Of debates on ‘kababawan’, ‘kayo na matalino’, and all-around Pinoy apathy

There’s a perverse type of pleasure people with a lot of time in their hands derive with simply prowling the endless frontiers of cyberspace in search of “worthy” causes as a platform to give people a piece of their valuable opinions on things. Or for some, just grabbing the popcorn and soda to simply sit back and watch an online fray like any other reality TV spectator; flaming/trolling every once in a while to keep the game going.

Just take a look at any forum, web groups, and online comments on any write up and one can immediately see a treasure trove of verbal sparring matches, arguments, and pissing contests that range from the stupidest, outlandish premises to brilliant, well-thought out expositions that can sometimes be a lot more elucidating than the main write-up that the argument sprung from.


Of late, those types of debates attracted the usual crop of first-time visitors to GRP because of the controversial topics that the writers have presented. As always, when the topic is centered around media and showbusiness—a sensitive spot for most Pinoys that can only be likened to stirring a hive of angry wasps—the predictable knee-jerk reaction of the majority who read them is to cry foul at the perceived slight on their right to enjoy what they want to enjoy.

Valid reactions, of course. One simply has to put himself in that situation and imagine being told by someone that what he likes is utter crap. But therein lies the difference between liking crap and knowing it is crap and liking crap and insisting it is anything but. And the point of the articles wasn’t even about that kind of debate. Sure, examples had to be given, generalizations to be thrown, but at the end of it, the bigger picture is that the discussions were never even about the specific shows that the people were so busy defending to death: But at the type of activities where Pinoys invest time, attention, and even outrage.

Of course everyone’s for a chance to de-stress or have the freedom to enjoy whatever piece of escapist fare one has at his disposal for a brief respite from the abysmal reality that is Da Pilipinas. People need to do that to keep their sanity, and no one is questioning that basic right. The length of time and effort to sustain the escapism, however, is where things get a little dubious. Everything else takes a backseat to the escape, and not unlike a junkie who’s in a constant doped up condition, everything is suddenly a-ok even when things around is anything but.

Several comments on the articles were downright fatalistic and defeatist that they highlighted the points raised by the very authors they were attacking. Like how giving attention to the everyday problems and tribulations the average Juan is facing would ultimately be useless because, well, that’s how things are. But again, as what Ilda has written:

“The good news is, if Filipinos work together towards these common goals, they will find the solution to their problems sooner rather than later.”

One can’t help but compare that type of resolve to the overwhelming capacity of a group sharing one goal like the recent INC movement that brought the administration to its knees because of an organized effort to mobilize its members. But most important of all, is that these were people who shared a single purpose and righteous indignation to whatever cause they believed.

Now translate that very same awareness and outrage to the 25M tweets and impassioned supporters of a loveteam and aim that type of statistic to the very evils we complain about day in and day out, then maybe we could get somewhere.

It comes down to a simple question: What can we do to rouse the very same passions we have for our favorite showbiz pastimes to elevate ourselves to a better life by being aware and being proactive about our roles in society?


Post Author: rsurtida

Worker in a private sector hive.

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19 Comments on "Of debates on ‘kababawan’, ‘kayo na matalino’, and all-around Pinoy apathy"

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For your last question: we need men and women with a vision who can sell their idea to a lethargic populace and bring that populace from point A to B.

We can be the next Singapore guys!!!
It has already begun…

donny monyo

lets all stop and stick with ms ilda’s article re these topics please thank you 🙂


I was delighted I had offended the Failipinos upholstered sensibilities.

haha the discussion on the comments thread here is already so off-topic Benign0 might ban us. With all due respect Mr. author I agree with your article, and I really do hope you find the secret formula to getting 25M tweets for GRP. Sorry but it seems GRP articles & topics lately are simply knee-jerk reactions to what’s going on among stupid Pinoys. I mean do you have to get your cue every time from stupid Pinoys on what to write about? Sadly GRP doesn’t really steer the ship at the helm on what should be the buzz in Phil… Read more »
What the Bloggers and the Blog Article writers are doing; are what you are telling us. It takes time to awaken people; especially the Filipino people, whose mindsets are already desensitized by the Aquino Propaganda Machine; sexual perversions of all kinds; idiotic shows ; thieveries; corruption of all kinds; dictatorship of Aquino; “teleseryas”, etc… It is hard, but it is not impossible, that they will be awakened. The Roman Catholic Church, that had been aggressive in removing , Marcos, and installing the Oligarch: Aquinos; is now silent…a deafening silence. Inspite of the fact, that these glaring evil that prevail in… Read more »
I think it’s a herd mentality… You know how when one person thinks something is “cool” or fun, you, the person nearest that one really feels he has to be part of it? It is reminiscent of peer pressure in the developmental aspect, people want to be “cool”, so they think they have to like the same things. And if they get attention for “being cool”, i.e. someone fanning the flames, then that’s going to set off a chain reaction. One personal example would be the 1 Million march way back when someone had the bright idea to organize a… Read more »
Here’s what I noticed why “kababawan”, este, Pastillas and AlDub became very popular and got 5M & 25M tweets respectively. First of all, it was popularized by a show that has many followers and expert celebrities (TVJ, Vice, Jose, Wally etc) who knew how to stir a gullible crowd by weaving stories and remarks that will endear their show to these people. Then a number of regular individuals started a group and make it their life’s mission to spread the word and events on Pastillas, Kalyerserye and Aldub. They never fail to provide info, updates and will leave a teaser… Read more »