Calling all Filipinos: Turn off the TV and start doing your homework!

It’s hard to tell if it is the timing of the phenomenal explosion of the AlDub fad or the simple fact that politics has just gone so far down people’s hierarchy of things to give a shit about. But just from looking at the sorts of things Filipino ‘netizens’ are tweeting about nowadays, politics and social issues no longer seem to be the hot topics they used to be. That’s not too surprising considering just how blah the presidential race is what with the three utterly uninspiring candidates that Filipinos are forced to choose from. Just sad.

To be fair to the incumbent President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, back during the heady days of the 20009-2010 presidential campaing, Filipinos who supported him genuinely saw him (albeit misguidedly) as a beacon of hope. The vote and partisanship across all camps was passionate, and the campaigns were competitive in a relatively good way. The candidates who put up a heroic fight against the Yellow horde who propelled BS Aquino to the top of the polls were all competent and on fire!

AlDub star Maine Mendoza's pabebe wave... (Source: Twitter)
AlDub star Maine Mendoza’s pabebe wave…
(Source: Twitter)
Sure, we lamented the same intellectual shortfalls in the political “debate” of the time — the lack of proper platforms, the same epal (grandstanding) approach to campaigns, the lack of a convincing debate between candidates, and an electorate that was all heart and no brain. As it turned out, Philippine politics was yet to hit rock-bottom. The presidential race today is an even more wretched intellectual wasteland than the previous one. Indeed, it was one thing, back in 2010, for a brain-dead electorate to choose the one unqualified and, ultimately, incompetent candidate amongst and abundance of excellent options then. But today is an even worse situation — the same brain-dead electorate is faced with a critical choice to make in what is essentially a bleak landscape of options.

It’s therefore not surprising that Filipinos have simply tuned out of their rotten politics. It’s a free market anyway. Why waste time keeping attuned to what is essentially a sad old story with a predictable ending — a presidential race being run by three uninspiring horses with the only thing certain being that one of them will win. That outcome in this instance fails the So What? Test. So what if Grace Poe wins? So what if Jejomar Binay wins? And, yeah, so what if Mar Roxas wins? What exactly differentiates one from the other two? Now that one is a head-scratcher.

Filipinos, however, now seem less inclined to spend the few months in the lead up to the elections scratching their heads over the blah-ness of today’s Philippine politics. They will, instead, be spending their days catching the best rubbish that the Philippine entertainment industry has to offer. And there’s lots to look forward to — if you’ve got a stunted mind.

...and the Filipino public who mimic their celebrities.
…and the Filipino public who mimic their celebrities.
That’s the trouble with the free market. It sounds good in principle. The big assumption that underlies the concept is that the “wisdom” of such markets will ensure that the most optimal emergent outcome will come about. But like the notion underpinning “democracy” that the “people’s will” is what is best for the nation, there is now ample cause to question to the wisdom of the free market for ideas in the Philippine setting. Just as it is evident now that the power to choose leaders that Filipinos have wielded for the past three decades failed to produce real results, the notion that a free market where producers of media products would be in fierce competition with one another for Filipino eyeballs would drive quality upwards has come to question.

Is it really wise to allow Filipino tastes to determine what sorts of television shows and cinema are served them?

That’s sort of like allowing 10-year-olds unlimited XBox time when they have mounds of homework due over the coming week. You cannot allow a free market to reign in a market that is ill-equipped to handle said freedom.

Democracy is, essentially, a form of government that assumes some level of intelligent engagement from the citizenry. In that sense, the intelligence of the citizenry is of utmost national concern. Intelligent voters are critical to the nation’s future. Indeed, the consistent failure of Philippine democracy to produce good results (in the form of good leaders and good lawmakers) for Filipinos owes much to an electorate and citizenry that lacks the intelligence to apply itself productively to getting the most out of this modern form of governance.

Topics 'trending' on Filipino twitter feeds attest to the Philippines' intellectual bankruptcy.
Topics ‘trending’ on Filipino twitter feeds attest to the Philippines’ intellectual bankruptcy.
The obvious reality that Philippine society is intellectually-bankrupt begs an obvious solution: there is a need to put controls on its entertainment industry where much intellectual capital is squandered. Why continue feeding an already dumb people with dumbing-down entertainment? It just does not make sense. Filipinos are poisoning their own well — the well from which their democracy drinks!

Today’s political commentators lament the appalling mediocrity of today’s presidential bets. Rightly so. But they fail to see the root of Filipinos’ dysfunctional taste in politicians. The three bozos currently running for president are mere products of Filipinos’ disturbing lack of any ability to think through their political choices, much more apply a serious mind to the task. How can they? The only affordable form of entertainment in the country — television — is an outlet of the most repulsive mind poisons. The opiates that TV screens flash at Filipino eyeballs all day reduce their audience to a vacuous lot of chattering, hyena-laughing dimwits. The “trending” topics in the Filipino Twitterverse are a sad monument to the things Filipinos find important despite the growing pile of “homework” — building a nation — that they are neglecting.

Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate whether Filipinos have earned their right to watch garbage on TV. Is it time to switch off the TV, unplug the XBox, and sit the kids in front of their desks so that they could get started on their homework? The alternative to that option is not a pretty one. What we decide to continue (or not continue) doing will spell the difference between a future of doing great things or a lifetime of flipping burgers at a McDonald’s joint.

[Photo of Pabebe Wavers courtesy GMA News Online.]


Post Author: benign0

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54 Comments on "Calling all Filipinos: Turn off the TV and start doing your homework!"

