Thursday, April 03, 2008


By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower.”
Rabindranath Tagore

Every person on the face of the Earth has a gift.
For some this is revealed spontaneously,
others have to work to find it.
Paulo Coelho

Many of us in this University Town are drawn to the reality TV show Pinoy Big Brother aired on ABS-CBN’s Channel 2 and Studio 23 because of two reasons: BEAUTY Gonzalez and RONA Libby, both 16 years old .

In the April 1 episode, the two teens from Dumaguete got major exposure in the High School Graduation Day surprise. Rona was given a special graduation event inside the Big Brother House together with two other high school graduates, Robi of Ateneo de Manila and Jeriel of the Lamb of God School in Davao. The principal of the Dumaguete Science High School, Dr. Orlando Cadano took part in the ceremonies that included the awarding of the diploma and a special speech of commendation. Dr. Cadano joined Rona’s mother, Rose in presenting the young talent a medal of excellence in the Performing Arts. Rona is a familiar face for she is one of top three winners in the Miss Dumaguete beauty pageant and had been active in the high school debating team.
Beauty received the graduation cap of Jeriel and this came as a moving gesture from a new friend who knew that Beauty, who is now a freshman Business student at Silliman University, never experienced a high school graduation ceremony due to a “scandal.” Segment host Luis Manzano mentioned a bit about the scandal but without the details. High School classmates of Beauty at SLS Don Bosco would probably know but I did not bother to research. There is too much digging up of young people’s sad stories in this TV show. I have known Beauty as one of the headturners of the Silliman marching band. She is well-loved among her friends for her natural sense of humor.

Both were given a chance to show their talents as part of the reality challenges, Beauty in a baton twirling challenge and Rona in a debate on “Sino ang mas matalino: Babae o Lalaki?”

Beauty won the baton twirling challenge but it was not the win that people were talking about the day after. People were talking about her “ilok (armpit) monologue.” Dumaguete has been divided since Beauty’s first day in the Big Brother House; many are delighted for she’s consistently very frank and “bulgar” with ‘punchlines’ usually expressed in the Visayan language like “patilaon nako ni siya sa akong ilok” (I will let her lick my armpit). Many have disliked her for the same reason. On Rona, many are proud for she speaks flawless English and even her Tagalog is considerably good. But they were also disappointed in one kitchen scene where she seemed clueless on how to go about cleaning a fish and it was Josef, a student from La Salle, who was teaching her how to do it – an interesting irony on the rich-poor stereotyping.

Like the noontime hit Wowowee, the Pinoy Big Brother show’s popularity banks on real-life ‘dramas’ from the live narrations. I just wish that any “display of dirty linen” would be edited-out. In most cases, however, these are the moments that bring a TV show to high ratings in terms of audience share. Television’s intrusion into the young individual’s inner being should be controlled for this is evidently an exploitation. But today, no one seems to have the power to put an end to this crazy twist in our popular culture.

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