Youth in the Philippines suffer from a lack of good role models

Michelle Alfonso and Janet Ricabo, the “Pabebe” Girls, rose to fame a couple of weeks back after a video they uploaded onto the Net, what else, went “viral”. The video wasn’t much of a production piece. It was just a rant clip with two young teenage girls asserting their right to be who they are. The funny thing is that after they were initially embraced by a bunch of popular celebrities as representing an attitude worth emulating, the bigger base of social media users eventually bore down upon the phenomenon with their scathing indictment of the fad.

pabebe_girls

So here we are. It seems it is the thing nowadays to put up the Pabebe Girls as the model of how girls should not behave. There’s even a hashtag trending on Twitter, #PabebeGirlKaKung (“You’re a Pabebe Girl if…”), where tweeters fill the blank following it with a character trait they find objectionable. For example, according to tweeter @thatpervydude

#PabebeGirlKaKung you don’t know the difference between looking cute and looking annoyingly stupid.

…the above being a bit more straightforward than this interesting one from @EscuetaFaye

#PabebeGirlKaKung likers mo arabo

(Translated: “You’re a Pabebe Girl if your likers are Arabs.”)

The more general sentiment seems to be around narcissism. Pabebe Girls are apparently derided as “attention seekers” who will stoop to any spectacle of “stupidity” to worship the gods of social media virality.

The fascinating thing about this is how notions of what not to be are such potent guides for today’s youth. If you scroll through the Twitter timeline of the #PabebeGirlKaKung hashtag, you will find tweeters virtually unanimous in citing the attitudes and behaviours that, if you unwittingly exhibit, quickly brands you a pabebe. The timeline is a bible of bad taste, pretty much. That says something about the Pinoy celebs who were quick to run with the phenom.

I wonder then. There seems to be an abundance of anti-role models today but not much in the way of actual real role models — sort of like how Maria Clara who once epitomised the quintessential Filipina finds no heir to that throne today. That’s kinda disturbing. The field is left wide open to “idols” like Vice Ganda, Marian Rivera, and Kris Aquino who step in where society has failed to provide sound guidance to an already massively-wayward society. No wonder bad behavior and loser attitudes rule in the Philippines.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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69 Comments on "Youth in the Philippines suffer from a lack of good role models"

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From Prada to Nganga
Guest

I’m not sure how to begin this one however let me try to say my piece as best as I could then.

These girls video were originally uploaded in Youtube (The cradle of other famewhores such as Jamich and the other Pabebe known as Mamon Girl) and I can think that long before the Pabebe Girls there was Justin Bieber who rose his fame through the said site.

Point is nothing is permanent in this country and their fame will just go flash in the pan the same way with Bieber.

From Prada to Nganga
Guest

Girls’ I mean sorry

Grimwald
Member

These are one of the big reasons that I think we should put anime back in the afternoon…

From Prada to Nganga
Guest

Yeah I should say animé or sentai series in the afternoon would be great in addition they will not speak Tagalog but English just like the days of Bioman in IBC 13

saboteur
Guest

Agree. The lack of role models in our schools had to push ourselves to pick up and get out from our boring stages of life.

The one of the reasons we like anime so much and want to put on primetime is because of good writing of story and characters. I guess we can say the authors and writers are the good role models transferring their ideas and visions to the characters he or she created.

gafused
Guest

Why.

I’m not really against the idea, but local derp-dubbing and cuts/omissions due to timeslot constraints and censorship would butcher most of them anyway.

Shun
Guest
Hate to be a stick in the mud, but I fail to see how anime, by and large, can help these youths see the light at the end of the tunnel. A majority of it is quite frankly, base entertainment which titillates (pardon the pun) one’s basest desires. From rom-coms and harems to shounen fighting series, there’s a lot of similarities among the hated telenovelas on an intellectual level. Even if the anime contains some deep and profound message or themes, the audience most likely won’t see it past the “cool action” or the “cute characters.” Just being honest here.… Read more »
Shun
Guest

I’m saying this as someone who watches a lot of anime in his spare time so this isn’t an outsider dismissing the medium.

Grimwald
Member

Well, maybe not just anime.

