When it was announced that Charice would be one of the four judges for the singing competition X Factor
Philippines, different reactions came out. Some were excited and welcomed the new project for the singer. Others expressed their disagreement saying she was too young and lacked experience. While some Chasters defended Charice from those who were doubting her qualifications, others did not fully welcome the idea because they could foresee crabs feasting on her every move, every word, every fashion style. Besides, for them, Charice belonged to the US—to the international scene—and not to the Philippines, not to the local entertainment scene.
About two years ago, I was having a conversation with someone. We talked about a lot of things. One of them was crab mentality. I asked for his opinion on why some Filipinos didn’t like Charice. He answered with a question, “What has Charice done, so far, in the
Philippines?” I understood what he meant. Except for a few TV show guestings and interviews, she was out of the Philippine limelight. Because of this, not many had seen her perform and they did not know her well. Those who had heard about her (at that time) regarded her only as the lucky young singer who guested on Ellen and Oprah and sang with Celine Dion. Charice's presence was not felt as much as the local artists’ so they inclined to question her place in the international scene.
Now that Charice is seen every weekend on the X Factor
Philippines, a chance for the Filipinos to see her and hopefully know her more, negative reactions are still ever present. There are those who will point out that’s just the way it is in the entertainment world. They may even add the old adage “Bad publicity is still publicity.” I personally don’t agree to this way of thinking. Some comments are shallow and ridiculous.
Take Charice’s new hairstyle, for example. Haven’t we seen other people cut and dye their hair? Why is it alright for Secretary Dinky Soliman to have colorful streaks on her hair but not alright for Charice? Why is it alright for Charlene Gonzales to cut her hair short but not alright for Charice? Will we have the chance to see the real hair of Nicki Minaj again? Wasn’t Marilyn Monroe a natural brunette and not blonde?
Very recently, articles were written about Charice’s change of manager. The writers made an error in saying that her new manager, Courtney Blooding, was a “Canadian.” I wonder where they got that information. If they actually did a research, it was a failed one.
Columnist Ricky Lo needed a nationality description for Courtney Blooding because he wanted to emphasize that Charice favored a foreigner over a Filipina. And he didn’t like Charice’s manner of speaking. He described it as having an “irritating American twang.” Well, I’m not irritated.
I’ve also read comments of some netizens that Charice didn’t like to speak in Tagalog anymore. I guess their ears are very selective—hearing Charice only when she speaks in English. And they don’t mind that the other three X Factor judges speak in English. It seems to me that her detractors are saying, “It’s alright because they’re not Charice.”
Should Charice just stay here in the
Philippines, have a local manager, speak in Tagalog and avoid speaking in English? Why is it alright for others to speak in English but not alright for Charice?
Anyone who says Charice is not qualified to be an X Factor
Philippines judge and mentor insults ABS-CBN’s decision. He also insults Gary Valenciano who praises her capabilities even at her young age; Martin Nievera’s liking for her abilities to hear a great potential; Ms. Pilita Corales’ nice words about her; and KC Concepcion for defending her in an interview.
Charice is not alone in getting negative treatment by the press and netizens. Other celebrities, politicians, businessmen, and ordinary people are hit with all kinds of words that could hurt even the hardest of stones. I don’t really mind the faceless and thoughtless netizens on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking sites. But I do mind the thoughtlessness and baseless write-ups done by some media people. I also mind the use of radio and television programs for spreading intrigues, lies, negative publicity, and crab mentality.
A bill aimed to stop cyber-bullying is still pending in the Philippine Congress. I don’t think this is what we really need. We have existing laws, policies and guidelines that can at least minimize bullying, be it in the cyber-world or real world. What the ordinary youngsters and adults see on TV, hear on the radio, and read in write-ups give them the courage to do the same. If we allow and tolerate some mass media people who think that crab mentality and disrespectful treatment of anyone are okay, then, we have a big problem.