So Just What Does “World Class” Mean For Pinoys?


Again, ladies and gentlemen, this is just another “rant” from your favorite troll contributor here on GRP and this one centers around the remake of Philippine fantasy TV show Encantadia. Truth be told, I was actually somewhat of a fan myself even though I didn’t keep up with the show as consistently as some of my relatives and friends. For one thing, I really appreciated how they made the fae of the show possessed their own culture and sense of morality that was distinct from that of humanity’s. For instance, they had a neutral to hostile view of humans and generally saw them as inferior beings which is a far cry from the helpful fae in most cheesy Pinoy fantasy shows.

So now they went and made a remake of the old, three-part show and this time added a few elements of Game of Thrones and basic ingredients for a sappy Pinoy romance: petty rivalries and an old-fashioned love triangle. Heck, they even added in Robin Padilla to make the show more appealing to action fans and there were those who claim that the show is like a “local version of Game of Thrones” and can thus be qualified as a “world-class” show.

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Actually, there have been a number of shows in the Philippines that many Pinoys claim to be “world-class”. There was that latest Panday film that somehow ripped the Kraken straight out of the latest adaptation of Clash of Titans as a villain for the heroes to fight. Then there was Wapakman that featured Manny Pacquiao as a protagonist in a film that seems to me like a very cheap knockoff of Hancock.

So now, let me ask just what does “world class” signify for Pinoys?

Look, I’ll be honest, considering the kind of technology available to film and production crews, one can’t really expect much in terms of visuals and special effects. However, I still believe in the old adage: “There is no excuse for bad storytelling.” Indeed, even a movie with poor or cheap special effects can come out well if executed properly. Take for instance the film Jaws wherein the mechanical shark for the show would malfunction often but nonetheless became an iconic film monster that frightened people away from beaches for years to come thanks to clever use of the camera and turning the audience’s own imaginations against them. The film Monsters had a fairly tiny budget but managed to pull off some truly epic scenes with really good timing and buildup as well as present an interesting point to viewers such as asking if it’s the invading alien species (which are largely just animals trying to survive) or the humans (who are using the alien invasion to support fear and paranoia for political gain) are the “monsters” of the movie.

For me anyway, a film can be considered “world class” if the creativity involved is enough to impress viewers from other countries and not just because it contains elements from foreign titles. Indeed, while it may seem harsh, the films that Pinoys consider “world class” would either be largely ignored or scoffed at by foreigners. Thing is, I still believe that Pinoy storytellers and filmmakers have plenty of potential but the demand for stupid elements in local programming is what is essentially killing them.

As a child, I greatly appreciated the show Hirayamanawari, a local TV show for children that was episodic in nature and told various outlandish tales in its run on TV. Nonetheless, I liked how original most of the shows were and, even when they weren’t, they were pulled off in such a way that you didn’t really mind all that much. Also of note is the fact that while some its episodes were somewhat cheesy, it was somewhat understandable since it was a show made for children. However, while it may have been a children’s show, I will still go as far as to say that it certainly outshines most local shows where originality and imagination is concerned.

Anyway, as I see it, it all boils down to the fact that too many of our shows try to add too many telebasura elements to their shows to make them sell and end up making an abomination instead.

See, here’s what happens:

The General Idea of “World Class”: A thought-provoking and engaging show that viewers from all over the world can relate to thanks to great characterization, plot advancement and inclusive theme.

The Pinoy Idea of “World Class”: A show that feels foreign with elements from more internationally successful movies and TV shows with typical Pinoy plot points like sappy romance and illicit affairs.

As mentioned above, the only new addition to Encantadia’s remake is Robin Padilla, a typical love triangle and some imagery that some claim have been ripped off from Game of Thrones. Honestly, there’s nothing really wrong with occasionally copying elements from other works as there is some truth to the idea that there’s hardly nothing original anymore per se but to call it “world class” just because it contains elements from more successful foreign shows is another issue entirely. Indeed, what will make a show “world class” is its ability to attract and hold the attention of both local and foreign viewers and leave them interested in the show’s premise long after it’s over.

It saddens me to no end that until now, majority of Pinoys are still stuck on the superficial and can only see the flashy and attention-getting aspects of foreign shows rather than the theme and premise of what they are trying to express. I still hope for the day when Filipinos can finally realize what it means to be “world class” when it comes to TV shows and films and attract audiences from all corners of the globe. Unfortunately, to this day, many Pinoys still seem to think that simply giving their shows and films a foreign look and film without really understanding them is enough to make them “world class”.

All in all, until Pinoys learn to look deeper into a given work and are more willing to think than simply be carried away by our emotions, the global community will continue to ignore and ridicule us…

21 Replies to “So Just What Does “World Class” Mean For Pinoys?”

  1. Although a film like Tiktik which like Encantadia employs some heavy computer graphics (as far as Pinoy talent can generate), still I find a less visually loaded film like “Metro Manila” to be more “world class” – owing to its documentary-like cinematography, and the depth and surprising twist in the story.

    Basically, it’s the director that makes all the difference (the latter was directed by a foreigner). A shallow-minded director who’s focused mainly on TH appealing visuals will not get you too far. But at least it’s good to know we are now advancing in this area (i.e., graphics) – hopefully trying our best to catch up with today’s Bollywood and Chinese films.

    What we need to do now is to match it with depth. The director should think as if Filipinos are not THAT stupid.

    American films (the standard for world class) are just light-years beyond us. Maybe in the next 100 years.