What we could use however is “variety”.

Tonyong Muta
Guest
Depends on the “anime” and your target age group IMHO as some animes today tend to have overly complex character. I remember watching some Gundam series where protagonists are too damn “emo” he looks like a sissy, or in another anime series where the anti hero is, again, an emo boy with serious anger issues. Not the best animes to let 7-10 years old kids watch. As a child in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I grew up watching cartoons like Bravestarr, GI Joe, He-Man, She-Ra, Thundercats etc. I have mentioned these particular set of cartoon series because they… Read more »
Shun
Guest

Think you got that mixed up. Today’s anime isn’t as violent as it was back in the 80’s. During that time there was free reign to do whatever which led to a lot of, shall we say “experimental” projects. Needless to say, the amount of gore was enough to make the local butcher run for the hills.

Don’t think those cartoons you mentioned are of any good either. They have not aged well at all and the messages they preach isn’t up to standards of today.I still stand by my position to push more focused educational media.

dejavusweetsinfo@gmail.com
Guest

nonesense

Robert Haighton
Member
I really wouldnt know who my role model could be or could have been. It certainly will not be a Dutch celeb or an international celeb. The closest or nearest role model for me would be or could be my dad or my mom. Maybe for others it was/is Mandela, Churchill, Martin Luther King or John F Kennedy. But they are all dead and personally I know nothing about their personal and private lives. So that is a dead end. My role model must be someone who I look up to and somebody that is still alive. So that also… Read more »
Go RICO
Guest

I agree, Robert. Not many worthy Role Models left, and Kennedy, King, Mandela and Churchill are hard to replace, but they teach us what qualities to look for in our new leaders. Sadly the Philippines System is not conducive to bold enlightened thinking unless it directly and immediately benefits the Oligarchs and The Tiny Dynasties.
I’m optimistic though. The young people are hungry to begin shaping their future, so let’s be on the lookout for them, maybe on YouTube.

Robert Haighton
Member

Rico,
I have two “leaders”. One is the dutch king and the other is the dutch prime minister. Hardly role models for me.
I think the best role model is still science (not science fiction) and what is published in an academic and scientific manner.

Real role models (aka celebrities) can have dangerous powers over followers. And then the followers may become just copy-cats. Losing their own unique identity.

Go RICO
Guest

Thanks, Robert, and I totally agree with your respect for Scientists. I get to work with Research Institutes and NASA, and generally they’re brilliant but seldom arrogant, and enjoy watching their life’s work put to good use. My favorite Scientists are the Professors, who dedicate their time to educating the leaders of tomorrow.

Go RICO
Guest

Nature hates a void. Just because past generations have squandered the opportunity to serve as role models of progressive ideas and compelling ideals doesn’t mean young people will stop looking for someone or some movement to fill the leadership void.
I encourage young people to keep going, keep speaking out, keep posting, be outrageous and audacious. Eventually, young people will choose their own leaders and values that will make the timid, conservative, corrupt and dysfunctional Philippine system irrelevant.
As for the critics of these girls, you deserve your sad place in history; cheap talk, no action, no value. Go RICO!!!

anon
Guest

Did you even try using a mirror these past few days, Go Rico?

Go RICO
Guest
Yes, Anon, sadly, I look in the mirror and see a wrinkled and bald 68 year old American, but I am pleased that I have raised and educated 9 children who are all self confident, self reliant and self motivated professionals with good values and sound judgement. I always encouraged them not to fear failure or criticism, as those are lessons to learn from. I feel the same way about these young Pabebe girls. If we have issues with the content or presentation, I would encourage constructive criticism, not condemnation. That’s what Role Models should do, which is the subject… Read more »
DTA
Guest

Well Said Go RICO, But As You Stated, You Are an AMERICAN, as am I, We Come From an Entire Country of Morals and Respect, We Started Learning From Our Parent’s Probably About The Same Time We Were Learning To Walk. AND YES-THIS IS A COMPARISON !!, The Filipino Only Cares About THEMSELVES, Parents steal from Their Children and Vise Versa, You Get Where I’m Going With This—-AS THEY SAY” IT’S MORE FUCKED THEN ANY OTHER PLACE ON EARTH IN THE PHILIPPINES”, OH SORRY “MORE FUN”—Yea Right

