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Posts Tagged ‘charice’

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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Charice Pempengco is an odd teen copycat musician.  By analyzing her, Filipino mediocrity can be exposed.

Who is this Charice in the first place? She has no distinct identity as a musician. She has no song of her own despite already having two albums. She keeps singing the same songs already made popular by Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and Jojo. Charice’s latest single, Note To God, wasn’t eve good enough to be picked by Jojo’s management to be her single. Yet Charice kept singing the same old Diane Warren composed song like her life depended on it.

What makes Charice Pempenco peculiar is how her fame exposes Filipino mediocrity and flaws. First and foremost, I’m generalizing, but I don’t mean to state that all Filipinos are that way. Since getting noticed by some Americans (Elen Degeneres, Oprah, and the Canadian David Foster), some Filipinos have gone batshit insane in supporting Charice. That’s odd because before being noticed, Charice was just a runner-up to some singing show. In short, she was nothing special before being invited to the Elen Degeneres and Oprah shows.

The delayed support of Charice by Filipinos highlights a key flaw of Filipinos.  Many Filipinos crave the validation of foreigners. They value and strive for anything foreign whether it’s foreign commodities or a foreign spouse. It’s rather sad that many would rather pay 400 something pesos for a cup of Starbucks Coffee over locally grown Kapeng Barako. It’s rather sad that many would value an imported can of corned beef over something locally made that might be more fresh.

The craving for foreign validation sadly extends to entertainment. Very few were fans of Charice or Arnel Pineda before they were noticed by Americans. After Arnel Pineda was picked to be the lead singer of Journey, many Filipinos became fan of the band to the point that many Filipinos wave the flag of the Philippines at Journey concerts. Charice was told she was ugly and wouldn’t make it in Philippine entertainment, but with Oprah’s support, she now has millions of Filipino fans.

The need to be recognized by Americans highlight a key weakness of the Filipino mind. Indian movies and songs are a joke to many Filipinos. Indians are referred to with offensive names and slurs. Nonetheless, when Americans started to like Slumdog Millionaire ,its song Jai Ho became the hottest thing around. Jai Ho was performed and covered in many Filipino variety shows. The film itself was belatedly shown in theaters after it won many Oscar awards. The trend of copying American entertainment trends could be explained by the colonial history of the country.  From 1898 to 1946, the country was a colony of the United States. Nonetheless, the Philippines is not a complete lap-dog of the US entertainment industry. When the Da Vinci Code was making boatloads of money in the US with hardly any sign of an official ban, Philippine society was embarrassing progressives and independent thinkers. The film was banned in Manila, and many Catholic Church officials in the country called for boycotting the film. There were even petitions for the president to do something to prevent the film from being shown. Preseident Macapagal Arroyo, a cunning cheater, made one of her better decisions by sparing the country from being a laughing stock of the world.

Charice’s rise to fame also exposes how superficial Filipinos can be. Here is a singer with no song of her own, but just because she has a recording deal in the US, she is the toast of Filipinos everywhere. Nobody dares to question the artistic capacity of the singer. Nobody demanded original material from a so called “international artist”. Nobody dared to criticize the lack of originality of Charice.  What is important to them is that the singer has appeared at the Elen and Oprah shows. Nobody dares to mention that David Foster, Charice’s producer, is a has been . Foster has had very few Top40 hits in this decade.

More worrisome is how Charice’s lack of identity explains the lack of identity of many Filipinos. It has been said that Filipinos are “lesser” Asians than other Asians. It has also been said that Filipinos are little brown Americans. While both are generalizations, there is an element of truth at their cores. International musicians have their own cultural identity even when they try to make it in the US. Hikaru Utada and Ayumi Hamasaki didn’t ditch their Japanese identities. Enrique Iglesias didn’t hide his Spanish roots (and he acknowledges his half Filipino roots as well). Shakira didn’t shed her  Latin roots. Even Daddy Yankee didn’t drop the Reggaeton portion of his act. The odd part is when a Filipino musician tries to break through, he or she puts on the best attempt to out Americanize the Americans. Why is that the case?

