Jam Sebastian’s cancer battle: What happens when social media stars ail?

It’s sad seeing the ravages of cancer unfolding before your very eyes. That is what we’ve been getting a bit of lately as social media star Jamvhille “Jam” Sebastian shares his battle with Stage 4 lung cancer via his Facebook page with his millions of followers. Sebastian along with girlfriend Paolinne Michelle Liggayu form the YouTube sensation “Jamich”. The Jamich pair are so-called “pure” social media celebrities having accumulated their vast following entirely on the Net. Their fame was built upon cheesy videos that appealed to lovestruck and lovelorn teenagers alike.

The 'JaMich' couple in happier days

The ‘JaMich’ couple in happier days

But just how much publicity is too much? The fans’ reaction to what has been described as an over-exposure of Jam’s cancer plight has been mixed. Some have made calls to respect the ailing star’s privacy. But by some accounts, Jam has actually been asking for the attention. On live TV his mother Maricar Sebastian reportedly appealed to boxing champ Manny Pacquiao to visit her son who she described as a big fan. She also appealed to Netizens to continue praying for Jam who, she says, has expressed a desire to continue his fight to survive his illness and not surrender to it.

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So what’s the verdict? Too much publicity or not. Readers of popular Pinoy celebrity news site Philippine Entertainment Portal overwhelmingly voted too much in an online poll issued by the site.

To be fair, the images of a sick Jam circulating all over the Net are quite confronting. For a couple who rose to fame on the back of their youthful good looks and vitality and feel-good messages and imagery, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if this dark patch in their story puts off a chunk of their fan base. I mean, a lot of fans flocked to JaMich to escape their mundane realities. Now, all of a sudden, what used to be fans’ haven for escapism had become starker than the lives of the escapers.

That’s the thing with Facebook, actually, that I’ve been noticing for sometime. Everyone’s a personal brander on Facebook, exhibiting their best foot forward and, in the vast majority of cases, keeping their dirty laundry behind the scenes. So on Facebook, everyone is seemingly a worldly traveller, habitués of trendy dining and drinking holes, and connoisseurs of fine gadgetry. Nobody posts stuff that makes their audience think Sux to be you, dude. Rather, everyone wants to come across as someone living the life you should be leading!

And to be fair, us lurkers do logon to check out the glitz and glamor of the posers and the real-deals alike. Both are equally interesting, the posers for their hilarious efforts to keep up and the real deals for the natural way they keep to or set the trend effortlessly!

Which brings us back to Jam Sebastian. When I think about what he is doing on Facebook, I recall the old poignant saying:

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you. Cry, and you cry alone.

Maybe the Jamich couple’s fans who are sticking it out with their ailing idol do deserve credit for debunking this old truism. Then again we really don’t track statistics on how much of the couple’s once formidable fan base has dropped off. Not exactly a worthwhile enough subject for hardcore research but something to think about just the same.

34 Replies to “Jam Sebastian’s cancer battle: What happens when social media stars ail?”

  1. These two are classic examples of fame whores. well what would you expect from a couple who became famous on Youtube? almost everyone who post videos of themselves on Youtube are attention seekers, and a lot of them are desperate for fame. Naturally even in the brink of death, they would want all eyes on them. Such classless and pathetic individuals do not deserve any attention at all!

  2. Ang tagal naman mamatay ng taong yan. Ang rami pang publicity! pweh! ung iba nga jan mas grabe na ang kalagayan. Mga pinoy tlaga utak bobo.

  3. It’s pretty sad he got cancer. But it’s also too bad this also gets exploited for showbiz, and there’s also this foolish of “1 like” on Facebook, which is obviously useless.

    1. Oh shit! May camera lang at nagkataong may cancer, showbiz agad?

      OK, sa tingan e OA na ang publicity surrounding Jamich’s final moments, but the point is sa tingin ko lang iyon. It’s all subjective. It’s likely that as we speak, someone cancer-stricken somewhere is taking pointers off Jam’s ordeal, using him as model and inspiration as he fights his own battle.

      Ano pa ang OA noon?

      1. Halatang Jamich fan ka eh. Anong inspiring sa isang tao na sumisigaw sa TV na gusto nya na mamatay. I have seen cancer stricken celebrities and yes cancer is painful as fuck and yes they feel that way pero they don’t feel the need to be pitied by screaming to the media “I want to die!!!” they just keep it to themselves.

        1. 1. I’m not a Jamich fan. I don’t have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, an Instagram account, a Youtube account, and so on and so forth. I’m just here because I’m not a callous dick, and to rein in callous dicks. Like you.