Mister F
Guest
I agree. They’re being kids for crying out. And as much as I can’t stand these two girls, I sure as hell won’t stop them from doing whatever they want. Again, they’re kids, being kids. Aren’t they allowed to act stupid and crazy at their age? And then the article suddenly drops the names of Vice Ganda and Kris Aquino as if they’re the only personalities these kids are familiar with. That’s the problem with us. We make assumptions about the lives of the poor as we live next door to them, but the truth is we don’t know Jack… Read more »
Go RICO
Guest
Thanks, Mister F. In reading all the comments, I notice EVERYONE is right, but EVERYONE seem to miss the “ROLE MODEL” point of the discussion. For good or bad, these girls took the initiative and posted a video THAT went viral by saying what was on their mindS. 34% of the population is 14 years old or younger (these girls represent that bracket). If those commenting on GRP could share some time guiding these girls (instead of talking about them), asking for their help in organizing and broadcasting new positive messages, we would be amazed at how fast a positive… Read more »
Ilda
Admin
If those commenting on GRP could share some time guiding these girls (instead of talking about them), asking for their help in organizing and broadcasting new positive messages, we would be amazed at how fast a positive youth movement can be born. Nonsense. What do you want people to do? And how do you propose strangers “guide” them? Where are the parents of those girls anyway? As if they will actually listen to others. You need to watch their video if you haven’t. This is what they are saying to their critics “we don’t care what others think”. Their arrogance… Read more »
Go RICO
Guest
Thanks, Iilda. I’m happy to hear from you, as I was drafting a comment to you, proposing some ways to guide these girls in a different direction. My thoughts are to ask Malala Yousafzai to contact them through Facebook or other Social Media. Her story is one of unparalleled courage and she remains focused on inspiring abused and neglected girls to be strong and relentless in pursuit of education. I originally thought of encouraging them to make new, positive videos and post them on GRP Youtube, but I think the adults on GRP are a little too judgemental, so I’ll… Read more »
Ilda
Admin

@Go RICO

Good luck with your plan. Don’t be surprised if they ask “Malala who?”

Unfortunately, with the teenagers’ new found fame, they won’t listen to reason from anyone who do not support their activities. Fame is what they wanted and they have succeeded in getting it with their stupid video so obviously they won’t stop now.

Thanks for reading the articles.

Go RICO
Guest
Hi, Ilda. I would be shocked if they did know who Malala is, they’re at the clueless stage now, but this will pass (God willing). Agreed, the girls got their fame, and they’ll need to keep feeding their egos, so I thought some positive international exposure might help. We’ll see. True enough, I enjoy your posts. The ones on Critical Thinking and Greece mirror our intentions to help build self reliance in the Philippines, as the Politicians are too self absorbed. If I may, I would like to ask your perspective on issues from time to time, your input would… Read more »
Ilda
Admin

No worries. Time permitting, I will. Thanks.

Vincent
Guest
1) If Philippines have this kinds of kids today, whoa! I think I want to support home schooling. I was inclined to support it before but my hesitation is, as one analyst said, the child may be deprived of his/her chance to learn to interact; build and improve social skills. I agree that that is equally important. But now I think I will be more hesitant for my child to build relationships with such classmates. At least, if he’s at home, I can “filter” his friends. In times of massive, uncontrolled influence of media in the minds of almost everyone,… Read more »
Go RICO
Guest
Vincent, I can certainly understand your concern as a “Would be Father”. It is the scariest responsibility you’ll ever face. I raised lots of kids and it never got easy, but it’s great fun. Good luck!!! However, may I suggest that while Martial Law and filtering out the entire outside world seems logical, it will eventually drive both you and your son crazy. My son and I developed a trust factor early (when he was 3) . I would let him explore everything and make mistakes so he could develop his values and judgement. We would discuss the good and… Read more »
Vincent
Guest
Thank you Go RICO. As a soon-to-be-parent I have this tremendous feeling of uncertainty as early as now that is why I want to raise my walls as high as reasonable because I don’t know how many or how big the enemy would be. I’ve seen parents who were successful with their kids with their lenient approach to them while I’ve seen some couples who failed to raise children as responsible and disciplined individuals despite all the guidance and support. It is as if their kids are really meant to take the “undesirable” road. In any event, I still will… Read more »
kayle
Guest
Hey. I couldnt help but to comment as your discussion is very interesting to me. I, too will be a mother soon expected to give birth this october. I currently have a 9 year old niece who is very much exposed to media. Sad to say that children behavior are drastically changing due to the influence of media. My niece was raised by my brother and her lola since she was born and so she has been very spoiled. At the age of 8, she had her own cellphone and ipad because she learned from school that it was “uso”.… Read more »
Kill Joy
Guest

