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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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