Through their tacit support for Charice, Filipinos acknowledge that they can never make it in the global stage with a Filipino identity. Charice is mimicking Americans and Canadians. By supporting Charice, Filipinos demonstrate that the key to stardom and success is to try to become anything but themselves.

Worse of all, by supporting Charice, Filipinos demonstrate that it is acceptable na “puwede na lang” mediocrity as long as pupuriin at susuportahan ng mga Kano.

Mayroon akong hula na si “Nicole” ay masaya na despite what allegdly happened basta bigyan siya ng pera at papeles. I realize that my “Nicole” comment is below the belt and ugly. The “Nicole” case demonstrates how much Filipino mediocrity and kowtowing will support the big dogs of this world even if that big dog is heavily in debt to some country full of people that Filipinos routinely call “Intsik beho”.

Note how this person and commenters missed the point of constructive criticism here.

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Filipinos can’t take constructive criticism well. Case in point is Freddie Aguilar’s controversial statement. Freddie Aguilar was interviewed and he made some criticism of Filipino musicians that are gaining global fame. His remark that angered many: “

E, pinatototohanan lang ang sinabi ni Mariah Carey na tayong mga Filipino ay mga unggoy. Kasi, wala tayong sarili, gaya-gaya lang tayo. Nasa Amerika ka na, binigyan ka na ng pagkakataon na kumanta sa Oprah, bakit kumanta ka pa ng kanta ni Celine Dion? Sinabi ni Mariah na mga unggoy ang Filipino, gaya-gaya lang kayo, e, di napatunayan nga, totoo nga.

 

“Kasi, di ba, what monkeys see, monkeys do. Dapat ang kinanta niya, bakit hindi ‘Dahil Sa Iyo’ o kaya ay kahit ano, basta kantang Filipino? O kaya Visayan, Ilocano… lalo siyang sisikat sa buong mundo nun,” pahayag ni Freddie.” Source

In partial translation:  “(Arnel and Charice) are proving what Mariah Carey said about Filipinos being monkeys. It’s because we don’t have our own (songs), we just copy….. Why are you singing the songs of Celine Dion in the US. You’re just proving Mariah’s point of us being copycats….. Why aren’t they singing Filipino songs……

Due to that, many Filipinos became angry. It’s unfortunate that those Filipinos can’t appreciate substance over style. The musicians that Freddie criticized, Arnel Pineda and Charice Pempengco, are only getting popular because they mimic others. Arnel Pineda only became the lead singer of Journey because his singing abilities is a clone of original lead singer Steve Perry. He wouldn’t have landed the gig if he couldn’t mimic Steve Perry’s style. Arnel was not hired for his original artistic talent. Charice Pempengco is a singer only getting attention because she can mimic Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, and Toni Braxton really well. Charice has no song of her own despite having two albums under her belt. She is simply known as that Asian girl who can cover Celine and Whitney in a tremendous fashion.

It’s too bad that Filipinos can’t value that views of Freddie Aguilar. They fail to notice that instead of being a copycat, Freddie Aguilar is one artist that others copied. Freddie’s song “Anak” sold more than 10 million copies. The song was also released in 56 countries while being translated into 26 different languages outside of the Philippines.  Unfortunately, Filipinos can’t appreciate a real artist from someone who is just a copycat.

It’s not like the Philippines is bursting with world class musicians to export. While the country has many workers to ship to the Middle East and Hong Kong to work as maids, there are hardly any Filipino musician around that others musicians will copy or be inspired by. Those Filipinos are ready to throw Freddie under the bus. For what and why? Just due to  some pansin of the Kanos (American attention)? Are Filipinos so starved of attention that they would disregard artistic integrity just for global attention? Don’t they realize that singing the material already popularized by others is not flattering at all?

Wake up Filipinos and learn about constructive criticism.

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