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why I LOVE Janina San Miguel and despise THE BUZZ

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why I LOVE Janina San Miguel and despise THE BUZZ

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:15 pm



Every Sunday afternoon, “The Buzz,” a show business magazine on ABS-CBN hosted by Kris Aquino and Boy Abunda, carries a regular feature called “Tigilan Ako/ Stop Me” (2003-2008) where up-and-coming sexy actresses are caught unaware spewing grammatical abominations during interviews. After the footage of each unfortunate faux pa is shown, the honest mistake is replayed ad nauseam, with a hysterically scornful laughter playing in the background and a gay reporter, in a “screaming queen” voice, throwing witty jeers at the actress’s ignorance of the English language.

The grammatical lapses in the footages are mostly true horrors. After salivating for the sexy stars, any literate male must necessarily experience a momentary ebbing of the libido upon seeing the actresses murder the language. Ranging from subject-verb agreement to incorrect tenses, the mistakes are indeed elementary that any self-respecting high school student should be able to identify them readily. What makes the segment farcical is the fact that the sexy actresses deliver those blatant grammatical lapses with great bravura and in a feigned coño accent that, had one not known better, one would think they were weaned on Emily Post and the BBC.

The Sunday magazine confirms what we have known all along, that our show business people, the sexy stars being a subspecies, are a bunch of word-butchers. These embarrassing episodes are also, mind you, not limited to sexy stars of dubious celebrity. The Philippine Daily Inquirer’s entertainment section regularly prints a congeries of bloopers from almost every star in the firmament of Philippine show business. One star, for example, claims that she is “sweatening.” Another asks, “Did he came yesterday?” When asked of her racial pedigree, another star, desperately trying to emphasize her mestiza value, replied, that she is “half-Filipino, half-American, half-Spanish.” Surely, a marvel of miscegenation.

Even the social circle of Kris Aquino, the venerable doyen of English-speaking mestizas on TV, is not blameless. Pops Fernandez, during an interview with Saksi on prime time TV, was discussing her marital life when she casually dropped in her accented English of the Loyola Heights variety her parenthetical phrase, “for Martin and I.” Now the cloddishness of our sexy stars is easily understandable and forgivable. After all, tout comprendre c’est tout pardonner. Some of them, I understand, come from bedraggled clubs straight from GRO work and a nightly diet of hors d’oeuvre and alcoholic drinks is not exactly conducive to furthering one’s linguistic skills. But this particular gross violation of the English language comes from the woman formerly known as Mrs. Martin Nievera, the same Martin Nievera who, nowadays, is everyman’s beau ideal of someone approaching English nirvana.

Exactly what kind of literacy does our show business celebrities foist on their unsuspecting public? Why do our actresses and actors risk foisting illiteracy on an unsuspecting public and insist on speaking English rather than switch to Filipino? And more importantly, why do we poke fun at their mistakes?

English is the lingua franca of most of the half-breed elite in the Philippines. Ramos’ championing of the free market, even while crushing portions of the country’s poor, have launched the ambitions of a considerable number of people of someday joining the ranks of the upper middle class and the rich. For these people who are suddenly awashed in cash, there is a pressure to adopt the lifestyles of the rich of this country. They now have the house, the car, the bank accounts; by all means, they must have the language.

For most people in show business the same thing applies. If one can not be glamorous and posh, one can always fake being glamorous and posh. For sexy actresses this pressure is doubly intense because the semi-respectability of their status demands that they continually differentiate themselves from lowly untutored hawkers of cheap flesh; the boundary between the glossy FHM and the risqué Toro is thin and must be continually observed lest the distinction blur all together. Thus, the clumsy resort to English.

An incident at the Buzz is particularly instructive. Belinda Bright, who claims to be a coed at the upscale De La Salle University, was promoting a movie in her posh English of the coño variety when toward the end she classified her new movie as belonging to the genre of film noire which she pronounced, erroneously, as film nwa without the r sound at the end, as one would correctly say moi. Aquino, bumptious and a little condescending, grilled the sexy actress, telling the audience several times she knew of no such word before acknowledging the correct pronunciation with the r sound. The embarrassment for Bright is palpable. Anyone with a heart can commiserate with her for having given herself away on national television. (The above shows why Henry Higgins, in Pygmalion, is a genius. He is able to remedy this particular handicap because he doesn’t just dress up Eliza Dolittle in a ball gown and get her to use a knife and fork properly: he teaches her to speak posh English—to use a kind of voice-- with an accent and pronunciation indistinguishable from the real thing.)

Another case I saw, the mother of one actress, when prompted to deliver a message to her daughter via telephone patch, read a long Hallmark-type English note in dull monotone. The telephone patch was supposed to be impromptu but the mother’s reading of her message left no doubt to the TV viewers that she was, in fact, reading a prepared message rather than improvising one. The mother did not only manage to sound stupid, she was by all indications insincere in her protestations of love for her daughter.


