Was the #DongYanWedding really Dingdong Dantes’s and Marian Rivera’s wedding?

It’s been several days since the spectacular wedding of Filipino starlets Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera (referred to as the “DongYan” couple on social media) and the Net is still abuzz about the circus. The event was said to have cost more than 100 million pesos and was purportedly shouldered by the GMA Network, one of the Philippines’ biggest media companies (NB: the couple’s wedding coordinator Teena Barretto reportedly denies the wedding was funded by GMA).

How many Catholic bishops does it take to marry a Filipino 'royal' couple?
How many Catholic bishops does it take to marry a Filipino ‘royal’ couple?
Seeing the extent to which this spectacle has taken up precious brain space in Filipinos’ heads, many now ask what it all means. Did the DongYan wedding make the Philippines a better country? Did it have a bad effect on Filipinos’ attitudes? Did it add to the society’s socio-cultural capital?

None of the above, most likely. The DongYan wedding exerts no effect on Philippine society because it is but a symptom of what is already in effect in Philippine society. Being a huge wart of a symptom makes it a good focus for much learning. Here are a few to take onboard…

* * *

The Filipino masses (the “C-D” demographic) who constitute much of the fan base of Dantes and Rivera are surprisingly pro-rich.

Most of the the more than 1,200 comments defending the wedding that were posted on the Get Real Post article that launched, well, a thousand comments, was built upon the argument, It’s their money, and they are entitled to spend it the way they see fit.

If we look past the possibility that the cost of the wedding was, as it may turn out, actually bankrolled by the GMA Network, and assume for argument’s sake that the DongYan couple actually did shoulder the cost of their wedding, the question becomes: Should you flaunt it, just because you got it?

To that, the masses have spoken. A display of wealth most definitely gets you on the masses’ good side. Obnoxious ostentation works in the Philippines!

Big media businesses know their market well.

Despite the attention from critical minds the DongYan wedding attracted and the way alternative views about it (alternative to the mainstream view upheld by the fans) resonated across Philippine society’s snootier crust, it is unlikely that Filipinos will change their starstruck ways. No doubt the way the bang created by articles critical of this circus rippled across social media, it is likely that if the GMA Network, ABS-CBN or any other media outfit undertook a similar stunt again, Filipinos will still eat it all up.

Unfortunately, Filipinos’ beholdenness to displays of power in the form of royal pomp and circumstance, fancy power clothes, and an abundance of fair skin is deeply-ingrained in the national psyche. Colonial habits die hard. Filipinos have 500 years of colonial experience etched into the DNA of their minds, which is why an attraction to the physical traits and traditions that are hallmarks of their European colonial masters and a desire to be associated with all that remain powerful motivators — a collective psychological quirk that proves to be a bonanza to the persuasion trades; advertising, marketing, and entertainment.

And here is the crux of the matter:

Public spectacles are not what they seem.

A revealing insight brought to the fore is that Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera are mere business assets of the GMA Network. From that perspective, the Network’s taking a purported 100 million-peso slug on its treasury to fund this wedding was an investment. As more detail about the resources that went into the extravaganza are revealed, it is likely to emerge that there is nothing in the DongYan wedding that is not contrived. From the 12-foot record-breaking cake, the social media hype whipped up in the days leading to the event, and the guest list of VIPs which included eight officiating priests (some of whom were bishops) and politicians and dignitaries led by no less than Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, everything was carefully planned and engineered.

It therefore seems that this spectacle was not, as the masses were led to believe, actually Dantes’s and Rivera’s wedding. It was the GMA Network’s wedding — just one of its productions; part of its product portfolio of braincell-killing teleseryes, noontime variety shows, and quadruple-regurgitated media content offerings.

* * *

We close with this final thought:

How would Dantes and Rivera have wedded if they had been left to do it their way?

Of course we may never know. Suffice to say, this wedding was not their wedding. This wedding was a GMA Network product.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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57 Comments on "Was the #DongYanWedding really Dingdong Dantes’s and Marian Rivera’s wedding?"

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Jetlag807
Guest

To the question “How many Catholic bishops does it take to marry a Filipino ‘royal’ couple?”…

Answer: One more

Kemeo
Guest

So uh is it really wrong to spend one’s own money? And why should I not flaunt it if I earned it, isn’t that how capitalism works? Should we just go with communism where everyone is equal? (No really I don’t get it)

Mickey
Guest

It’s not wrong to spend your own money. It’s the extravagant show of wealth, the way they whored out their nuptials to television, and how everyone ate it up as alright.

