Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Problem of Filipino Telenovelas

The passing of my Kuya Buddy left a big void in my daily life. Well, now I spend most of my time (other than working) reading books,  debating my own ideas, talking to the dogs, staring at the aquarium,  thinking a lot of things... Yeah, but experts says over thinking is bad.

So I have no choice but to watch TV. Getting cable is a bad idea, I am not in the position to have an additional monthly expense bill. The same of having my own Internet. It would be fun to watch YouTube daily but… I also don't have a cellphone, or  anything that will give me access to the society outside  this box where I live.

OK, so the only entertainment other than radio is the Idiot Box. And what kind of shows you'll see in TV today? Other than news about bad news, there are some English movies that were given a very nauseating Tagalog dubbing, there are also the Korean dramas that treated women like pieces of Asian shit, and there are these Filipino telenovelas.

I am not new with these telenovela things. Back in the 70's there were shows like Flordeluna (with the very young Janice De Belen) and Ana Liza (the show that made the late Julie Vega a house hold name). There was also this show called "Gulong Ng Palad." (Who would forget Luisa and Karding?)

I also watched Tagalog shows back then (hindi naman ako elitist no.) There were good shows like "Pintig" (with the late Vic Vargas) and the drama anthology "Balintataw." Ok, enough of the memory lane.

One thing I've noticed with todays telenovelas. Filipinos always love a weak hero. Yung bang laging naaapi. The heroes are so weak in these telenovelas to the point that the show becomes so disgusting. Yung tipong araw-araw na lang eh wala na atang magandang kapalaran yung bida. He/She always makes a wrong move and the villain is always ahead of him/her. In addition, the hero (or heroine) is surrounded by nincompoops. So, in order to see how the protagonist win, you have to watched the whole damn show till the end of the series.

Not that I am saying that the lead should be stronger than the antagonist. According to Lajos Egri (If you're into dramatic writing, you know who's this guy) villains should be stronger, brighter, wealthier compare to the hero - the reason is to make the Hero's Journey (Joseph Campbel eh?) interesting. Para naman may challenge. But then, there must be a transition. Putcha naman! Ang tagal-tagal na ng show na The Step Daughters, haggang ngayon hindi pa rin nagkaroon ng transition si Mayumi? 

As Lajos Egri said, "any character which does not undergo a basic change is a badly drawn character."  Growth ( of the character) is a character's reaction to a conflict to which he is involved. A character can grow through making the correct move, as well as the incorrect one-but he must grow, if he's a real character. Example, in the show The Step Daughters, ang tagal ng api-api yung character na "Mayumi" (played by Megan Young)  we should have seen her character to change (as the show progress) especially when she had the opportunity na magkaroon ng sariling bussiness, we should have seen her changed from the  self-effacing, witless girl to a more mature woman that is stronger and wiser.

Another issue is the strength of will of the character. A weak character (the usual protagonist of a Filipino telenovelas) cannot carry the burden of protacted conflict of a play ( or a TV show) What we need are characters who have the strength, the stamina, to carry the conflict of the show. Speaking of which, because of these kind of weak heroes, we Filipinos tend to make vulnerability a virtue. This is bad. Filipino telenovelas teaches us to become meek and weak. That being inferior is a good thing.

Eh melodrama naman kasi yan eh. 

Melodramas have faulty transitions yet the characters move with lightning speed. Mabilis ang phase ng characters and situations. Yet, melodramas are so phony! Their situations are not applicable with the real world. Good examples of these are those Mexican Telenovelas like Marimar - but, Filipino dramas lack the character speed. Faulty na nga ang transition, mabagal pa. Ewww.

Filipino telenovelas also have a lot of subplots! Phew! To the point that it makes the whole fucking story like a ride on a defective Roller Coaster. Hindi mo na malaman kung saan papunta ang story. Ano ba talaga ang issue, yung pagnakaw ng ticket? Yung pag yaman? Yung mother na nabaliw? Yung kidnapping? Yung ligawan? Yung agawan ng lalaki? Ano ba talaga? 

