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Archive for January, 2010

Some Filipinos are really adept at making an immense embarrassment of themselves. This time, yours truly will focus on pathetic Filipino bandwagon “fans”. Specifically,  “fans” of anybody who gets some attention from mainstream America whether it be Manny Pacquiao, Arnel Pineda, and Charice Pempengco.

Recently, this foolish person came out of nowhere to dismiss my views outright and claimed that if she wanted to learn about originality and identity, she would rather go to “genuine” sources whatever they maybe. What stands out about that person is that she wasn’t even a Journey fan in the first place. She only became a Journey fan when she saw Arnel Pineda sing the same old songs popularized already by Steve Perry and Journey decades ago. It made me think that either she was too busy seeking “genuine” sources of commentary or Journey wasn’t her cup of rock afterall. Insert a new frontman of the same ethnicity as hers, and she’s in a “whirlwind romance” with the band and Arnel. Oh boy…..

Here’s another bandwagon jumper who claims to be all about soul/jazz/hiphop jams. Yet she feels compelled to show “some Arnel Pineda love” just because she’s a Filipina. If Pineda was not a Filipino, she wouldn’t show some “love”.

Separating the bandwagon Filipino “fans” of boxing from enthusiasts might be harder since boxing has some major roots in the country. Nonetheless, one only needs to check out the PhilBoxing Forum to see the bandwagon jumping.  Manny Pacquiao has 49,000 threads dedicated to him while the general/world boxing topic has only 32,000 threads about it. In addition, one could sense that the average poster there couldn’t give a damn about boxing outside of “Pambansang Kamao” (national fists), Pacquiao’s often cited nickname.

Bandwagon jumping is a universal trait not restricted to any race or ethnicity, but Filipino bandwagon jumpers comically highlight their pathetic poser acts. For instance, poser Filipino”fans” of Journey have been known to wave Philippine flags at Journey concerts. That’s right, flag waving at a concert! The spirit of rock and roll deteriorates more and more as Filipinos can’t manage to hide their poser buffoonery.  Read more about flag waving here and here.

Despite all that nonsense, there’s a bright side to this. There are a few Filipinos who call out and criticize the Johnny-come-lately idiots. If you consider yourself an intelligent Filipino, do us all a favor and don’t tolerate the embarrassing actions of your own kin.  Tar and feather those guilty of such offense. It warms the heart of this writer that there are Filipinos who can look beyond ethnicity in terms of fandom.  Instead they focus on the talent and other qualities of the people that they idolize

FINAL NOTE Once again, this writer asks for the 9000th time, would Filipinos even give a damn about Manny Pacquiao, Charice Pempengco, and Arnel Pineda if they were Thai?

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Some Filipinos spit on themselves when they support Charice and Arnel Pineda. Both are only popular because of their mimicry. In other words, they wouldn’t have been popular if they didn’t copy the styles and material of others.

When Filipinos support those two, they proclaim to the world that they acknowledge that Filipinos could only get popular by emulating Westerners, in particular, Americans. In addition, that is also an acknowledgment that songs made by Filipinos and performed by them would not be hits in the world. That acknowledgment proclaims to the world how little they think of their own culture. They have little to no stake in their own culture and arts. They would rather support and emulate Western (IE American) arts.

Take a look closer at Arnel and Charice. Both are stripped of their Filipino (and Asian as a whole) identities when performing. There’s nothing Filipino (and Asian) about them when they sing their songs outside the country. What probably makes it worse is that they try so hard to be an Asian/ Filipino copy of Whitney Houston and Celine Dion in Charice’s case. In Arnel’s case, he becomes an Asian/ Filipino imitator of Steve Perry. What underlies their lack of originality and identities is their lack of original songs. Arnel is singing the same old Journey songs that Steve Perry sang. He’s also not involved in making the 2008 Journey album. Charice has no song of her own despite having two albums published already. Even her “Note To God” is a song already part of Jojo’s album released a few years ago. Note that the song was not good enough for Jojo, but it’s good enough for the management of the Filipina copycat.

Compare and contrast Arnel and Charice to American Idol finalists. When the season of American Idol ends, there’s one thing that the finalists do first and foremost: they either write their own songs or they have professionals do it for them. Since American Idol is a glorified karaoke competition, finalists having their own songs serve a couple of purposes. Having their own songs send a message to the public that the American Idol contestants have their own identity. It also serves to showcase the talent of the contestants. Just take a look at Clay Aiken and Rubben Studdard. They may not have much talent, but having their own respective songs sent a message of identity. The original songs become theirs  irrespective of quality.

By having no songs of their own, Arnel and Charice show to the world how worthless they are. One message that is also communicated to the public is how unimportant the two are to their managements and labels. For instance, Charice is just a sideshow at David Foster’s oldies tour (local translation: saling pusa and utus utusan). Arnel is just like pet (aso) that serves Journey (and Neal Schon).  Arnel merely serves to belt out whenever Journey is needed, but is irrelevant to the creative process of the band. This entry explains why Journey and Neal Schon would prefer a submissive member to an assertive one.

Just note that the two are so replaceable due to their lack of unique identities and talent. Arnel and Charice could be easily replaced by other good karaoke and lounge singers. Going back to the American Idol comparison, the contestants might not become successful, but they have their songs to call their own. For instance, Clay Aiken has his multiplatinum “Measure of a Man” album. Katharine McPhee on the other hand has the successful singles “Love Story” and “Over It” to call her own. Both tracks received Top40 stations airplay and good enough sales (both physical and internet sales). Notice that I only cited the runner ups. Arnel and Charice are merely sideshows and cannot be compared to American Idol winners if this writer is to make a “balanced” point.

Jose Rizal once wrote that: Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika, daig pa ang hayop at malansang isda“. By giving uncritical support to cover and lounge singers like Charice and Arnel, some Filipinos are guilty of being “hayop at malansang isda”.

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