It’s a reflection of how sick our society is.

Nimrod
Guest

Capitalism is totally not about spending your own money thoughtlessly.

Capitalism is about spending money wisely so that its potential is maximised. It’s about spending on solutions that solve society’s problems and make profits out of it, which in turn will also be used to spend on more solutions to solve more problems.

Capitalism is about maximising resources and striving to make the world a better place for everyone.

And this stupid wedding circus is certainly not capitalism in action if you assume it’s the couple’s own money being spent on it.

Pallacertus
Guest

If what was said by Add and others is true, then the question is not “Is GMA right or wrong to spend that money?” — the proper question would be “What is wrong with GMA spending that money?”

Then again, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t mind commercialism simply because I don’t think it’s not a problem — so kindly explain?

Sea Bee
Guest
The filipino philosophy I hear in these comments seems to be “everyone works for self interest.” This is odd, given the degree of need that exists in the country. Someone needs to introduce some ethical concepts into this discussion: 1) EVERYONE HAS AN OBLIGATION TO ACT FOR THE BENEFIT OF SOCIETY AT LARGE. 2) DECISIONS SHOULD BE BASED ON WHAT WILL BENEFIT THE LARGEST NUMBER OF PEOPLE; WHILE RESPECTING EVERYONE’S FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS. 3) IT IS MORALLY BINDING ON EVERYONE TO ACT IN SUCH A WAY THAT THE PEOPLE IMMEDIATELY AROUND THEM ARE NOT ADVERSELY AFFECTED. 4) BUSINESSES SHOULD HAVE A… Read more »
Kemeo
Guest

What about GMA’s KAPUSO foundation does that not count as social responsibility?

Sea Bee
Guest
@Kemeo: Of course it does. I applaud benevolence on the part of any organization or person. However, imagine the power of an organization like GMA to advocate for the redistribution of wealth and the right of workers to organize into unions. Instead, they crush any attempt by workers to unionize and continue to exploit their lower echelon workers with temporary contracts that exclude them from job security and benefits. That would lead one to believe that their charitable efforts are PR window dressing and tax write offs. It is just speculation on my part, but I suspect the history of… Read more »
Pallacertus
Guest

It may well be that the ones then and now running GMA have engaged or are engaging in morally or legally dubious practices, but is the staging of this wedding one of those? Perhaps it is, but what do we know of the run-up to the wedding other than what has been divulged?

Sometimes skepticism is the wrong route to take.

Pallacertus
Guest

First question: WHY ARE ALL THOSE STATEMENTS IN UPPERCASE? I can read perfectly well, thank you.

OK, real question: Would you consider the staging of the Dantes-Rivera wedding “unethical” in any possible way? Spill from here.

Sea Bee
Guest
@Pallacertus; No, not the production in and of itself. If GMA had spent 100 million on a historical drama of the life of Jose Rizal or had spent a fortune on some massive production whose subject was the end of the world; no one would even raise an eyebrow. Art does not necessarily have to reflect reality or always contain a socially conscious message. However, should we view the products of the business separately from the welfare of the workers who work in the industry or the viewers at home? Can one admire the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel without… Read more »
A real princess
Guest

Yes. It was beyond unethical. For a country whose people claim to be so religious, i find it hard to fathom that the masses actually do not see a problem with this. The country went through so much disasters. People are still displaced! How is it ok to spend this much on this kind of production? They obviously did it because everyone involved has something to gain from it . Money is king! Decency and morality do not exist.

ar
Guest
bigatin ang kasal, eh sympre, bigatin at kahit sinong tae ang pwedi imbitahin, Eh kung nagbabayad naman si Marian at Dingdong ng tamang TAX wala na tayong karapatan na pakikialaman ang mga ginastos, at mga bisita nila sa kasal nila sa kasal. Pinaghirapan nila yun! At kung pera naman nila ang ginastos doon lahat kahit ilang milyon pesos pa yang pinagawa nilang wedding cake wala na kayong karapatan batikusin. Ano kinalaman nila sa mga naghihikahos na taumbayan! Eh hindi naman sila mga government officials. Nasa kanila na yun kung tumulong sila or hindi. Pero ang alam ko may binigay rin… Read more »
mm
Guest

Korek. Ung mga gifts ng mga sponsors ipinalagay n lng nila sa yes pinoy foundation. Buti nga out in d open ung nasal nila kc as they said they owe it to d public at dahil celebrity din sila. It’s not their fault kung may magsponsor man sa kasal nila o wala kasi nga well loved sila.

justined
Guest

The kids are the ones in command, not the parent.