Minsan bigla pang magkakaroon ng additional stories ang ibang mga telenovelas para lang mag-give way ang show sa walang kakwenta-kwentang tambalan ng mga young stars na walang paglagyan because of total absence of talents. And speaking of walang talents, since hindi kasi marunong umarte yung lead male actor, maghuhubad na lang yan para mapakita yung muscle abs nya to compensate on his inability to act. An obvious take on GMA's new teledrama - I think the letchon is a better actor. Geeezzz!

Well, ganyan daw kasi ang mga stories na kumikita at bumibenta sa masa eh. Basta panoorin nyo na lang. 

Oo nga naman. Dross is cheap so let's just keep feeding the masses with cheap stories, faulty plots and weak characters.   Kung yan lang naman ang motivation para maging script  writer matapos  maka-graduate ng Mass Communication, eh  sana nagtayo na lang ng PisoNet tutal, barya lang naman ang hinahabol hindi yung creativity at yung pagiging outstanding na writer.

Shows are more than just cheap entertainment. They teach us, they mold us. Weak characters, weak plots, weak stories produces weak  audience. Compare to dacades long ago, we now have a society where our youths are becoming half-baked degenerates and it is sad to  think that the medium that should be use for the advancement  of the Filipino mind is now a receptacle that propmotes mediocrity -  thanks to these telenovelas.

*****
Friday (May 18)

That's the last draw. The show is really so stupid I have to turn the TV off. I hope that someday, Filipino script writers will have the ability to create better programs. 

People call it "falling in love," I call it a glitch.

Glitch… a glitch is defined as a sudden, usually temporary malfunction or irregularity of equipment. That's it. Falling in love is a malfunction of my system. I should not fall in love - because… well falling in love is what normal people feel. I'm not your type of a normal person. But sometimes like a computer or a copier machine, I glitched.

I remember the first time I felt this was when I was in Grade school - that was a very long time ago. I got a glitch with this girl named Marilyn Cruz. Typical reason: She's gorgeous! Wow! That was the time people watched shows like Skul Bukol, Student Canteen, Tito, Vic and Joey. I watch Benson, Angie, Good Time Girls, St. Elsewhere and Quincy ME. I read books about World War II and ancient histories, magazine about famous crimes while my classmates read Funny Comics. I'm a Star Wars and a Star Trek fan. Sa madaling salita, I'm weird and I don't fit on their typical camaraderie. Cute girls don't dig socially inept people like me. But I still like Marilyn. 

High School came bringing other gorgeous girls: Julieta Sevillo, Mary Ann Nepumuceno - There were also our neighbors like Bernardo ( I forgot her first name - the daughter of our land lord) and that short haired girl living near the corner. Now, how the hell can I compete? Young boys and girls in that time are into Bagets, That's Entertainment, Gary Valenciano, electric bigallo, shoes of different colors without socks, pagpapaporma and me? Well, I listen to Classical music, Jazz and Bossa Nova. I'm in some library reading an occult book, some ghost stories, forensic books or playing with beakers and test tubes. I'm no genius, but I find science, crime/forensic and parapsychology fascinating than the typical "boy and girl talk." I find Carl Sagan's Cosmos more entertaining than those teen love stories shown in TV and movie houses. Who wants to date with a guy like me?

I became the typical torpe. A loner who spend most of my time inside my house. As boys dating girls in Fast Food, game arcades and roller skate rinks, I am alone in my house thinking of the mysteries of the universe or building a realistic World War II diorama.

By college, now who gives a shit about having a crush? Life is all about philosophy, Marxism, student activism, LFS, Kabataang Makabayan, human rights and tear gas. Hayz...

When I started working in Victorias, Negros Occidental there's this nurse, and Miss Lapating and then there's Marissa Moncada. Now Marissa was different. She gave me a cake on my birthday. She was the first person in all my life that gave me something on my birthday. She's rich and she has a hunk for a boyfriend - no competition. I'm just a pencil pusher compare to an all- adventure GI Joe type with six-packs. 

Then what? Religion vs. science vs. philosophy? Which reminds me of another glitch, way back in the time of Yahoo Groups. A Christian girl named "Miss Elove" changed my life in a sudden turn. Long telephone conversations from Canada. Singing Ariel Rivera's "Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin." Planning to leave atheism and become a Baptist like her so I can marry her. I though she was the one. Then *poof* that's the end of it. Now she's happily married to a Canadian and have been blessed with two children (or is it three?).

