV, para ring drugs, pero ligal. Isipin mo, bakit isa ito sa mga unang-unang ipinupundar ng mga Pilipino kahit gaano sila kahirap? Kasi malaking tulong ang telebisyon para lumimot. Para tumakas sa realidad. Kahit mag-isa ka lang sa buhay, nababawasan ang lungkot kung may TV. Nakakatanggal-buryong kung wala kang trabaho. Mas entertaining kesa sa diyaryo, at mas accessible kesa sa sine. Pwede rin itongtagapag-alaga ng mga anak mo. Pwedeng ulam kung sakto lang ang budget pambili ng bigas. At pwedeng bintana kung parang bartolina lang ang tirahang tinutulugan ng mag-anak mo, dahil may magagandang lugar at magagandang mga tao. Kumpleto sa sayawan, kantahan, tawanan, pantasya, at boksing. Burado ang mga suliranin mo. Pag sinuswerte ka, pwede ka pang manalo.”

Reality, that is probably the biggest role of TV in the lives of Filipino people.

A sense of reality served in an entertaining way for Filipinos to escape their own reality, we call it drama and comedy. A sense of reality bombarded with different intimidating factors, we call it reality shows. A sense of reality, a bare one, but only patches of it, we call it news. A sense of reality wrapped around fiction, we call it fantasy.

Each Filipino has his own reality, and it is the reality of other people he wants to see. Probably to temporarily shut down his reality, the TV is switched on to see the love story of other Filipinos, to see how some Filipinos rise to fame as they invest their time to different contests, to see that poverty can be lifted through raffle draws, to see a reporter probe around a woman killed by a stranger. It is the other reality of the world that he wants to see, something that is not his. His reality might be cruel enough.

His reality might be of hopelessness in love. He looks for a reality that tells him that love is still possible amidst the separating circumstances, amidst impossibility.

His reality might be lack of will. He looks for reality of strength and courage that tells him that everyone is strong, but you.

His reality might be poverty. He looks for reality that others find ways to get out of the trap. He looks for ways to ease the pain that he cannot buy his basic medicine, and let the entertainment of healthy people cure his pain. He looks for reality in going to places he has never and will never be in to as he accepts the virtual tour as real as it is. He looks at the different sumptuous food he tongue will never taste, but his eyes would surely get buffet of.

His reality might be of losing his family. He looks for a mother, a father and siblings through the ideal family members and situations, that no matter what, they still held on together.

His reality might be a simple life. He looks for a luxurious life, and for that single moment, he can imagine that he is in that life.

In search of alternate reality, he is left with either of  frustration or hope. Frustration that no matter what happen, the things he sees on TV will never happen on him, that they are all reality that he will always be willing to exchange his own reality with. And perhaps Hope that will tell him after watching TV, his reality can change.

Yet, we all know, that all the reality we seek in TV is just a simulated reality, a creation of creative minds who are also trying to create reality. An alternate reality.

2. Media

“…lalo na tayong mga kabataan. Masyado tayong mayabang pero andali-dali nating maimpluwensyahan. Kaya tayo tinatawag na impressionable.

Kung ano ang nakikita at naririnig natin sa araw-araw, nagiging ‘yon tayo. Kinokondisyong tayo ng mga patalastas na hindi tayo masaya, na laging may kulang sa buhay natin. Tatlo ang mga magulang ng henerasyon natin. Ang tatay, ang nanay at ang mga patalastas o media. Kaya kung mahina yung dalawang nauna, naagawan sila sa pagpapalaki sa bata.”

Online social media staged the voice of the youth to be louder. I have always thought that it made our voice louder, but no, as a consequence, we hear more voices. Murmurs, shouts, and claims, they face us everyday. As more people speak, our ears are also cluttered more. Since we hear things from different directions, we tend to pick up the immediate sound we hear.

This might be the danger that the future may face: when the mainstream message that the media tells us become the standard when parents lose hold of their responsibility. It is when media outvoices the parents, our supposedly primary moral teachers.

But then, the parents are also subscribed to the same noise that the children are exposed to. What if even the parents are perplexed?

3. Reality

“…Lahat na lang ng talent contest ngayon, may monologue ang panelist. Namimiss ko na yung format  dati na walang epaloids, yung puro contestant lang ang nasa TV. Gusto ko ulit yung patas na laban, yung talent sa contest at hindi yung drama…”

Contestants join reality shows because of the pot prize, supposedly. However, it does not end there. It becomes different when the viewers judge them. But before the viewers judge them, the show also judges them and frames them. Their reactions and framing become the reference of people’s judgment that it makes the contest questionable and fuzzy.

Is this still reality?

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