Sadly, this is what happens when our supposed vanguards of society prioritize profits over social responsibility – puro entertainment, walang edukasyon. So much for their purported “balanced programming”.

Entertainment is not everything. Now, how to tell these kids that all play and no study makes Jack a mere toy.

We definitely need the help of legislation to transform Philippine big media. Sadly again, I don’t think there is one among the legislators that is willing to play the part of a good parent.

ChinoF
Member

The problem for me, riches does not preclude social responsibility. Especially when the wedding was held at the same time people died under Typhoon Seniang, and there was not even a message from the couple or their controversial guest about it. It would not ruin the wedding to have such a message, it would have made it more meaningful.

clarissanery
Guest
What you wrote were speculations, out of your own thoughts and not based on facts. It wasn’t a product of GMA. The wedding cost nearly 30M and not 100M. The cake was a gift from Goldilocks owner. I think you yourself, would love to experience extravagance too. Both are famous, media would always follow them. The wedding encourages people to work harder to have a good life and get the best of life. The negative notion attracts the poor in spirit and wealth. If I have a weaslth like Dong, I would spend the grandest wedding I could possibly afford.… Read more »
ChinoF
Member

Not me, extravagance can be wasteful. Best stay simple, but not simple-minded. Anyone, this wedding was one great ad. Very much exploited.

ChinoF
Member

*Anyway, not anyone

Add
Guest
..”(NB: the couple’s wedding coordinator Teena Barretto reportedly denies the wedding was funded by GMA)” I will not disclose who my butiki is, so let us use what Teena says. The cake is 7m and was a gift, or in advertising jargon, part of an x-deal. X-deals accounted for only 5% of the cost. That means the cost was 7m divided by 0.05 equals 140m. Repeat, 140m (i.e. over 100m as I already said in my comment in an earlier article) Teena would not disclose other x-deals; is she saying the cost was more than 140m? (Because if we pick… Read more »
sadsocrates
Guest
I would like to thank benign0 for this opportunity to expose his pseudo-intellectualism. In this article he posted he failed to address the more sensible arguments that most of us here have been trying to point out. I will point them out right now that he may also be given the chance to refute them. 1. Most comments state that it is the couple’s money not ours so they can spend it anyway they want. In response to this, the author asked: “should you flaunt it, just because you got it?” His response shows his lack of intellectual astuteness to… Read more »
ChinoF
Member
The “royal wedding” we just discussed is not royal, is the one that failed to show respect and courtesy to others by blocking off roads, and is full of hype. And I would say, Mr Sad Socrates, that since you are part of the showbiz world yourself, you are defending your industry, which is understandable. However, I believe this industry does require criticism, because, in a way, it is contributing to the wedge between rich and poor. Not Benign0. Or me. Don’t forget, people like Racquel Fortun, Ferdinand Topacio and Christian Seneres are the first to use the term Ostentatious… Read more »
Add
Guest
..Permit me please, @sadsocrates, benign0 and @ChinoF Your #1 “spending more stimulates growth of businesses” — correct, and nobody is precluding anybody from spending as if somebody could do that in a democratic space. But to flaunt has one objective and that is to show off. So, which comes first, social responsibility or the practical benefit derived from spending? The principle of the process or the end result of the process? Principle or practicality? Can the end justify the means? I think the comment of @SeaBee above is relevant here. Your #2 How do you measure “starstrucked-ness” scientifically and statistically?… Read more »
Add
Guest

Correction
..wasn’t Inquirer the same, minus the combox? Should be: …wasn’t Inquirer the same, minus the combox, during martial law days?