Sa PaBeBe House ng A-Bias-CBN maraming kabataang pinoy ang walang pakialam at di n’yo raw kayang pigilan!

d_forsaken
Guest

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.

Apprentice
Guest

Guys? No role model? Look at Rizal from youth to adulthood. Now that’s a good start

Go RICO
Guest

EXACTLY RIGHT, Apprentice. Rizal was and remains larger than life. I researched Rizal before coming to Philippines, and found he has left an enduring mark. Families sacrifice everything to ensure the best education possible for their children. So, I agree, Rizal was transformational.
Like too many things, however, education in Philippines has been reduced to just another business and a series of fees, but that’s another discussion for another time. VIVA RIZAL.

OnesimusUnbound
Guest

You mean diploma mill?

Go RICO
Guest

No, I was referring to what Philippines Colleges and Universities are forced to do.
The SUCs always request P 50 – 50 Billion but they always get P 35, so they need to add too many fees. The students and their parents struggle to get an education.

Lemnemonic
Guest

After knowing that Rizal did not write “Sa Aking mga Kababata” I pretty much took all those Rizal stories with buckets of salt. He is a national hero after all, so gross romanticizing and mythologizing has pretty much gave the mainstream young Rizal biography the same content and historical accuracy as a Greek myth.

The boy Jose Rizal is no role model, but the adult one is. His writings and lifestyle as an adult are far more noteworthy, accurate and useful for our current times.

Go RICO
Guest

Thanks, Lemnemonic. Like I said, I had to study available info. I guess Rizal’s story has been edited over the years. Maybe it’s time to look for a newer Role Model.

Robert Haighton
Member

When my former partner wanted to apply for a job as teacher at a DepEd-school, she told me that (DepEd) teachers are not allowed to live together. They either have to be single or married. That sounds to me as a real role model. Although what I think is far more important is to have the best teacher in front of a class room. So I guess its matter of setting the right priorities and to set them straight.

John Brookes
Guest

bastos babae . shame..

The Spainard
Guest

You might be a Filipino IF:

You show up with a shovel in hand when someone says ‘there is Gold in them thar hills !’.

You have a relative slaving away in another country that says he/she is NOT a Filipino.

You are feeling that you have no future and are stuck on an island in the middle of an ocean….and its sinking.

You pick the pockets of…..

Get the picture? Not pretty.

Only the one youngster,on the left, is cute too.

95Toro0077721Hayden
Guest

With role model, like the Whore : Kris Aquino. I am not surprised why our young girls are behaving in wayward ways.

Garbage in; garbage out…in the CyberSpace…

Aaaaan
Guest

1. You don’t like it, don’t watch it.
2. You have nothing good to say… Just don’t say anything…
3. Mind your own businesses!!!

It is a free country… Like they say your freedom ends before it touches the tip of someones nose…

65Hayden00777743Toro
Guest

Media is used by Aquino to Dumb the Filipino voters. This is the reason, his sister: Kris Aquino, who is a Whore is an active participant in the YellowTard Propaganda media.

juujuu
Guest

1 I Agree
2 Define “Good” because objective criticism in this country is treated as something “bad”
3 But this affects me because it affects my children

Ilda
Admin

@Aaaaan

You are wrong. Those who object to this kind of behaviour need to be vocal lest the majority of the youth think this Pabebe is now acceptable behaviour in Ph society.

Yes, they are free to make a fool of themselves but others are also free to criticise their appalling behaviour.