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TV entertainments in our country is some sort of Diversion of Filipinos. These TV entertainment programs divert their minds from: their corrupt government and government officials; from their polluted and rotting environment; and from their miserable lives. No good choices in the Presidential race. Same Old Trapos. So, we know what happen to the country; when one of them is elected…Same Old Shit, and incompetence. The political opportunists, which most of the politicians are; will flock to the winner. Another version of Aquino’s DAP, PDAF, Pork Barrel Bribery will emerge. People will continue to leave the country, as OFWs. The… Read more »
“Turn off the TV and start doing your homework!” – I pictured a scene in my mind of many Filipinos having seizures similar to drug addicts who are having withdrawals. (sigh) Who needs terrorists when we have such a society? “Democracy is, essentially, a form of government that assumes some level of intelligent engagement from the citizenry.” – So true and guess what, Aquino fans, Ninoy himself said this: “I believe democracy is not just majority rule, but informed majority rule…” (Emphasis on the ‘informed.’ Source: A Testament from A Prison Cell) Question: Are we informed enough to adopt democracy?… Read more »
I used to believed democracy is better than any other form of government , by the people , for the people and freedom of about anything that any one wants to do.. And that my fellow Filipinos is what’s happening in the Philippine culture right now ….. Too much democracy, to much freedom and total disregard of its own created laws. Everybody is free to do about anything they please and complain for the things that no one helping anybody anymore… Every one is on their own freedom to do just about anything.. That folks is the problem now in… Read more »

Still a nation of starstruck ignoramuses all these years.


What Filipinos in the Philippines need to do is turn off the television, stop going to their cheesy Filipino movies, and start reading. If you really think about it, Filipinos were much more respectable and literate before television, and the only form of entertain was reading and listening to the radio. Filipinos are just trying hard to be appear modern, and too harried with life, than what is good for them and their country.


The reply to end all discussions is Penis.


Shit humor aside, I blame all the “live in the moment to live life” bullshit people spout out. Yes, our lifespan is but a fleeting blip through-out the passage of time but that doesn’t give us the right to drag down the collective human race with us.

If people would only think more of the future (in a world where screwing over others is not part of future plans that is) than the right now, perhaps they would have a different outlook in life.

walter p komarnicki

‘reality’ TV doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing: it’s quite an oxymoron.
I admit I force myself to watch TV in small doses, but I can spend more time on DW, BBC, TV5Monde, EWTN, AlJazeera but since the defunding of Australian TV on Channel 62, I miss watching Four Corners, tv investigative journalism at its best.

But here in the Philippines, there’s no equivalent to the BBC or even Sesame Street, so the default is daytime zombie TV.
Give me karaoke at the local eatery any time!

Frederick U. Frencillo
Frederick U. Frencillo

People, This is a free country.. Is it wrong to make ones self happy for a moment? With all these problems that we have.. Chill out, have a break.. It’s obvious that you’re hitting on someone.. Good Day 🙂

It sickens me that Filipinos (not all, hopefully) would rather “be happy” by watching garbage on TV than actually “care” about political and social issues plaguing the country. They say nothing is going to change in our country anyway, so they keep their eyes glued on the screen and just be merry by whatever entertainment local media has to offer. Filipinos (ahem not all again, I’ve been accused of generalizing several times) have this “bahala na” attitude which simply translates that mediocre work is ok, f*ck excellence (thinking that nothing’s perfect anyway). In turn, media puts out shows that are… Read more »

Exactly, and you can feel it in the air. Nobody seems interested in the 2016 election.

Actually, this kind of situation could be dangerous. It is like a bottled up emotion, a calm before a storm. PNoy could actually test it by having another Mamasapano type of mistake.

Ofelia LC

Really interesting…for once,i did not see trash comments 😉


Mr benignO, with nothing to except to suffer on traffic, politics, heat, flood, etc.. what alternative rest/recreation can you suggest to your countrymen except AlDub/Tv during noontime?
SEX & nothing but SEX?

Pretty boring if Marcos wasn’t in the race, isn’t it? There’s sound reasoning and then there’s fundamental attribution error. This website “attempts” to pin down the culprit for Filipino poverty in the following ways: 1) “Hey look, they’re watching AlDub. That’s why Filipinos are poor. 2) “Hey look, they’re dancing ocho-ocho. That’s why Filipinos are poor. 3) “Hey look, they’re watching such and such soap opera or listening to this or that music. That’s why Filipinos are poor or idolizing certain movie stars. This makes for entertaining read, but it’s not science…just a bunch of people pitching in their gripes… Read more »

‘Kinda reminded me again of Martial Law where some radio, television and newspapers were closed. During those times, the people have no choice but to focus on work, study, seek progress or fight the government corruption and the so-called atrocities because there’s no teleserye or kalyeserye or celebrity cult to steal their attention.


kalyeserye is a segment of EB that last only for 30-40 min. not a big deal, not a waste of time and worth watching while having a break.


Man is able to snatch everything except one thing, the last of human freedoms: the choice of an attitude under any given set of circumstances to determine his own path.

So, what can’t you take? Decide which of the two options is harder, and do the other. That way, no matter how hard your choice turns out to be, at least you can find comfort in knowing you’re avoiding something even worse.


we have all the differences

Well. You can lead the horse to the water but you can’t force them to drink. If being so serious in life works for you then maybe it won’t work to others. Even if those tv shows and gaming consoles never exist, still you can’t have the assurance that children will dedicate their selves to study hard or work hard. Entertainment is only a diversion for a so stressful life. Your so lucky that you can manage to balance your life without any diversion. Many people waste their time not because of those shows,Hindi b Pwedeng tamad Lang talaga… Just… Read more »

Had you ever read a tweet/FB message of Lea Saloga lately that we are so “mababaw” because of this? Well this is the reason why our country is still undeveloped unlike our Asian neighbors. 🙁