Kim Atienza and Joey Marquez’s 5 Sept 2015 It’s Showtime! performance: A sample of a dysfunctional Philippine society

I am not a fan of ABS-CBN’s Its Showtime! but last Saturday, September 5, 2015, I was not able to avoid watching it. I was working at home and my laptop is just a few meters away from our TV. My AutoCAD had a hard time reading one of the files that I was working on so to divert my attention while waiting for it, I glanced at our TV. When I turned my head, Kim Atienza and Joey Marquez were doing a performance. It is that part of the show where celebrities wear make-up and do a lip-syncing to look and sound like another celebrity. In the case of the two, they did a Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos, two of the most popular actresses in the Philippines since the 70s (or even earlier). The two were former politicians: Atienza, a former Manila City 5th District Councilor while Marquez is a former Mayor of Paranaque City.

Kim Atienza somehow kept a respectable image after by being a host of a science-oriented TV show and a regular weather forecaster for a local news. Both activities, however, were actually started by the late Filipino inventor-scientist-celebrity, Ernie Baron, also a respected Filipino. I believe he needs to keep such an image for the reason they are a family of politicians. His father is a one-time Mayor of Manila City and at present a member of the House of Representatives while one of his sibling is an incumbent Manila City councilor.

Kim Atienza at Pasiklaban sa Paaralan (Photo from pasiklabancaravan.wordpress.com)
Kim Atienza at Pasiklaban sa Paaralan
(Photo from pasiklabancaravan.wordpress.com)

On the other hand, Joey Marquez was a comedian turned politician in the early 90s but returned to showbiz when he lost for a bid to congress. Many believe that his loss was attributed to the controversy (or scandal) he was involved with together with President Aquino’s sister, Kris in 2003. That scandal opened a can of worms exposing how allegedly a serial womanizer that he is and Kris admitted in an interview that she contracted a sexually-tranmsitted disease from Marquez.

Joey Marquez (Photo from philstar.com)
Joey Marquez
(Photo from philstar.com)

Both were once — and still are — respected for their record in public service. I believe those who supported them for their political bids are still there and some will still vote for them if they decide to run again, especially Atienza. And I am afraid for the people who look up to them.

However, what they did last Saturday on that TV show raised my eyebrow. I believe that goes against every fabric of respect they earned as once-public servants. What did they do? They cross-dressed, wore ridiculous make-up in an effort to look like the actresses they were impersonating and danced awkwardly while lip-syching the songs and movie lines Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos were known for all to the delight of most (because I’m not sure if everyone there approves it) of the audience.

A photo of Atienza (left) and Marquez (right) during their performance in Its Showtime!. (Photo from Kim Atienza's Twitter account)
A photo of Atienza (left) and Marquez (right) during their performance in Its Showtime!.
(Photo from Kim Atienza’s Twitter account)

Expectedly, after the performance, the two were saluted and congratulated by other hosts of the show by impressing their studio audience and Atienza said that what they did is “in the name of art.”

I understand the need for statesmen to maintain a connection with people and one of the ways to do that is to by being at their level. They need to send a message that they can relate to the people and they are just as human as they are. What I find hard to agree is to do this in a clowning way. Political candidates singing and dancing on their campaign events are nothing new but I noticed that it is getting worse. And from what I know, this is a uniquely Filipino cultural trait. The people seem to want more and the candidates/politicians are ready to give more. It started by paying people to attend their campaigns (Ninoy Aquino also said this in his 1981 speech in the US) and I fear that this could evolve to candidates not minding wearing sexy clothes and pole dancing just to get votes or maintain their approval the electorate.

I also think this also reflects what most Filipinos are looking for in whoever wants to get their attention. It is quite disgusting because I seem to equate this to the Romans when they sought more blood in the Coliseum when gladiators fight.

So again, where do you draw the line? Filipinos seem confused on what to expect from whoever is in front of the camera and certain politicians and showbiz personalities worsen that wrong perception.

