Andrea Brillantes: Latest victim of social media’s dark underbelly

The Net is on fire in the Philippines over the “viral” spread of a personal video allegedly of Filipino showbiz celebrity Andrea Brillantes. Brillantes, star of the hit TV drama series Annaliza, is only 12 years old. But this fact does not seem to stop online perverts from downloading and sharing the video.

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As of this writing, no one has authoritatively determined whether the video is really one of Brillantes. But regardless of whether it is her or not, the sexually-explicit nature of its content and the purportedly minor age of its subject makes anyone who views it, is in possession of it, or distributes it potentially criminally-liable. Philippine law with regard to the distribution of offensive content involving minors is clear. Republic Act No. 7610 which provides special protection to children against exploitation among other things includes the hosting or exhibiting of “obscene publications and indecent shows” among acts against the wellbeing of minors that is punishable.

However, Philippine society has a spotty record of remaining consistent to the spirit of its laws, even that of laws relevant to the wellbeing of children. Philippine media itself reflects this astounding reality. Get Real Post author ChinoF wrote of this back in 2011 in his article Does Filipino Society treat Children Poorly?

Media however remains one of the most influential factors in treatment of children. And media has often been disrespectful to children, no matter how positively they tried to portray such on TV.

One children’s advocate before, I believe it was Ms. Feny Angeles Bautista, said that media representation of children was always unkind. Children have always been seen as abused, as “slaves of the adults” or as a source of laughter. Filipino media likes to poke fun at kids, and barely treat them with any sort of equality. She said this in 1997 or 1998. It seems very true today.

This is the irony of Filipino society — at once both a noisy “democracy” and a timid, passive-aggressive culture. This mashup of opposing character flaws manifests its resultant psychosis in the infamous Pinoy viral video circuses that made personal hells for Christopher Lao, Robert Carabuena and, Paula Jamie Salvosa. When a people are told they live in a “democracy” in theory then find that in practice they, in reality, actually lack an effective voice then they switch to the more efficient alternative — technology.
So no amount of signing up to pledges will stop the so-called “cyber-bullying” of Pinoy viral video subjects unless the underlying issues that characterise the underbelly of the Filipino psyche are addressed.

The reality of 21st Century living is that the technology to exercise “freedoms” that bypass traditional communication lines to authority figures, institutions, and public servants is now readily available and ubiquitous. This has always been touted by “social media practitioners” as the single greatest thing about the whole shebang of personal mobile devices, the Net, social networking platforms, and the apps that connect us to these.

Andrea Brillantes may be the latest victim of our slowness to grasp just how much power to do both harm and good powerful and readily-accessible information technology has afforded us.

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17 Comments on “Andrea Brillantes: Latest victim of social media’s dark underbelly”

  1. Let me reiterate what Diana Cary aka Baby Peggy said in an interview:
    ā€œIā€™m always warning parents to be careful. The pitfalls are great. I could find hundreds of studies about the effects of children watching too many movies. But nothing about the effects of being *in* them.ā€

    She may not have ended up in a scandal of any sort, but she’s no stranger to the dubious working conditions child actors like her were subjected to, along with the various cases of animal cruelty committed during the 1920s.

    In other words, being a child star isn’t exactly a walk in the park as what the mainstream media likes to put it. Some are lucky and blossom to a productive career in or out of showbiz, but things like these, especially given the horrid status quo here in this country, makes some like Diana go jaded over how people view and treat kids nowadays.

  2. CyberSpace or HyperSpace is like the American Wild Wild West. Only the “Gun Smart” survives.

    There is no way, you can Police the HyperSpace…no way you can stop somebody from downloading obscene materials.

    The picture of any person can be revised, on the computer. They put the head, and attach another body(naked body).

    I hate the exploitation of any child. Our Show Biz(teleseryas), features children actors, that are acting as adults.

    Information Technology, is like a knife. You can use it to cut food, to satisfy your hunger. Or use it to cut somebody’s throat…
    New tecnology gives us new problems…

  3. Why not just let them shoulder the retirement burden of their lazy and ill planned parents by working as slaves in some foreign country. Sharing their blessings is the perfect brainwashing right? It’s our culture?

  4. what this needs is emotional and intellectual maturity and responsibility. We the people should help her gain her Purity and Femininity again….let’s start by sharing our lessons in life to the younger generation who…in their confusion…are sheeps w/o a Shepherd….The Filipino awakening must start now guys! While I’m still a student…those who are free do continue the Good Work by our righteous ancestors! we won’t let our generation be corrupted!!!!!

  5. The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had. If television’s a babysitter, the Internet is a drunk librarian who won’t shut up.

    Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly. Oh, World Wide Web, with your tension between those who would share knowledge and those who would destroy it.

    Indeed, you are what you share.

    And people, please, can we go back to using Facebook for what it was originally for – looking up exes to see how fat they got?

  6. The kid is entering puberty so masturbating is a natural human thing. However natural it may be, this is a very very private thing. Not be videoed or taken photos. This should have been taught by her parents, handlers, managers, or showbiz mentors. As we all know the risks and pitfalls are great as photos and videos are never really deleted from the internet. Now she learned a very costly life lesson and must live with the fact that her video will always be in some pervert’s hard drive downloaded from some dark corner of the internet.

    1. i agree, but the thing is our society is too shy to talk about things like masturbation or sex in public discussions because for many, it is “bastos” as if its not a normal thing to do, sex education in our country is a also joke. Parents should also limit their children to social media sites and practice parental controls of their internet.

    2. I totally agree with you.

      Plus, no matter how private a video or photo is of someone doing such acts, it will always have a chance of being discovered.

  7. Like I said in another comment thread, this is just another pandering to the sick chismoso attitude of Filipinos. The attitude that makes them believe they have moral high ground by talking about the faults of others, but ignoring their own.

    And seen in the context of what I wrote before, about child abuse, this is certainly a new low of how our mass media stoops just to get ratings.

  8. NEVER volunteer information.You are under no obligation to answer a question.

    If you want privacy, don’t give it away.

    Facebook, why in the world would anyone use that? it is still a mystery. Could it be that people are just boring and think that other people are not just as boring? So they go to Facebook just to make sure?

  9. My concern is why many of ABiaS-CBN new & very young talents (Ella Cruz, Andrea Brilliantes, etc..) have allegedly scandalous videos -unknowingly stolen or intentionally leaked?

    Does the owner or management (Lopez or Aquino/Conjuanco or politicians) of ABiaS-CBN sexually exploitating? or profiting? Kapalit ng pag-rescue kuno nila sa mga Batang ito.

    1. It’s no secret that talent handlers in showbiz pimp out their wards. I read in some blind item years back that the victims are getting younger and younger, and 20 years is considered old.

      I’m really worried that she might be a victim of sexual exploitation and abuse. It’s not unlikely especially since she’s attractive and voluptuous at such a young age. People should also consider how these things happen to very young actresses instead of merely focusing on the social aspect of the case.

  10. Leaving children to learn and discover sex on their own is like handing them a live AK47 with no preliminary briefing on how to operate it. When a kid asks why 2 dogs on the street are tied back to back for so long – that’s the cue for parents to begin explaining how babies get formed. Much of the demographic woes of this country boil down to lack of guidance for the youth – too many teenage pregnancies, single mothers, abortions, broken homes… So please read the manual before pulling the trigger.

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