  2. I grew up in the 70s which meant no Internet. Which means you were at the mercy of whatever Daily Express , Bulletin Today, RPN 9 , GMA 7 told you. So of course you were always told Asia’s fastest woman or Asia’s Queen of Song like the rest of the continent idolized the Philippines.
    World class means in league with the best anywhere. What do I always say about the Philippines? Only Filipinos care about pinoy food and pinoy basketball. Which is okay, just don’t encourage disillusion. But then again this is the Philippines we are talking about.
    Pinoys like to think the world cares about them but they really don’t unless it is cheap labor or mail order brides or other things you can Google that attracts foreign men to this country. The few movies that are well received abroad are ignored here. What does that tell you?
    Pinoys are the only country devoted to basketball and are so lousy even within Asia. What does that tell you?

    1. Filipinos do not recognize what good things they have until a foreign entity points it out for them.

      Filipinos may love doing things like basketball, but loving doing something does not necessarily mean that skill will develop or get better over time.

      If Manny is a world-class boxer, he is so only because he was taken under the wing of a foreign coach, and trained and honed using world-class techniques and standards that are used outside the Philippines.

    2. As someone who has tried cuisines from many different countries, I can confidently say that Filipino food is NOT okay, both in flavor and presentation.

      1. Taste is very subjective. Ones perception of a certain dish being delicious or not can be affected by so many factors, your ethnicity or lifestyle, for example. Besides, it is very simplistic to say that the traditional diningding (prepared in the normal way the Ilocanos do it) can compare to the presentation of French cuisine as our locals were farmers and fishermen (who are tired from day-to-day toil when they get home) and do not consider the importance of aesthetics just to eat.

  3. When I was a kid I never missed watching Ora Encantada, Dayuhan, Gabi ng Lagim and Regal Shocker. These kind of TV series were indeed iconic to me and to even some of us. Somehow, the reason why most of the Filipinos considered some of our local series or movies a “world class” is, they don’t have international cable or not fun of watching international movies unless it’s a talked of the town or they watched it only just to be entertained not there to develop their imagination. Aside from that, most of the Filipinos are stuck in the Philippines only they don’t experience traveling outside of the country. Most of Filipinos believe there’s no other life other than Earth. I mean our imagination is limited only on what surrounds us compare to other nations like in European or United States. I hope you get my point.

    1. Galapagos Syndrome. Japan has that too, but the difference with them is their own local stuff appeals to the world authentically and not just some copycat transplant of other pop culture.

  4. Looks like they one-upped themselves after acquiring Binoe’s services – they also trumpeted the arrival of Conan Stevens, aka “Gregor ‘Mountain’ Clengar” (pardon me, haven’t been following Game of Thrones lately) from said show to drive the comparisons home.

    They even have…DRAGONS!!!

  5. wow, cgi has greatly improved! its probably now rendered at 15-20 fps, a far cry from the 10 fps 5 years ago. in a few years we will be probably at par with 90’s bollywood. but the actors DO have a long way to go. hurrah!

  6. if we want to be world class in films, then we need to use our own culture and nature as Filipinos. no need any fantasy story bullshit shows. after all a movie / tv show / story should be based on the writers culture and geographical location, it’s politics, etc. as if the writer is not influenced by external factors.

    My Sassy Girl from South Korea
    Endless Love from South Korea
    Ip Man from China starred by Donny Yen
    other Kung Fu movies from China
    and many other not mentioned

    when you observe these films you see the culture of the people from these countries. and now they are shown in the west.

    If we need to be world class, we need to make movies base on our own historical experience, culture, politics, etc.

    On The Job starring Joel Torre / Piolo Pascual
    Metro Manila – though directed by a British
    Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag – starring Bembol Roco (hindi pa siya kalbo, hahaha)
    Oro Plata Mata – directed by Peque Gallaga

  7. “Thing is, I still believe that Pinoy storytellers and filmmakers have plenty of potential but the demand for stupid elements in local programming is what is essentially killing them.” – And when a good Filipino storyteller gets international acclaim, these same Failipinos who once ignored them will be quick to scream “Penuy Prayd” and claim his/her victory as if they did something for him/her to achieve such an acclaim. I feel like laughing and getting mad at the same time for their hypocrisy……

    “Anyway, as I see it, it all boils down to the fact that too many of our shows try to add too many telebasura elements to their shows to make them sell and end up making an abomination instead.” – That is what I have been trying to say all along! So to people who still don’t understand why I despise local TV that much, I hope you understand right now. For one, that is one thing that killed Zaido. Heck, I bet any tokusatsu fan could have come up with a better story than that telebasura director Dominic Zapata…. >.<

    "Unfortunately, to this day, many Pinoys still seem to think that simply giving their shows and films a foreign look and film without really understanding them is enough to make them “world class”." – Haha! Foreign look? Yet they're quick to scream "Penuy Prayd" or say foreigners like Chinese or Americans (which happens to be the favorite scapegoat of commietards BTW) are the cause of all our s***? Again, I feel like laughing and getting mad at the same time for such hypocrisy…..

    1. I know exactly how you feel. I realized how fucked up our media is after I came back from the US. Anime and Japanese shows were treated good until they cut their airing time to half and that frustrates me. When TV5 revived anime on primetime, it didn’t last long because they kicked out a Malaysian co-owner and restructured their schedule programming to directly compete with EBAK-CBN and GMA.

  8. When you post a topic about excellence and being world class, please make sure your website mirrors it. I read a lot of great articles here but the website is really bad and feels like a throwback to the 90s.

    1. Well, it isn’t my website. Also, I do know I need to work on my fiction in the fiction section as they follow an outdated writing style but it is all I can manage at the moment. If you do want a “world class” story, are you willing to wait for me to finish a new piece?

  9. A world-class playboy once told me that the key to mesmerising women is to listen to them and look deeply into their eyes.

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