They say that “curiosity kills a cat”. Well, the thing is, I’m not a cat. If I am any kind of animal, I’d probably be a snake of some kind, perhaps a sidewinder. Anyway, after watching Mar Roxas’ campaign video called “Fast Forward” and reading Benign0’s article about it, I somehow found myself still alive. Unfortunately, after watching all of it (I don’t know how I actually managed it though) I am wishing I didn’t. Really, I actually regret watching the whole 4-minute video more than I regret watching the entirety of the first Human Centipede film. In fact, maybe I’ll just watch the whole Human Centipede trilogy just to get the details of Mar Roxas’ “Fast Forward” campaign video out of my head.
However, while the details remain fresh in my mind, I think I’ll go on with my rant before I apply a considerable amount of brain bleach to my poor, poor brain. Anyway, it’s pretty much well-known that “Fast Forward” was widely disliked on Youtube and that comments have been disable due to the fact that it garnered so much negative reaction. To be honest, I wasn’t actually expecting that kind of reaction considering the kind of media back-up Mar Roxas has available to him. However, after watching the video myself, I can see why it was so widely hated by Filipinos.
Here are my five points:
Well, what can we expect from the Liberal Party?
However, I feel a need to explain further. The problem with a considerable portion of the video is that they show only the pleasant aspects of Filipino society (which is more or less illusory anyway) without showing the much darker and much more important issues that besiege us as a nation. They have shown no sign or mention of the shambled and rickety houses that dominate much of the capital, the hellish traffic in its streets and roads, the poor and destitute that litter the cityscape, the devastated victims of Yolanda who are still in need of help even after more than two years to the victims of terrorists like the families of the SAF 44 and the now displaced Lumads.
The entire video was just a parade of pretty faces, most of whom are from the same station that constantly displays President Aquino’s abstract “achievements” and nothing much else. Well, there’s no real problem with pretty faces to be honest, but where is the common Filipino in all of this? What about the relief and rebuilding efforts for the people of Tacloban? What about the Lumads who have been driven from their home for fear of death? What about Mindanao and the constant threat of terrorism in those parts? Don’t the people of Tacloban, the Lumads and the peaceful people of Mindanao deserve the same kind of happiness the people in the video do?
Okay, suppose I believe what the video promises, this is what I want to ask: “How?”
Time and again, President Aquino has been very vocal about his “Tuwid na Daan” (Straight Path) and its alleged “achievements”. Unfortunately, as I have mentioned before in a previous article, where has “Tuwid na Daan” actually taken us? They say that the economy has somehow improved but, one has to wonder, what good did it actually do? Did the economic improvements somehow provide a means to rebuild and revitalize Tacloban and other places damaged by natural disasters? Did said economic improvements promise better opportunities for our countrymen, thus ending the need for working overseas?
The video felt more like the ending of a typical Pantaserye with everyone living happily ever after than a realistic effort at a political campaign. It offers no explanation on how changes will actually be made on the country and how we can actually become the utopian society shown on the video. It’s like they’re trying to imply that we have to put up with their crap because it’s their crappy system that will make the Philippines a paradise.
Okay, in the whole video (you guys are welcome to correct me if I’m wrong), the only people I saw who didn’t seem like rich or popular were that one guy selling ice cream and a few of the construction workers with Ramon Bautista. The thing is, while they did include at least a few average looking Filipinos, they’ve shown too little of them. Remember the painting of Pope Francis with the celebrities as the common people which Kate Natividad here writes about? Well, the video is actually very similar to the painting in certain ways.
Really, it’s as if the video is implying that celebrities and other well-to-do people are the only real citizens of the Philippines. And even then, it’s almost implying that it’s only the celebrities and well-to-do people supporting the Aquino administration that are recognized as “people of the Philippines”. As Benign0 said in his article, the whole video is dominated by the LP’s color (yellow) and hand sign (loser) instead of the Filipino flag or other symbols of the Filipinos.
Considering all the LP’s symbols in the video, is the LP perhaps implying that they and their supporters are the only people worthy of being called “Filipinos”? Worst of all, considering that it’s a “Fast Forward” of Tuwid na Daan, does it mean that only those who support the LP will be the only people left in the Philippines?
I shudder when considering the answer to those questions…
To be honest, I don’t like playing the race card as I find it below the idea of “fair play” these days. Unfortunately, with everything I’ve seen in the video, there’s really no other way to define its contents. Look, if it’s any comfort to any of you, I’m not calling the people who made the video “racists” for silly reasons, okay?
The thing is, the whole video revolves around celebrities who are clearly not Filipino. They are either half-(insert non-Filipino nationality here) or have spent much of their lives abroad. All in all, they look nothing like the common Filipino (most of whom are simply reduced to background characters) whom the video is supposed to appeal to.
Now, I have nothing against mixed race people (I pretty much grew up in an American household myself), however I think it’s more than a little insulting to common Filipinos to center the video on individuals who are not entirely Filipinos. I would actually have been more impressed if, say, it was Ramon Bautista, Andrew E. or Eugene Domingo who were the center of the video as they are the perfect example of what an ordinary Filipino looks like. By centering the video on dual citizens like Billy Crawford and Kris Lawrence, it’s like the producers were implying that we should be beholden to them because their foreign blood makes them superior, similar to the way a lot of teleseryes seem to be implying that dark skin is an ugly trait. It would’ve been less racist if the video at least included a full-blooded and average-looking Filipino among the central group.
Well, this is actually irrelevant, I can admit to that, but it’s still worth mentioning. The video constantly spams the color yellow and the loser hand sign at just about every scene as if trying to imply that they symbolize something great or noteworthy. Well, sorry to say, in a lot of cultures, yellow signifies cowardice and the “L” hand sign signifies loser.
When I shared the video to some of my foreign friends (most of whom were American), they actually asked if the video was some kind of joke. When I said that the people in the video were the current ruling political party in the Philippines, they wanted to laugh but couldn’t because they were afraid they would offend me. Since they did not understand the language, they thought that the video was a “self-deprecating joke” that implied that everyone in it were both cowards and losers.
My computer has finally finished downloading the Human Centipede trilogy and my bottle of whisky is ready for consumption…
That’s all for now and I’ll be seeing you all on the other side!
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