People have opposing views about the ABS-CBN shutdown. Some may claim that it is a violation of press freedom while others, a much-deserved death due to the network’s reported violations of the franchise law set by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
But whatever opinions Filipinos do have, the ABS-CBN shutdown is a reflection, of you may say, a microcosm of what is wrong with the Philippines in terms of mismanagement and you may add, cultural bankruptcy.
True, ABS-CBN grew at a very alarming rate, in its credo to lay claim of being ‘the Philippines’ largest network. But beneath its audacious claim insiders are aware on how the network has become a snake pit of intrigues, with news reporting that has become so biased and sensationalist, further spewing divisiveness and confused mindsets. Not to be outdone are its entertainment programs that are so escapist, insipid, and formula-oriented instead of aesthetically or morally uplifting. These are a reflection of the crass commercialism that has bred intellectual poverty among Filipinos whereas instead of instilling pride or advocating strong values, promotes what you may call moral irresponsibility.
On another angle, if ABS-CBN lays claim that its Kapamilya talents are among the best that the Philippines can boast about, why is it that they are not able to penetrate the expanded global market the way K-Pop has conquered? In contrast to the Kapamilyas whose reach sadly seems limited to Filipinos residing abroad, K-Pop and K-cinema has gained hundreds and millions of devotees from people as diverse as British, Norwegians, Germans, Israelis, Uzbekistanis, Japanese, Thais, Singaporeans, South Africans, Australians, Argentinians and, despite those Trump trade wars, even Americans!
Observe also the way Korean celebrities carry themselves in public, both in real life and through social media, where they show that very big difference. K-Pop personalities maintain that strict sense of decorum that is globally correct and sensitive whereas they talk strictly about their careers, the different movie roles that are into and how these enhance their versatilities as talents, the latest in K-fashion and the finer points of Korean culture such as its rich culinary heritage and renowned natural landmarks. Plus, they show great interest in embracing and understanding the different cultures of their devotees from throughout the globe. You can also credit the phenomenal success of things Korean, be it K-Pop/K-Cinema, Samsung smart phones, LG flat screen TVs, Gangnam fashion as well as the health wonders of kimchi and that novel culinary phenomenon sangyupsal, all that not only have won the hearts of the global community, but have generated much more to the coffers of the Korean economy as well!
The Kapamilya stars, by comparison, fail. Instead of broadening their mindsets and their creative mettle the way K-celebrities do and serve as natural Ambassadors for their country, its brands and its heritage, Kapamilyas seem to be of less substance due to their hackneyed, stereotyped roles, their parochial, mediocre mindsets and the way they wallow in petty intrigues just for the sake to be in the so-called ‘ratings game!’ There are times when Kapamilya comedians also engage in racist and sexist jokes that offend the sensitivities of both indigenous as well as foreign ethnic groups and the LGBT community, who do deserve a great deal of respect.
Just as we sympathize with the rank-and-file and everyday earners of ABS-CBN who will lose their jobs—this also includes those hardworking production staffers who had to bear with the imperious attitudes of their talents, both news and showbiz, who are all good in making a clean façade in public—it is high time the top honchos of that network that claims to be no. 1 also suffer the harsh consequences of their own irresponsible actions, in the DISSERVICE of the Filipino people!
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