          2. If someone screams “I want to die!” while wincing in pain from Stage 4 lung cancer before millions of people, my instinct isn’t to gut-punch him for “not taking it like a man” or else wish him dead for being a money whore, a media whore, a whatever whore — it’s crying. I don’t care if that makes me less than macho, I’m fucking sympathizing with him and I’m fucking crying for him. Why? Because I sure as hell don’t like to see people suffer. Even callous dicks I don’t want to see suffer.

          3. Which brings me to my next point — who cares if he can’t keep his pain and suffering to himself? Por que hindi siya stoic, por que nai-dedemonstrate niya ang ravages ng cancer sa katawan niya, di na siya puwedeng mabuhay?

  4. Facebook caters to the vain and this Jamich is the perfect example of it. The youth of today seems to think that one way to being a super star is to post every minute detail about their private lives not knowing to keep something for themselves. Poor Jam though. This must be hard for his family especially when they are under the public eye but one can’t have his cake and eat it too.

    1. Never understood that phrase personally. The point of cake is to eat it, then digest and find some more. Dilemma solved.

  5. I’m not a fan of Jamich. But, I guess wishing a person who has suffered severely from cancer to be dead, is beyond the line. How soulless of you to do that. Alam kong madami ang may ayaw sakanila, but I guess if may puso kayo, you won’t even think of that. Let them be. Buhay nila yun. I have lost a brother too because of lung cancer and you don’t know how we’ve suffered throughout and after his battle.. Mahirap ang pinagdadaanan ng pamilya nila. What if kayo kaya yung nasa kalagayan niya then may mag wish na mamatay na din kayo? They have connections. Kaya may publicity. Kung Ikaw din naman may connections ka gagawin mo din yun. Last wishes na yun ng tao binatikos niyo pa.

    And shoutout doon sa nagsabi na bobo ang mga Pilipino. Kuya, Pilipino ka din. So it means Ikaw din.

    1. haha child logic. i’m feeling troll-y today!

      so okay, for your pathetic little mind to grasp the concept and make a bulletproof argument, let me paraphrase what marco said. A great majority of filipinos are too fucking stoopid for their own good. Take for example, you. Hasty generalizations, appeal to emotion. That shit dont work on logic and reasoning.
      Second, Jam did not take his sickness like a man, instead he turned it into a cash cow which ultimately failed because it did jack shit to help his condition. he did not help people by inspiring then, he only helped promote media whore-ism. Why do I say that? because in the end, he achieved nothing of significance. NOTHING! in a year’s time he will be forgotten just like that teleserye dude who died in a car accident and that matinee idol who once tried to get into claudine baretto’s panties. Because that’s how the philippine mindset works – bandwagon mode – and that, at least, always moves forward.

      1. “Jam did not take his sickness like a man”

        Oy vey, didn’t know that everyone has to act the same kung may cancer ka. Dapat pala you shut up and die like a man, hindi mag-post ng status mo sa Facebook o humingi ng donation para makaraos sa gastos sa isang taong gamutan, dahil pambabaeng gawain iyon, di matikas tingnan.

        Dapat pala kung may cancer ka, magpakamatay ka na lang. It’s quick, it’s reasonable, it’s logical. Wala pang gagastusin ang pamilya mo, at wala ka pang bashers na puro tira ng tira dahil lang nag-ingay ka sa sakit mo.

        (Then again, of course, people with a knee-jerk aversion to others doing their thing will still bash Jam for all the media attention on his suicide — magpapakamatay ka na nga lang, media whore pa rin.)

        1. moron, “taking it like a man” means with a straight face and acceptance of the inevitable. imbeciles like are quick to take shit so literally, and fail to grasp things as figures of expressions.

          kung may cancer ka, make most of your life. and i mean don’t give out false hopes and shit.

        2. Ah, so figure of speech pala. So taking it like a man means living stoically and with a no-nonsense view of the inevitable till death does him a favor. Very well — pero hindi naman lahat ng tao ganoon, hindi lahat ng tao magmumukmok sa isang tabi’t hihintaying maupos sila’t mamatay. There are people who, faced with mortality, will proffer inspirational quotes, go on an extended vacation, donate their remaining time and strength to various causes, establish non-profit organizations, et cetera et cetera.

          Mali ba sila? Masyado ba silang hopeful? O baka lang nabubuhay sila at namamatay ayon sa kanilang kagustuhan? (Rhetorical, yeah?)