It’s one thing for these kids to create and upload a video on social media but it’s quite another for mainstream media to give them more exposure. It encourages them to continue doing what they are doing.

bugoy
Guest

“It is a free country… Like they say your freedom ends before it touches the tip of someones nose…”

yeah, and the appalling stench of this type of bullshit is already up to my nose so i guess i’m justified to say that stunt stinks and encourages the further dumbing down of a dumb populace. these morons make johnny knoxville and the rest of the jackass crew seem like MENSA members by comparison. and the pinoy media laps it up.

domo
Guest

Says the jejefag who done nothing but abuse his freedom. Sarap maging bobo ano inutil?

Vincent
Guest
To Aaaaan: 1. “You don’t like it, don’t watch it” – Like I said in my previous comment, this is similar to “if you don’t want to inhale smoke, don’t breathe.” 2. “You have nothing good to say… Just don’t say anything…” I very much would like to hear this being said to you by your younger sibling (assuming you have one) or by your child(ren) (assuming you’re a parent) when you’re scolding them. 3. “Mind your own businesses!!!” – Oh I’m willing, very much willing to keep out of this issue. However, I have younger relatives, friends and their… Read more »
DIO
Guest

If you’re here just to TROLL, take your bullcrap to somewhere else.

T
Guest

Free country… wait… let me piss on your doorstep.

xtine
Guest

sheesh…. so many attention seeking whoremons in the Philippines.

bobbydick
Guest

I agree, however, I believe that these girls do not represent the entire Filipino youth.. Also, we can’t just blame it to famous personalities alone. In this era, it is now we, netizens, who have the biggest contribution to the trending topics.. Let’s admit it, we share stuff that we find funny, interesting or annoying even without considering how these things will influence the young audience..

Sr. Athens
Guest

Yes, young Filipinos really need good role models. It’s a challenge to provide even one.

Shun
Guest

Seems to me that the Filipino net fame scene is just as bankrupt and stunted as the rest of its show business. To these kids, the only way they can garner attention is to look like a fool as much as you can.

Just by searching around youtube, I found videos where people gained notoriety without pulling down their dignity and reputation. Movies, music covers, sports etc. It’s a whole smorgasbord but alas, these children just can’t get out of their “comfort” zone.

Ricardo_Diaz
Guest
This is exactly what happens when you take out sentai and kamen rider shows in national television. You are left with terrible shows with the loosest morals. Half-joking aside… Current Philippine National TV has become a wasteland. Nothing but Celebrities, Telenovellas and trite. So if you’re looking at the TV and wanting someone to emulate… you are looking in the wrong place. Just like black people, if we Filipinos want good role models, we should look up to other races or even fictional characters! Which is why I mentioned the Kamen Rider and Sentai series. Because they may be campy,… Read more »
saboteur
Guest

KR 000 is not even enough because of timeslot, horrible dubbing, and less airing time packed with endless ads. And how I wish we get the Super Sentai back, not the stupid Power Derangers.

DIO
Guest

As I love both Sentai and Power Rangers, why can’t we have both? Are you calling me ‘stupid’ because of that? That’s so lame.

RPM is much better than Go-Onger, story-wise. And Dino Charge is more watchable than Kyoryuger. If you want to bring Sentai back, please reconsider because Sentai right now went downhill after Gokaiger.

Can’t wait for the Ninninger adaptation… 😛

anna banana
Guest
The rise of the pabebe girls with Mamon Girl included proved one thing: social media and television has reared up its ugly head. Personally, I find Janet and Michelle’s video a little annoying, and honestly, I am more annoyed with Mamon Girl. I hope being cyber bullied has taught these girls a lesson – think before you click; but then again, my gut tells me Mamon Girl is to be the next fame whore Mich Liggayu. I hope Janet and Michelle’s parents have learned a valuable lesson from this experience too, and that they would exert a little more effort… Read more »
From Prada to Nganga
Guest

Link

The word “Mamon” is very timely about her annoying video….

Ricardo_Diaz
Guest

Like Jessi Slaughter before them, this is an after-effect of popular media. Tragic, but preventable with effort.

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