Besides Kim Atienza and Joey Marquez, I especially address this article to all candidates who are willing to do whatever it takes including what the two did just to assure getting the votes they need.

ART

“The expression or application of human creative skills and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”

“A skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice.”

(From Google)

I think they have successfully expressed their creativity and imagination and showed that they have good skills that they acquired through perseverance. They made a lot of people, well, not necessarily happy but laugh even at their own expense by looking so ridiculous, which reminds me of Dr. Patch Adams. What the two did, I think, falls within the definition of art and hence they do earn the accolades for that.

However, unlike Dr. Adams, most of their audience are not really physically sick and dying. The Filipinos are may be sick but the cure is not this kind of entertainment but social awakening. Laughter can only be considered a tranquilizer or a pain killer and when it subsides, the pain (reality) comes back to sting again. Thus, Filipinos have (and should have) no choice but to face what is causing their social pains, squarely. Atienza and Marquez are former government officials and as responsible statesmen, they should not have gone down to that level. People still look up to them and this is what I am afraid of.

A lot of idealist Filipinos who do not share these traits (where some foreigners negatively known Philippines for), have strived and struggled to invite other Filipinos to be more socially conscious and refocus their attention to important national issues and displays such as the Atienza-Marquez performance do not really help. If at all, I think the two set a worse precedent for what politicians have to do to get the approval of the people. A few Filipino candidates are already known for singing and dancing during campaigns and I think they sent a message that the people can ask them for more.

WRONG PERCEPTION

I would like to quote a line from the Civil Service Code of Conduct, believing that this still applies to the even if the are already former public servants. From Republic Act 6713, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, Section 4(b) states:

Section 4. Norms of Conduct of Public Officials and Employees. – (A) Every public official and employee shall observe the following as standards of personal conduct in the discharge and execution of official duties:

xxx

(b) Professionalism. – Public officials and employees shall perform and discharge their duties with the highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence and skill. They shall enter public service with utmost devotion and dedication to duty. They shall endeavor to discourage wrong perceptions of their roles as dispensers or peddlers of undue patronage. (Emphasis supplied by the author)

I strongly believe that what they did sent a wrong perception in addition to the already tarnished image of a Filipino public servant. Most Filipinos feel that politicians are like celebrities and thus, they should be ready to perform like clowns on stage or in any public appearance to entertain them. And when people are asked about their function, it’s like – what public service?! Really, how many Filipinos were delighted to hear President BS Aquino, III say “e di wow!” (of all the times he should do this) in his State of the Nation Address?

Expecting right service from their government officials is not really known among most Filipinos. If one knows how to entertain, it is his ticket to Philippine politics. This I think is why there is an influx of Filipino actors and actresses into government posts. The scary part is most of them got their positions not by their professional qualifications but with their looks and the characters they portrayed on movies and TV. I think when people voted for Fernando Poe Jr (FPJ), they didn’t really voted for the person running, they voted for Panday, Roman Rapido, and all other hero characters FPJ played. Lito Lapid can attest to this. He won as senator and now I heard he regrets it. I think he won because people voted for Leon Guerrero, a movie character he was known for. I can only wonder what would have happened had FPJ won the presidential elections and failed miserably in his job. I can only assume that those who cheered for him will be the same group of people who will ask for his immediate impeachment. And he will be replaced again by another actor.

I believe that Atienza and Marquez’s performance added to the confused perception about celebrities and statesmen among most Filipinos especially the masses that are not really socially informed or conscious.

CONCLUSION

Filipinos will really have a hard time distinguishing celebrities to entertain them from public servants that should serve them as long as Filipino statesmen will continue riding in this culture of perversion. No wonder political parties are not really basing their candidates qualifications on individual platforms and intelligence and our pleas for an on-the-air debate among political contenders fall on deaf ears. Since the 90s, political parties normally invite one or two celebrities to join their slate, not really because of their skills but on the potential to draw votes for the rest of the party’s candidates. That is not to discount that there are indeed good showbiz personalities that shifted to politics but, really, how many Ronald Reagans does the Philippines have?