In my Luneta days, there was this nurse named Jasmin. I even make it a point na sunduin sya sa hospital where she works - another failure in my part - I'm too much of a "goody two shoes." She's looking for a "bad boy type." Why are they always looking for a bad boy?

Then there's Miss Miles Bendo. A teacher, a single Mom. The reason I fell for her - well, unlike those other glitches, I find her more matured minded. Oh no… don't you say that's she's not beautiful. She so beautiful, so adorable, so cute, so awesome. I find her very sexy too - smooth skin, nice flat belly, firm, round ass. That's it! But there are things more than the typical physical attractions - she's intelligent, she's responsible, she's fun, she cooks well. She so clean and she smells… oh God! She smells like a bed of roses. She also sings well too! I remember looking at her while she sings in a party (That was I think fiesta in Beng's house... anyways, ) She's heaven sent. An angel. She invited me in her house that night - nothing happened. I'm so stupid. I should have kissed her.

I really have to say this. I cannot hide it for long - in the deep crevices of my mind and my heart, she haunts me - I LOVE YOU MILES BENDO. I love your daughter too. I love you Raine Atlantis. There I said it. 

But alas, she will be my last glitch. I remember that day that I manage to be brave enough, I went to her house, bringing some flowers only to get sweet rejection, to be thrown in a void called the "friend-zone." and scoffed by her friends. 

I'm getting past my prime and I can't live with this illusion in the remaining years of my life. I dunno. I may not even reach 2019. Death always comes in a surprise. 

I wrote this post as a release. A final sigh to free myself the burden of loving people - and getting nothing out of it. 

I'm getting tired of this glitch, this "falling in love" shit. It has to stop. 

However, strange as it may be, I don't blame them for rejecting the love that I tried to offer. Well maybe because I once look at love in the eyes of a hopeless romantic and that is only good in TV shows, love songs and movies. Love is really not that simple and I now know better. With love comes a lot of things: Physical attractiveness, financial stability, material gains - things that I lack. Without them, love is nothing but empty talks. Love is more than just being "pa-cute," or being a nice guy or giving a girl a box of chocolate or a dozen flowers. Love is not for glee club members.

Falling in love - It's really not for people like me. It is just a glitch.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day Mama...

I will never say that you're a perfect Mom. Napaka ipokrito ko naman kung sasabihin ko na perpekto ka. Napaka-plastic naman yan. We have a lot of differences. We have a lot of misunderstanding. Papa even called you Hitler. THERE ARE EVEN TIMES THAT I JUST WANT TO STRANGLE YOU. Life with you was like living in Sparta. 

I remember that you slapped me in the face dahil I planned na ligawan yung kaklase ko - sasama sana ako sa swimming ng mga classmate ko sa Palaisdaan Picnic Garden sa Malabon kasi kasama nila Hernando Aspiras yung crush ko na si Julieta Sevillo. Yet a slap in the face and reminding me that duty and responsibility to family must always comes first bago yang mga barkada at panliligaw na yan . Yun tuloy, di ko tuloy naligawan si Julieta Sevillo when I was in high school and I never got the chance na manligaw or to be married ever since. 

Yes... mas inuuna mo yung mga kapatid mo - si Tita Baby, Si Tita Eva, Tita Lilia, Tito Boy, Tito Eddie --- being their eldest siguro even thought they never treated you fair because we're poor and they're rich. Sisterly love, Bah! I hate you when you do that.

But sometimes, ikaw at ako lang ang nakaka-intindihan, nagtutulungan. We always talk and you taught me how to make fool-proof plans pag walang pera. Dami mong tinuro sa akin to the point that I became so matured (and matured looking) at the age of 17 kaya ako ang napagkakamalan na eldest na brother between me and Kuya Buddy (Kuya hate me because of that). Well, they say that I am more of my Mom than my Dad, maybe that's why I become so cynical.

It wasn't your perfection that made you the best Mom. It's what you are - yung brutality mo made me a survivor. It's your tyranny that made me capable of facing all these obstacles in life. It's your courage that made me stand amid the isolation.