But through all these embarrassments and pretensions, there is a greater illiteracy at work here—an illiteracy of the soul. Jettisoning the Filipino language on our way to upper-class bliss, especially with English of such ignominious incompetence, is nothing more than misplaced snobbism and truckling ingratiation with the elite in this country.


With Philippine show business people on the lead, just how long can impressionable young people resist the temptation of sounding cool at the price of mangling the English language? When the quality of English instruction in public schools on a free fall and the pressure to speak it on the rise, this is what we get in our sad state of affairs: abominable English delivered with coñotic bravura. The inordinate influence of young stars on the youth is marginalizing the Filipino language, now increasingly viewed as a preserve of the political leftists, the intellectuals at the University of the Philippines and the irredeemably jologs. Woe to one who belongs to all three.

When the sexy stars in “The Buzz” commit flagrant grammatical errors, they should be berated for their pretensions; the lapses themselves are forgivable and should not be mocked as what the “The Buzz” has been doing for some time now. The ignorant person, after all, can be enlightened except if he is totally stupid or demented. The Catholic Church has a beautiful phrase for this: “invincible ignorance,” referring to a state of paganism that is forgivable because the word of Christ was not available to it. Such a phrase should also apply to our ungrammatical actors. If the Church can forgive invincible ignorants like Plato and Socrates, how can Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino harden their hearts so?

The more decent stance should be one of forgiveness and correction, not mockery. The memorable advice in the opening lines of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” comes to mind: "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one…just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." But in our confused world of bilingual education and class pretensions, “The Buzz” becomes arbiter of the English language every Sunday, dispensing disdain upon the unlettered members of our benighted realm.


arrowsmith >> and how we vigilantly protest against pretentious English speakers who laugh at other people's reasonable mistakes

Monday, 0302909 @ 07:00:45 AM


Last edited by POLARIS on Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: why I LOVE Janina San Miguel and despise THE BUZZ

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:58 pm

:star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

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Re: why I LOVE Janina San Miguel and despise THE BUZZ

Post by Guest on Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:16 am

I've always wanted to see a Miss Philippines answering a final question in Tagalog or Filipino with an interpreter beside her in international pageants.

I don't understand why BPCI strictly requires our ladies to speak English when they can better express themselves in their mother tongue

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Re: why I LOVE Janina San Miguel and despise THE BUZZ

Post by Guest on Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:17 am

People who make fun of others aren't any better but extremely nasty and they're despicable...there's a lot of them out there.

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Re: why I LOVE Janina San Miguel and despise THE BUZZ

Post by Guest on Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:42 am

katleya wrote:People who make fun of others aren't any better but extremely nasty and they're despicable...there's a lot of them out there.


thumbs up

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Re: why I LOVE Janina San Miguel and despise THE BUZZ

Post by Guest on Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:52 am

Calderon wrote:I've always wanted to see a Miss Philippines answering a final question in Tagalog or Filipino with an interpreter beside her in international pageants.

I don't understand why BPCI strictly requires our ladies to speak English when they can better express themselves in their mother tongue


We all know what happens when one uses an interpreter and the interpreter screws up the answer. Better to try to learn English, it's proper use, and how you can substitute a word with another that has the same meaning but has more depth of meaning to it, i.e., not "I want world peace" but "I desire world peace". Even using a little longer sentance to convey a much fuller meaning, i.e., not "I want to be like our first female President" but "My desire would be to follow in the footsteps of our First Female President who had the courage to run for Head of State in a very Patriachal society." If only our Miss Philippines had more time to prepare...

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Re: why I LOVE Janina San Miguel and despise THE BUZZ

Post by sayonako on Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:27 am

I remember during Justin Gabionza's time in Miss Philippines Earth 2002... she answered her final answer in Tagalog, she didn't win the crown, she placed 1st runner up to April Rose Lim Perez.
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Re: why I LOVE Janina San Miguel and despise THE BUZZ

Post by Guest on Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:55 pm

Whipsal wrote:
We all know what happens when one uses an interpreter and the interpreter screws up the answer. Better to try to learn English, it's proper use, and how you can substitute a word with another that has the same meaning but has more depth of meaning to it, i.e., not "I want world peace" but "I desire world peace". Even using a little longer sentance to convey a much fuller meaning, i.e., not "I want to be like our first female President" but "My desire would be to follow in the footsteps of our First Female President who had the courage to run for Head of State in a very Patriachal society." If only our Miss Philippines had more time to prepare...

We have to accept that not everybody can learn the English language even in a span of one year ( assuming BPCI decides to train the girls longer). Some are naturally gifted but most are not. Having a good command of English takes a lot of experience and years of using it.

Just take Venezuela as an example. This country was able to produce 6 Miss Universe crowns, 1 Miss Earth crown, 5 Miss World crowns and 5 Miss International Crowns by using interpreter.

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Re: why I LOVE Janina San Miguel and despise THE BUZZ

Post by Desi on Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:12 am

Thread moved to Philippines Forum.

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