With respect to Atienza and Marquez, as I have said, I understand public servants should always maintain a connection with the people they serve even after they finished their terms. They should go to their level, live with them and be just among them. It is a mark of humility that government officials are expected of.

However, there is a difference between humility and doing something humiliating. The first causes to gain respect especially from others and the second injures self-respect. The masses are slowly dragging them into a pit of mud but, so what! It is somehow fine with some politicians because, if they win, they’ll just plunder public funds out of the people’s taxes. What a way to get back! Uninformed Filipino voters will never realize that because they are too intoxicated with the wit of the entertaining politicians.

Considering that Kim Atienza and Joey Marquez are Christians like most Filipinos, I leave this Biblical passage to ponder in case they will do a repeat:

  • Regarding public appearances:

“Therefore, I appeal to you by the compassion of God, brothers, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason.” – Romans 12:1

  • Commitment to God:

“Whenever you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it, for he finds no pleasure in the stupid ones. What you vow, pay.” – Ecclesiastes 5:4

  • Conduct during an appearance:

“As obedient children, stop being molded by the desires you formerly had in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in all your conduct” – 1 Peter 1:14-15

(Emphasis supplied by the author)

Therefore, there should be a set boundary while being at the level of the masses. Filipinos should learn to leave entertainment to entertainers and expect good governance from government officials and statesmen and ask nothing more from both. In case of confusion, it is the statesmen who are expected to know better and draw the line that must not be crossed, because they should be the custodian of their constituents’ moral and ethical compass.

Philippine society was called dysfunctional to its core quite a number of times on this site alone. The Atienza-Marquez stage performance on Its Showtime! and the people who applauded it last September 5 is another sample of that. Even if they are former politicians and moved to entertainment as a new career path, they still carry with them the responsibility of a statesmen hence a highest form of conduct is expected of them therefore, there are certain acts that they must not do especially on stage. Otherwise, people will look for that in other statesmen. You don’t want to see BS Aquino III and Mar Roxas cross-dress and lip-syncing in their campaign rallies, right?

Note: Usually, criticisms like this are replied with “pasensya na kung kami ay may na-offend…” I would like to clarify that I am not offended. I’m just alarmed.

 

 

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25 Comments on “Kim Atienza and Joey Marquez’s 5 Sept 2015 It’s Showtime! performance: A sample of a dysfunctional Philippine society”

  1. It’s the same political, business, and media dynasty characters that monopolize the shallow-thinking mind of the Filipino people. Nothing has changed.

  2. Notice the opening song used in Showtime’s segment? They used the score from Jesus Christ Superstar and men oh men I don’t know what to say but I would say this is the kind of entertainment that blunts the minds of the Peenoyz

    1. @From Prada to Nganga. That’s because mental stimulation–like reading books from various genres and written by international authors–is not profitable in the Philippines. The government, business, and media dynasties’ aim is to dumb-down the general populaton, so they can keep suscribing to what is being shoved down their throats.

      It’s the same with Filipinos living and working overseas. The highlight of their their day is to sit in front of their television and wait for their favorite TFC (The Filipino Channel) programs, to cure their longing for the Philippines and their families. Talk about being a “captive audience.”

      It’s true what they say about Filipinos. “Mababaw lang ang kaligayahan ng mga Pinoy.” (Filipino happiness is shallow and simple, or, it doesn’t take much to make a Filipino happy). Well, I guess so, when all you have to do is sit back and be hypnotized by these mind-numbing television programs–complete with cheesy characters and scripts–and believe everything that is being said and done.

    2. I’m honestly not surprised given that ABS-CBN and GMA routinely use Suteki da ne in their TV shows, that Ocho-ocho was “adapted” from a Korean novelty song, and Toni Gonzaga had a hit single by using the melody from Utada Hikaru’s First Love. If you want, we can actually compile a list of these possible copyright violations but that might take us the better part of the year just to go through all of it. There are now agencies pushing for the payment of royalties for playing musical compositions but I doubt any network in the Philippines is paying for those here.