          The world is wide enough to accommodate various persuasions, various ways to live life and to face death. Humagulgol ka man, magpatirapa ka man, maging simbolo o anuman, lahat puwede as long as hindi ka magbibigay ng sakit ng ulo sa ibang tao dahil sa daang tatahakin mo. Living stoically is not the only way the truth and the life on the road to death. Siguro naman yata alam mo iyon — o baka naman i-consign mo ito sa mga appeals to emotion, mga fallacies na inilalako ng nagtatanga-tangahan for consumption by melodramatists, despite the fact that life is not a wholly rational thing, least of all a life on the precipice.

        3. He didnt take it like a man he had media cover for him. what makes him special than other cancer victims? He did it to himself by gambling like total hiss surrounded by booze and 2nd hand smoke. And because he blew all his fucking money he had to beg to social media and had media cover for him to pay his medication when he would not be in that situation had he controlled his gambling addiction he would still be alive and would have saved enough money to start a family at the end of his life he was still a fame whore” HUHU IM IN PAIN!!! KILL ME NOW!” I won’t say he deserved it but what happened to him he was to blame for most of it.

      2. at T totally agree and don’t forget that iPhone6 debacle just imagine him a guy not having money for treatment and begging in social media parades that he is going to buy an expensive phone?

  6. Well, he is not the only one who suffered and died because of cancer but c’mon do we have to be that so heartless to bash him. He’s already dead. Its true that his ordeal gained too much publicity. Even if your not interested to him he just simply popped up into your page due to some friends likes and tags.He is a youtube sensation, well that’s his privilege. He will not be tagged as youtube sensation for nothing. I think its just human nature, you just can’t help yourselves not to get envy (although most of us are not aware we are really that “inggit”). It is so disappointing that their are still people who manage to look down on someone’s ill fated situation.

    1. i hate that tandem and everything they stand for. that the guy had cancer is simply incidental. you parade in front of the camera with your assorted inanities contributing to the dumbing down of the youth with no one pointing a gun to your head, you’d be a total idiot to think everyone will “like” you. i still say good riddance.

      1. So ayaw mo sa katuwaan lang — kailangang laging seryoso, laging educational, pedagogical, et al. Kailangan bawat galaw mo may meaning, indeed multiple meanings, all of them freighted with explosive epiphanies for the select.

        Fine. Buhay mo iyan. Pero hindi lahat ng tao nabubuhay nang ganyan sa lahat ng sandali — even you have moments of mirth.

        1. e sa ayoko e. tulad nga ng palaging sinasabi ng mga tulad mo: alang basagan ng trip. pinilit ba yang dalawang yan na isapubliko buhay nila? hindi di ba? e pakelam mo kung di ako natutuwa sa kakaepal nila?=)

          baka magulat ka kung gaano ako hindi ganun ka “seryoso”.=)

          sumalungat lang e seryoso na? wag ganun, men. mali yan.=)

  7. Well I dont like them at all they capitalize on the masses overbearing stupid obsession of perfect romance. All bullshit they aim to entertain but their brand of entertainment is repetitive that people not having the most basic of logical skills will appreciate. But such is the hive mentality.

  8. mich get a corporate job now, stop it with your nonsense videos trying to gain attention you #famewhore. Just do something different already.

  9. He’s dead, He’s gone, No selfie can ever put him back to life. He did live, he walked the face of this earth just like another person but it was taken away from him far too early. He’s suffered enough in life because of that affliction, nobody wanted it to happen. I believe nobody wants this to happen to anyone of you who either to yourself or to your loved ones. But I hope the media gives this guy a break for good. Granted they are social media stars, they made a name for themselves through that but there’s surely a good part that shouldn’t even be aired online or anywhere and this is one of those.

    I don’t even know why this thing is still on tv. If you’re a part of that person’s immediate family, then it’s ok to grieve as long as you want but keep it private moving forward. I lost a loved one too because of cancer so I at least can understand the loss, what I don’t understand is the need to put this on air.

    For those who aren’t even part of that man’s family…please… Move on, people. Move on.

  10. Reasons why JAM did not get a ‘miracle.’ First, people call him an ‘idol’. Second, 99.999% of the comments that say ‘We pray for you idol’ and ‘Amen’ are just on Facebook, trust me, those people don’t pray in real life. Third, they’re both fame whores. Some people who were diagnosed with cancer that did not get publicity won the battle.

    1. First – Idol can mean different things, other than deities.

      Second – I’m sure they do silent prayers, esp. at Godvine.

      Third – And I fail to see why they are famewhores for being a Youtube sensation vs. Jenna Marbles.

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