Jmac
Guest
Sadsocrates, 1) Ah a pseudoeconomist. The economy thrives through investment and innovation, not through the mindless consumption of a few. Moreover, it was stated countless times before that GMA, not the couple themselves, that shouldered the bulk of the cost of the wedding. Also, in exchange for exposure, businesses gave discounts for the benefit of showcasing their wares. 2) It was exactly what it is, an extravagant marketing stunt. Indeed, as benign0 pointed out, you are merely proving his point. 3) Filipino values of respect and courtesy? How utterly stupid and hilarious. Are you living under a rock where you’re… Read more »
Anne Marie James
Guest

Hahaha… I can’t argue more to your comment.The network has had it’s own reason same as Dongyan, like wise benign0 posted the blog to earn money for living. So here they are, takes one to recognise same skin. Spell money!!! Weedy.. people now days pretending they are vigilant but forget to check if they are in a right venue.
On

Portia Alcaraz
Guest
In response to your first argument, your points would be valid IF the couple had actually paid their wedding suppliers correctly. However, huge discounts were demanded from reputable wedding suppliers, in exchange for “exposure.” If they had money for a lavish cake, dress, etc., why couldn’t they have paid ALL their suppliers fair wages? Other “unroyal” wedding couples save up for years in order to afford their dream wedding. They pay the correct rates for each wedding supplier even if it means becoming practically bankrupt after the wedding. And yet here come these millionaire celebrities, asking suppliers to serve at… Read more »
ChinoF
Member

Then it’s all just commercialism exaggerating a “fairy tale” wedding, eh?

Portia Alcaraz
Guest

Sadly, yes. It’s not such a royal wedding after all.

ChinoF
Member

I really hope more people see through this hype and wise up.

ChinoF
Member

And yes, thank you for providing that info.

Jmac
Guest

Good of you too see clearly through this. It’s not a fair business arrangement after all. Thanks for providing that info.

Sea Bee
Guest

The young couples that I know who are starting out in life, cannot afford to get married, despite the fact that they have been together for a while and have children already. They are hoping that their fortunes will improve in the future and this will allow them to have a modest celebration with their friends and families in their village. Work is hard to find in the provinces and many live a hand to mouth existence. This is reality.

Sea Bee
Guest

On the other hand, “We should be able to enjoy an ideal image without regarding it as a false picture of how things usually are.

A beautiful, though partial vision can be all the more precious to us because we are aware of how rarely life satisfies our desires.”

Alain de Botton
“Art as Therapy”

Jmac
Guest

Since when did good taste become synonymous with leftism? If anything, GRP is vehemently anti-leftist.

Qué tonto.

jay coe
Guest
hahaha! the funniest thing about the comments is that the readers completely missed the point of the article and they keep defending the spectacle. Look, it doesn’t matter if dongyan personally funded the wedding or by the GMA network or by the sponsors (despite the title of the article w/c btw was changed). This wedding proves that filipinos eat sh*t up and that we are stupid. Our country has fostered a celebrity worshipping culture that has numbed our brain to actually think about real important issues we are facing. Like the author says, most of the fans of this couple… Read more »
Mario Crespo
Guest

i wish i had bits of that millions too

Felix
Guest

In order to gain robust traffic your sorting of creating malicious stories out of context. And you did it for the seconf times for this one, i guess quite a success. Well, pray that the donyan fans will not staged a resbak on you.

tomas
Guest

relax. worse people than dongyan fans have been featured here.=)

Jane Doe
Guest

To be honest, I don’t pay attention to this crap. The DongYan wedding was all over this blogging site called Fashion Pulis and even then, I never paid any attention to it.

mimi
Guest
Considering your assumption is true, then what? Its their business not yours. Its a one day event and will that one day make a difference? The fact that its almost over and your still stuck on it is really annoying. Move on! To those who keeps on inserting the social responsibility and the victims of the recent typhoon, I hope you spare your New year’s eve feast and give it to the poor and to those victims of the calamity. And also, typhoon seniang is expected earlier that month and the government is already prepared for that. The problem is… Read more »
king
Guest

I love this article. Sapul na sapul. This all on GMA7. They shouldered some of the expenses. And yes, i strongly believe that this is not the wedding the couple would’ve planned or wanted. I still would like to believe that DongYan keeps a taste level that is not filled with publicity. I feel bad for DongYan. How many percent of the wedding are them? Tsk!

Giselle
Guest
This wedding is indeed a circus. It almost reminds of the Kardashian wedding and how the Kardashians profited from it. I am thinking probably, GMA will also follow the couple now like Nick and Jessica and similar reality shows. And that is probably how Dingdong is paying for the P100M bankroll with their personal lives contracted on camera at GMA’s beckon call, or you may not know it, the contract is probably already in preparation for a 24/7 PBB format in their own household. 😀 Tadaaaah! Instant reality starlets, the Philippine’s own Kardashian spectacle. So I suppose they deserve this… Read more »
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