Social media was abuzz for a while over a recent Twitter exchange between ABS-CBN comedian Vice Ganda and former Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño. Although Vice had several tweets in relation to President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino’s recent State of the Nation Address (SONA), one in particular drew quite a bit of attention, and mixed reactions from Filipino netizens:
Hindi lahat ng nagpoprotesta totoong nag aaklas. Yung iba diyan nabayaran lang at sinuhulan ng pambili ng bigas. (Not everyone who protested was supporting a cause. Some of them were merely paid and given money to buy rice)
Teddy Casiño’s reply was rather straightforward:
Yung umattend sa loob ng Congress sinuhulan ng bilyon bilyon sa DAP. (Those who attended in Congress were paid off with billions from DAP, the Disbursement Acceleration Program)
Once netizens read this exchange, some of them commented that Vice was owned (supalpal) in that exchange. Others commented that communists like Casiño are merely looking for attention (nang-eepal). In short, discussion degenerated to an argument about taking sides (kampihan).
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Put aside the affiliations of both Vice and Casiño, and you will find that their exchange of tweets betrays a rather inescapable stink about Filipino society: not only is it easy to sell oneself out here, it is a banal practice.
Selling oneself out is both a chronic (talamak) and widespread (laganap) behavior in the Philippines. During elections, one can find citizens who would gladly sell their votes for money. Our politicians will jump political parties out of convenience or for the right “terms”. It won’t be too hard to find certain members of our law enforcement services who are only too willing to accept the bribe (suhol or lagay) in exchange for letting the offender go. As Vice Ganda has pointed out, one shouldn’t be surprised to find among protesters those who joined it for the money or for the free sack of rice. To give Casiño credit, he was spot on in calling out members of Congress who would rather sell themselves out for their share of either the pork barrel or the DAP (though both of them are supposedly “no more”), whichever one applies. Yet at the same time, some of Casiño’s communist colleagues have gone to bed with the very government they’re supposed to be protesting, opposing, and keeping a watch on.
A friend of mine once quipped that the Philippines seems to be a transactional society – one where its members are more concerned with “what can I get out of this” than they are with “what is the greater good”. What good are principles if you can’t earn from them, or when they don’t put food on the table, or give you money that you can spend on yourself? Ika nga, hindi nakakain ang prinsipyo. (As is commonly said, principles can’t be eaten.)
It’s also sad and distressing to note that Philippine society and politics are characterized by loyalty not to principles, not to institutions, but to personalities.. Especially when that personality wields a lot of power, influence, and cash.
But is it really that sad, distressing, or even surprising? It has long been asserted here in GRP that the Philippines is a society that suffers from lazy thinking. Filipinos just don’t think things through; to them, the short-term quick fix or gratification – the easy thing to do – is much more important than the long-term consequence of their actions. The inclination to take the suhol or the freebie is but a mere manifestation of that.
But taking that suhol feels good, doesn’t it? That’s what matters to the Filipino – the feel good, temporary high, quick fix.
And Filipinos keep wondering why their society hasn’t changed? It’s precisely because they keep making the easy, self-serving choices.
А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. – But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.
10 Replies to “Usapang Bayad at Suhol: Vice Ganda and Teddy Casiño’s Twitter exchange”
This is a very good eye opener. yeah, when politicians steal billions they still flaunt about their lifestyle. Meanwhile, when poor people fall for money just to get by even for one family meal, people like gay vice Ganda(?) look down on them.
I agree, but I don’t understand why Vice Ganda’s gender had to be part of the equation. I’m not looking to start anything, it just made me wonder. Have a nice day!
Nobody can read from the tweet that Vice Ganda is looking down on paid protesters, and being a paid protester isn’t more dignified than corrupt politicians. Our nation should realize that poor people who are willing to be used for small money is a disgrace and doesn’t deserve any sympathy from taxpayer’s money.
I don’t like Vice’ joke formula, they’re worse than hell with 10,000 devils and my wife child-locked the ABS-CBN channel on our TV just because of him but people should refrain attacking his gender. The moment you attack a person’s sexuality is your argument’s downfall.
The dialogue between them both clearly shows how showbiz and politics are practically one and the same in the Philippines.
Worse, it shows that may Filipinos have taken sides in this dialogue with very little analysis of the bigger issues.
As is par for the course in Filipino society.
Disregarding whoever they are, I think both of their tweets are correct. Have watched Lourd de Veyra and Jun Sabayton made an interview on one of the protesters, they asked the jejemon/gangsta guy what made him go to Ngoyngoy’s SONA and the idiot can’t say anything. It’s just that Vice Ganda’s opinion gives color to other people because he’s working under *cough* ABS-CBN. The same with Teddy Casino’s identity because he is known to some people as a communist’s advocate. This shallow “kampihan” shows how stupid our nation is. They take sides not because of the opinion or principles but because the person is popular or an underdog.
Yeah. I don’t get the issue here. What they both said are correct.
It’s disappointing that the points the original tweets were making got lost in this “kampihan” BS.
very right. filipinos prefer the easy way out. and sure they get what they deserve.
Now if only we can leave these people to kill each other for good. As what one guy in the new Godzilla movie said, “Let them fight.” 😛