Mama, I know your gone. Buti nga, nakapagpahinga ka na. And you know what? Papa and Kuya are also gone too. Ako na lang ang "last man standing." You once said that you get your strength from Kuya and Me. Now, since all of you are gone - saan ko kukunin ang lakas para mabuhay pa? I'm still alive - obviously, I am getting some strength to live on. Maybe... there's a lot of you inside me. That is where I'm getting my strength.

Thanks Ma. Thanks to your strickness, that slap on my face that I am now surviving against the odds.

I missed you. I love you.

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Life's a piece of shit, then you die.

I am always fascinated with suicide. No, not that I'm interested in doing it, but more of a wonder - one of our brain's main purpose is to keep us comfortable and alive so how can a person just decide to end his/her life? What is also baffling is the fact that some of those who committed suicide were rich, famous, talented, beautiful. Depression sure is strange. 

With everything they have -looks, wealth, talent, power, they still feel lonely and forgotten? They have lovely homes, they live in quiet classy subdivisions or expensive condo units, they drive fast cars, they eat gourmet, they buy expensive clothes but they're depress. While here am I, trying to make ends meet, who eats tasteless gruel for breakfast and lunch, who cannot even date a girl - or even bring myself in a fancy restaurant, living in a small, square cell in a noisy, smelly city district and I get my clothes on cheap corner shops yet still clinging to life. I'm not judging them, but I'm just bewildered why so.

Maybe life is a shit, but it's better to struggle with all the shit - lights, smell, taste and noise than to have complete peace… in the dark, dead as a door knob.

P.S.
Poor people also commits suicide. You just don't get to read it in the news ofter.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

John-John


Inside this old body is a little child. Yes, inside Jose, there is still a little kid named "John-John."   There's a big difference between the two: Jose is always gloomy, desperate, and looks at life in a boring way - necessities, priorities… all those dull, boring stuff.

John-John is different.  

Unlike Jose, John-John is always fascinated with life. There's always color, always something new to discover, something new to explore. For John-John, a smile is not just a temporary mask to cover a scowling face.

Little things are enough for John-John: a bug crawling on a leaf, a small dish of ice cream, children playing on the street, a game of tag, a candy bar. He always consider that there's always a room in life to be cheerful even when all the stakes are down and tears running down a face. He always believe that clouds will never cover the sun forever.  There's always another day to play. 

And the best thing about John-John? He always believe in dreams. He never loses hope. 

There's always a little child inside all of us. Sadly, we ignore this child. We always think that when we grow up, life become serious, matured, and routine. When we grow up we presume that the magic of life stops, that the curtain falls, the laughter becomes sullen. Life becomes all about decisions and obligations. We stop dreaming, we stop hoping. We stop being the care-free child that we once were. 

Perhaps we should start looking back and see the world in the child's eyes again so we can smile at life and to our selves. It's not really hard to do, just look up, smile to the world and unleash the child within you.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Waking-Up Positive

The best way to start the day is something positive. I wake up at 4AM. I clean the house --- well, it's just really a small, square room but who cares? This square room is my home.

Before doing anything else, I give myself a 10 minutes of silence and I listen to a good motivational speech that I got in YouTube. I then visualize myself accomplishing all my chores for a day. If laziness will try to set-in, I always count backwards 5, 4 ,3, 2, 1 and VIOLA! I'm productive again. I scribble something in the computer. Read at least 10 pages from a book. Do some 20 minutes exercise together with my dogs, take a bath, eat breakfast while watching a TV morning show and by 6 AM I start working with my commissions.

I've been doing this morning routine for 4 days now and IT WORKS!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Memories in Boxes



Yesterday I started to place most of my memories inside boxes. That doesn't mean that I'm going to throw them away. Storing things in boxes is just for safe-keeping. There are times that certain things, whether it's a physical, tangible object, an idea or a wish becomes more of a hindrance in your life. In such cases, you have to put them away - to place them where they won't be a stumbling-block while you move your life in a new direction. It's not because you don't like them, but it's more of placing the priorities first. It not because you want to forget them, but rather because you want to preserve them till the time you have settle your Moira.
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