  3. This is where Politicians become Comedians; and Comedians become Politicians. Marquez gave STD to Kris Aquino. Marquez is now giving “STD” to your consciousness.

    These people are not “statesmen”…they are Clowns; and may have Mental Issues. However, in Filipino culture and Show Biz. People with Mental Issues have been elected in public offices; and have been adored by millions of Filipino fans. They even elected a President with Mental Issues…Filipinos elect them in public offices, because most Filipinos have mental issues, also.

    Anyway, this county is now the basket case country of Asia. And, we are getting worse, day by day…

    1. @22Toro007Hayden99.9999. And these deeply-entrenched politicians, businessmen, and media personalities are immuned to criticism from both local and international communities, for the simple reason they know they’re untouchable as long as they’re in power, have a vast network of connections, and money—even if the whole country spirals out of control and ends up in oblivion; they’ll still be there to exploit whatever is left.

      1. @Aeta:

        Connections do not matter. It is the way Filipinos patronize their idiotic shows. If there are no viewers, there are no Show Biz people, with Metal Issues, polluting the TV shows…

        1. @43Hayden007Toro,

          “Connections do not matter.” And it shouldn’t; but, connections–especially nepotism–is rampart in Philippine politics, business, and the media/entertainment; and, it runs the full gamut of how this country’s oligarchs pass down power and wealth from one generation to the next.

          If you look up the backgrounds of Joey Marquez and Kim Atienza, and other well-known people in the country, you’ll see their respective families’ ties to politics, business, and media/entertainment.

          So the general “captive audience” population don’t really have much of a choice when it comes to how they live their lives; they’re just puppets manipulated–day in, day out–on a stage of their puppet-masters’ own self-serving and aristocratic design.

  4. “Their program’s ratings have been under drag,
    So now they put their TV hosts in drag.”

    Low-life scoundrels who are willing to skirt and trample on any semblance of decency and broadcasting ethics, just to further pinch a few amounts of TV viewership; that’s what all they are.

  5. This author is confused. These two clowns performed what could be seen as an offensive drag queen skit and just because they are FORMER politicians, they are NOT responsible statesman.They are not in any political position at this time, so they are NOT even statesmen.
    and just for the fuck of it, neither are any of the rest of these thieving scumbags !
    Show me, and everyone else while your at it, ONE (JUST ONE !) responsible statesman in that entire congress ,judiciary and executive branch.
    FFS, you cant find one,can you ? (HINT: BECAUSE THERE ISN’T ONE, DU-U-U-UHHH !)

  6. Inured to such vulgarity as most of us already are, we still consider the antics of these two clowns to be outrageous and disgusting. We shudder to think… as we realize how many Filipinos have no choice but to swim in this raw sewage we call TV-entertainment.. about how low we all have sunk in our tastes and judgements. What is disturbing in this affair is the fact that, two adults who having been city Mayor and Councilor, and who are ‘looked up to’ by the less informed among us, condescendingly sink to a level that they think their audience might appreciate. Instead of making an attempt to change and uplift the crowd’s tastes and discernment, they simply validated the ‘status quo’ and made fools of themselves. What is even more troubling is the tolerance, (encouragement ?) of the TV networks in allowing this. It might now seem quaint and irrelevant, but there’s still a few of us who think that the prime obligation of the ‘TV and Movie’ industries is to inform and educate their viewers.. and,as in any business.. to satisfy a ‘need’. There’s nothing wrong with ‘profit’, of course; but couldn’t this be an integral, if ‘happy by-product’, of the primary effort? Among the vehicles for improving our masses’ discernment, more than even education and organized religion, is ‘entertainment’… and ‘TV’ and the idiots Marquez and Atienza have let us down.

