Artwork by Xtian Lozañes

Dear Boy Abunda, I Prefer Showbiz More than Politics

By Harren Fegarido

Dearest Tito Boy Abunda,

First of all, I would like to apologize to you: I was so disgusted by your show, ‘The Buzz’, when it was still being aired in ABS-CBN. I caught the show every 4 pm every during Sunday after ‘Luv U’. I hated it, even I could offer no reason why.

Now, I’m asking a favor from you and ABS-CBN: please reprogram the buzz and air the show ASAP (the expression, not the program). I beg you; the news is flooded with all these idiotic campaigning, accusations, misleading information, and shallow dumbf— issues. And most of the Filipinos are into it like hooligans inside a football club! All these nonsense—“do not vote for this” memes, viral videos, idiotic posts, and just about any crap you can imagine—are what I usually see circulating in social media these days. By judging everyone’s Facebook statuses, it seems the Philippines is in a state of civil war.  Many are soooo willing to die for their candidates that it bleeds me dry to see how shallow and stupid these kinds of things have gotten. It just made me think that any kind of election is not a reason for Ilonggos to exercise their democratic rights but, rather, an excuse to make themselves feel good by upstaging each other with their inane arguments—essentially, we’re like children saying, “See, I win! Bleh.”

Tito Boy, I never thought campaigning for a political candidate would go so as far as… this. We have too much free information and too much freedom of expression that we use our behinds to think and our minds to produce excrement. I noticed that those who usually rebut, argue, repost and share stupid posts are those who live comfortable lives—they have money, work, STABILITY—and they talk about politics and government as if they were analysts. I assume—no, I’m certain—that whoever the president, the governor, the mayor, or the kapitan will be after the election, every damned Ilonggo soul will go back to his or her old blissful routine, living life while prioritizing one’s own happiness. The elections today are like #AlDub now: it’s good during the initial kilig, but the hype eventually fades and—boom!—back to regular programming.

It’s great that many people are socially conscious during the elections, but what will happen after it? Out of a hundred Ilonggos who posted about politics, how many of them will remain clued in on what will happen to our country after this? I’m betting that ninety of them will keep taking selfies and talk about how #blessed their life is… and they’ll still be busy complaining about everything.

Help me, Tito Boy. I did not expect this to happen. It seems like everything is a joke to us. Elections are a serious matter; it’s supposed to be one of the most sacred practices in a democracy which any country would be proud to have, but we perfected the art of making it into a grand circus, with a troupe of a hundred million Filipinos as performers. THIS WILL NOT help my country in any way.

But seriously, Tito Boy, I’m not mad; I’m just disappointed and frustrated with how my fellow countrymen treat this election as less than the sanctified ritual that it’s supposed to be. That is why Tito Boy, please… re-air the buzz ASAP. I need a breather, I need gossip; not those that pass as “political news”, but TRUE gossip. I want to see celebrities denying rumors. I want to see who’s hooking up with who. I want to guess how right I am in predicting blind items. I want to hear the non-incriminating disclaimer before the show starts. I want to hear you say, “Magbabalik ang… THE BUZZ!!!” I want to be taken to a mindless state when I watch your show. Only your funky wardrobe can do that to me.

Because really, showbiz is probably better than the reality that slaps me in the face every time my beloved country is being bribed, called ati and pandak, flouted with dubious citizenship, and has cancer. MY BELOVED COUNTRY, THE PHILIPPINES, IS BEING RAPED BY HIS OWN PEOPLE.

I need ‘The Buzz’ now more than ever. Please.

P.S. Please send my regards to Ruffa and Gretchen. Don’t mind Kris; she’s probably off riding a government-owned helicopter to go shopping or whatever it is presidential siblings do.

Harren Fegarido is a wanderer