Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teleserye Cliches and Election Blues

In the Philippines, it’s hard to miss the fact that an election is just around the corner.

At the very least, it starts with road repairs sprouting like mushrooms all around the metro, present at almost every 200 meters. You won't and can't ignore them because of two things:

(1)   The extra large signage with the picture of your favorite politician - smiling - claiming the project.

(2)   The unbearable traffic and inconvenience that it causes you everyday.

Almost as certain as election gimmicks are the typical plot of a 'Philippine Telenovela'. They are almost, always identical that sometimes it's hard to tell which is politics and which is entertainment. Let us count the ways!

A typical Philippine telenovela pilots by retelling the childhood story of the protagonist. Sometimes, the kid who played the part is just so adorable and charming that you wish that it would just end there.

Of course when the protagonist grows up all the charm and innocence is lost. She starts doing stupid things, welcoming verbal and physical abuse, crying almost everyday, denouncing her family members even friends- all in the name of love.

In Philippine Politics, such is also the case. You vote for a promising candidate. Politician wins first term seeks for re-election and ends up a TRAPO.

A typical Pinoy Teleserye would always feature a rich, handsome and kind male protagonist.

The perfect male falls for the simple but very pretty girl with humble beginnings and the fairest white skin to boot! 

Sometimes, you can’t help but wonder how on earth can flawless skin be achieved given that the girl has to work under the sun with the harshest of all conditions in the slums?

But a powerful love team is a potent ingredient to a successful show and so is the case during elections. 

You see politicians parade their 'official first lady' and project an image that they are the faithful husbands.

They sing during campaign period to the delight and cheers of the crowd and some even went to the extent of staging a marriage to seek Malacanang. Only it backfired. 

Hello there Mar and Korina!

photo by inquirer.net

Don’t you ever wonder why in almost all teleseryes the character of the female protagonist is always determined by the kind of hair she wears? 

The bida would always have that long straight black hair (shinampoo lang!) while the ‘kontrabida’ would always sport the curly, wavy hairstyle.

Reminds you of a proverbial joke when you were a kid: 'kapag kulot salot!'

The ‘tuwid’ and ‘kulot’ dichotomy was marketed very well in the last election leading people to believe that all those in the tuwid na daan campaign have halos and wings and are heaven sent and those on the other side are crooked as hell.

The Yellow Army paints this contrast very well until you start connecting the dots and learn that Liberal members are the same Arroyo monkeys who now opted to shift trees.

Photo from goodmorningclass.wordpress.com

Of course there is this ‘walang kamatayang’ plot about switched identities after birth or the ever popular story of a bida seeking for their lost parents.

If Mar Roxas and Manny Villar were given a choice, they might have just declared themselves the long lost sons of Ninoy and Cory. After all, an Aquino surname is a passport to Malacanang.

photo from antipinoy.com

You can’t possibly miss the rags-to-riches plot of almost all teleserye bida. 

In Philippine politics it is roughly translated as from 'millionaires-to-billionaires'.

Then there’s this kidnapping scene usually staged in a warehouse or big vacant lots. Which signals two things, either the series is about to end or the writers just don’t have the time to write.

But why complain about the predictability of kidnapping scenes when every election in ARMM you have ballot snatching that happens in broad daylight? 

Brownout is so 1992! Ampatuans are so 2010. That person who can hack the PCOS machines might just be included in next year's Forbes List.

Finally you could always be certain that a Philippine Teleserye would conclude with a happy ending, the bida, though severely drenched in blood after episodes of ‘habulan’ and ‘barilan’, would end up being alive. 

He/She would be reunited with the loved ones and the theme song (which is also the teleserye title) would be played dramatically in the background.

And so are the tales of all political dynasties in the country. 

Sure some members of the family might be accused (at some instances proven) to be guilty of crime or corruption or a scandal but somehow another member of the family gets elected. Either wife, or son or daughter or sibling. 

It’s always the happy ending for the Estradas, the Aquinos, the Macapagals and Marcoses, the Binays of this country.

In a land where teleserye and politics comingle that they become indistinguishable I salute the intelligent men and women of GenSan in rejecting Manny Pacquiao a congressional seat. 

Apparently, the same cannot be said for the Kapampangans and the Tarlaquenos.


- Kung Walang Corrupt Walang Mahirap
- Si Manny Villar Ang Tunay Na Mahirap

Therefore, Kung Walang Corrupt Walang Manny Villar!

1 comment:

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