  7. Hi, Vincent, thanks for this article. I’ve been
    trying to understand the bizarre disconnect between this Government, Politicians and the people, and you’ve added some new insight for me.

    Years ago, I overheard a Wall Street Stock Broker laughing about his stupid clients, saying “If I can’t Blind them with Brilliance, I just Baffle them with some Bull Shit”. “My clients will believe anything”.

    I saw the same man on television three years later. He was being sued by his clients for fraud.

    He was NOT laughing.

    Politicians in Philippines exhibit the same condescending attitude.

    Because they come from the right “Family”, their election or appointment to high office is assured.

    There’s no need for Candidates to understand or waste time debating issues; they just sing and dance at well organized photo-ops (featuring some poor people) and they win the PDAF or DAP Sweepstakes.

    So, the same names, the same old “Song and Dance”, the same old “Baffling BS” and the same low standard results.

  8. Blame that to aldub fever in eat bulaga, what showtime did is somehow felt like a desperate move for rating. Speaking of which, i think aldub will really be a great article to reflect the philippine society today, both good and bad. I’m a fan, but sometimes i find it ridiculous how fans could almost want to control the lovelife of alden and maine.

  9. the bar for good entertainment is set so low right now, its pathetic.
    not to rain on your parade, but i would find it more acceptable to watch cats or failarmy on youtube rather than these fuckers.
    art? bob ross, he made real art. the notorious big, the music he did, that was art. cowboy bebop, that is, was and always will be art. two grown men goofing off in drag? even if it is supposed to be only an impersonation intended for fun, would you even consider it artistic? well, i find it tasteless. and to some degree its reinforcing the stereotype that all gay people are ridiculous, self-unaware and flamboyant.
    well, enjoy your art, masang pinoy. you deserve it.

  10. To all of you Failipinos in the Failippines…

    Your over-indulgences, dysfunctions + obsessions are reorienting impulses:
 exposing that the gap between who you are being + the truth of who you are capable of being, 
is craving alignment.

  11. do you really think kuya kim if he had a true free choice, would want to do this skit? something to ask him.

    the elite whether they like it (or not) will be dragged down into the same idiotic thinking as the masses (that they themselves created)

    you create institutions that produce dumb people, you become dumb yourself…what you reap is what you sow, philippine elite

    1. @JRIgnacio. No wonder the Filipino people are unable to tell the difference between what’s real or not, what’s right or wrong, what’s moral or immoral, and what’s legal and illegal; they’re too much into “Philippine Politics-Showbiz.”

  12. What’s worse than “Dumb and Dumber”–and makes the Filipinos more dangerously destructive to their country and each other–is the void created inside their heads by these “Philippine Politics-Showbiz,” are quickly replaced by a false sense of “Pinoy Pride” by the same stupid programs.

  13. “Which came first.. the chicken or the egg”? Is asking this question being facetious? Well.. In the case of ‘Things-Philippine’.. I don’t think that it is. To put the question in context, here’s another question. “Do we have boorish and distasteful shows because we have a bankrupted and impoverished culture.. or do we have an impoverished and bankrupted culture because of such shows”? Personally, I would say that it is both events.. that they are not mutually exclusive.. and that one feeds off of the other and vice-versa. I suspect that the Philippines, in matters of values, culture and discernment has been trapped in a decaying cycle whose end is foreseeable. For so long as the ‘Movie and TV’ trades continue to spin and crank out ridiculously absurd and tawdry dramas and skits; for so long as our Political Leaders and our Military simply take advantage of their positions to enrich themselves on the “citizens’ dime”; for so long as the more enlightened and well-heeled among us close their eyes and stay quiet… so much surer and faster will the country sink.into the abyss. We don’t have to debate this. We just have to step out of the wicked cycle.
    In retrospect, It really is the pointless inanities that we ignore and tolerate; the corruption that we condone; and, the air of aloofness and indifference that we assume, that corrode and eat on what we have left in the way of ‘values and culture’.

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