From time to time thought provoking memes come our way through Facebook. Two of them struck me the most. Both, anchored on Heneral Luna movie, and on the two TV shows; the Pastillas Girls of Showtimes, and Eat Bulaga’s #ALDUB, which generated about 23 million tweets on Twitter.
The meme on top depicts a scene where John Arcilla who played Heneral Luna, raised a finger point blank and ask, “Pick: Country or Self”? In the meme’s caption, however, Heneral Luna instead, ask, “Pick: The shallow Pastillas, and #ALDUB, or Heneral Luna, the profound historical movie?
The meme below shows Batman slapping Robin’s face, and captioned a swipe: all you cared about is this Pastillas Girl and #ALDUB, but until now you didn’t know that Apolinario Mabini was a cripple. This meme is an outburst, referring to the younger generation who watched the movie, and wondered why Epy Quizon, who played Apolinario Mabini shown in the movie as always siting.
Lea Salonga, one of the judges of the Voice of the Philippines, the ABS-CBN version of one of the US singing contest, tweeted about the shallowness of a certain show. She didn’t identified which show, but obviously referring the GMA’s #ALDUB show of Eat Bulaga. That started the twitter war between ABS-CBN and GMA TV networks. The Philippines’s two biggest networks have always been at war. But, this is their first twitter war.
Joey de Leon, one of the Eat Bulaga’s creators, tweeted back, and said, that maybe, Lea Salonga’s tweet pertained to the ABS-CBN’s Pastillas Girl.
The week after, Joey tweeted: Had the movie Heneral Luna made use of the love team of Alden Richard and Maine Mendoza of the #ALDUB fame, the movie would have been an instant hit, as it only became a blockbuster, after three weeks of showing. Joey’s subtext is, the #ALDUB of which he is a part of, is right to brag the 35 years of Eat Bulaga’s persistent search for new talents that keeps the Eat Bulaga relevant up to this day. In addition, he made proud of himself again that the lyrics he wrote for the song used in the first #ALDUB McDo commercial clicked.
Why so much abuzz with the two TV shows when both of them are really shallow anyway? I praise Lea Salonga’s courage. She knew she would be lashed out by the diehard #ALDUB fans, yet she stood ready for the backlash to represent the silent contrarian thought.
But tweeters by the million couldn’t be wrong. They find something in #ALDUB that is undeniable; the “kilig factor” (the now generation version) the spontaneous ad lib, spur of the moment pickup lines, the innocence, the sweetness and wacky (dub smash act) of Aldren and Maine. These are the staples for noontime escapist entertainment for the fun loving Filipinos. For one hour, the people forget about their worries, problems, anxiety, traffic, and hardships. A temporary reprieve for their otherwise doldrums lives, and a better substitute for the “Iyakan”, “Kaliwaan”, “Hiyawan” TV drama.
Food for thought to enrich the soul is unavailable for these kinds of entertainment as these are commercially unviable. I remember the ABS-CBN, decades ago launched this “Renaissance TV,” a TV compilation of stories about, Arts, Literature, History, and Biography. The “Renaissance TV” didn’t last. The Advertiser withdrawn their ads as the show was not practical to sustain. Few watched the show, only the like of Lea Salonga, perhaps. Most Filipinos then, as now, are not ready yet for that high octane culture show. What sells with mass appeal are the likes of Pastllas Girl and #ALDUB and loved, too, by the advertiser, the life blood of any TV shows.
Among the other things the meme below revealed is how dissociated the youth of today with the Philippine History. The Heneral Luna movie initiated a wakeup call that the Dept. of Education should look into. Sen. Miriam Santiago best described the youth of today with her new Pickup Lines:
Rarely in the entertainment industry that a TV show and a movie collide with contrasting impact, but both attain an unprecedented appreciation. The “Kalye Serye”, #ALDUB reminded me of John & Marsha, a long running TV show popular in the 70’s. Ading Fernando, its show Director, was once interviewed and said, when it’s time for us to shoot for the episode, its one liner script guide is written in the silver foil wrapper of a pack of cigarettes. And the dialogue of the casts would just come as naturally to them. End. Episode done. Tele-viewers happy. The concept of how John & Marsha was done then, are similar with how the #ALDUB is produced. The Advertiser, the casts, the networks get richer by the day, while #ALDUB nation get their “kilig” fix, cheap laughs, and short grand escape from realities. Everybody is happy.
I also remember these famous line said by Kevin Costner in the movie Field of Dreams: “Build it”, meaning the baseball field in the midst of a corn field, “and people would come.” Some enterprising Filipinos who have sense of patriotism, love for culture and history gambled and produced the movie Heneral Luna with aplomb and quality. Legions of people come to the theaters. The movie turned out to be highest grossing historical film ever made in the Philippines and imparted a superb taste of food for thought that would fly high the soul.
Going back to the first meme, I think, no need to pick as both choices has merits depending on individual taste.