GMA Network's Alyas Robin Ripping Off CW's Arrow in Its Teaser Trailer, Philippine Television Network's Lack of Creativity, and Insulting the Filipino Television Viewers

GMA Network has recently release a teaser trailer for their new 2016 Filipino super hero series currently entitled "Alyas Robin Hood" which has raised a few... I mean a lot of eyebrows in social media as it is unapologetic in its blatant ripping off of the popular CW show Arrow. This is my two cents on GMA Network's Alyas Robin Hood CW's Arrow Rip-off, Philippine Television Network's Lack of Creativity, and Insulting the Filipino Television Viewers.

GMA Network's Alyas Robin Ripping Off CW's Arrow in Its Teaser Trailer, Philippine Television Network's Lack of Creativity, and Insulting the Filipino Television Viewers

I. The "Alyas Robin Hood" trailer starring Dingdong Dantes that drew flak from rational and critical Filipinos online.

When does paying homage ends and ripping off begins? That is the question I encountered when seeing reviews of Netflix Stranger Things on the various entertainment review channels on Youtube. For now, we cannot say if that will be the case with GMA Network's "Alyas Robin Hood," but by the gods, the teaser trailer is intentionally made to look like it is an unapologetic and a blatant ripoff of a popular American superhero show, CW's Arrow. Maybe that was the intention all along, the "shock factor". That on the age where everyone seems to have access to popular US shows whether it be officially or unconventional means (thru torrent), it seems blasphemous to rip off elements of a popular franchise. This was the case with Ang Panday (woah! also promoted under GMA Network) that ripped off Clash of Titans. Who on their right state of mind would do such marketing in a social media filled with critical Filipinos? Well, the "Alyas Robin Hood" got people talking about an upcoming GMA Network show, unfortunately not in a good way.

II. Is the Philippine Television Network running out of ideas? What's up with the lack of creativity?

"Is there anything original nowadays?" is one of the question some people might get into discussions with. With so many formulaic and cliche themes that dominated Philippine television and cinema, the answer seems to be both a YES and a NO. While one may think of GMA Network's horrendous Sailormoon rip-off, "Super Twins" starring Jennely Mercado and Nadine Samonte, and that poor excuse of a tokusatsu series loosely based on the space Sheriff Shaider Japanese series that even Toei wouldn't consider as part of canon as a bad examples; one may also argue that GMA Network has also brought us memorable series like "Kung Mawawala Ka" and "My Husband's Lover."

So does GMA Network lacks creativity? Well, if we are to base solely on the "Alyas Robin Hood" trailer, it seems to be a bit fat Yes. We can attribute it is to the reason that it is the latest "trend" internationally. Major television networks seems to follow such trend. Remember ABS-CBN when it started doing the kabitseryes or infidelity focus television and film series? It is just like the Filipino superhero comic book (and original superhero concept) explosion back in the early 2000 with Darna, Captain Barbell, Lastikman, Flash Bomba, Komiks Present, Pedro Penduko, Panday, Kristala, Kamandag, Gagambino, Mulawin, and Super Inggo.

Superhero films and television series are a big hit internationally as of the making of this blog. With the popularity of shows like Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Agents of Shield, and superhero films from Marvel and DC, it can't be helped if a network to find its new best series to capitalize on seems to simply mindlessly "take inspiration" (rips off) from one of them. In this case "Alyas Robin Hood" starring Dingdong Dantes from Arrow, like how "Captain Barbell" starring Richard Gutierez unapologetically ripped off Smallville.

III. Insulting the Filipino Television Viewers and Filipinos in General

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. GMA Network have already did this sort of thing back in Captain Barbell. The network or people behind it are either too full of themselves or doesn't seem to mind ripping off Smallville. Given the fact that Smallville was currently airing in Studio 23 primetime block at that time. I don't know if GMA Network just think that the majority of Filipino mass who mostly could have issues with availing proper education making them not appreciate and comprehend American shows, unavailability to receive Studio 23 signals on their television, or GMA are too full of themselves that they think that other stations does not exist and the Filipino televiewers are solely watching GMA Network oblivious to other stations.

CW Arrow Season 4 Trailer

This then seems to indicate that they are insulting the Filipino Television Viewers. Why? Because while they are already teasing this "Alyas Robin Hood" television series, TV5 has already picked up on Arrow. What is either better or worse is that TV5 dubbed Arrow in Filipino along with other foreign shows. This seem to imply that Filipinos might have trouble understanding English content. So we already have Arrow available and accessible in Filipino. Filipino Televiewers can obviously make a comparison of the show and does not need to look far. Tagalized Arrow is on TV5; one channel away from GMA Network. So why still go with such dubious promotion of their new show. The answer? They are probably capitalizing on the negative reception online. Bad publicity is still publicity... something they might have picked up from President Duterte.

They insult the Filipinos online who are so outspoken for their support of everything the Philippine television is NOT! To somehow blatantly rip off the "somewhat fresh" US series themes (* Only used "somewhat fresh" as US shows tend to also fall on the formulaic themes like procedural crime shows, reality shows, etc.) There are many superhero themed resources that GMA can draw inspiration locally from, so why not do that? Well, one argument there is television networks probably doesn't want to pay the rights to use these "new" comics characters and would simply stick with the classics like Mars Ravelo ones. Instead here they are making a superhero type of story that blatantly rips off Arrow themes paying no money at all. A blatant rip off of Arrow's a (green) hood and the hero uniform which copies everything down to a teeth. Sure Arrow or Green Arrow is not the first iconic character to use a bow and arrow as his main weapon as the Filipino series seems to imply that it draws inspiration from Robin Hood (thus the Alyas Robin Hood); but at least they should have mixed things up a bit. Sadly, they went the controversial route. Well it made people talking, right? Who knows they might surprise us with a sudden shift in overall tone, if ever they listen to criticism, you know like what they did to Captain Barbell.

The insulting part is that GMA Network is capable of providing decent and even thought-provoking content if they only have better creative team, screenwriters, or maybe tapped on the actual creative people in the Philippine comics industry. Have they exhausted everything with "Encantadia," My Husband's Lover," "The Rich Man's Daughter," and "Kung Mawawala Ka?"

IV. Conflict Resolution, Suggestion, and Recommendation

People might say, all you do is criticize but does not offer anything to make things better. So I will now, do what the production and creative team should have done marketing this new series. One approach would be to take down the trailer and put up a new one which doesn't make it a complete copycat of the popular CW series. Make necessary revisions to the overall outfit of the new GMA Network superhero and actually hire some people who would research on Robin Hood. They seem to take inspiration from there, it was not "Alyas Green Arrow."

The other approach is to bask in the bad publicity and at the same time addressing the series' criticism. Have showbiz news interviews that states that it pays homage to Arrow and that it is a truly unique concept which might truly be the case. They wouldn't ripped off the story of Arrow down to the teeth, right? To show new trailers showing that it is not a rip off proving naysayers that they are wrong; that their initial trailer that paid of homage was misinterpreted and the ripping off ends with the teaser; that new trailers would not continue with the ripping off and the actual content is unique on its own. Relevant to Filipino society and catering to the local superhero hype for Filipino kids and television viewers.

Not long ago, TV5 also made a very forgettable Arrow ripoff or parody series that seemingly went under everyone's radar, simply titled as "Robin Dude." Well at least that show labeled itself as a parody series. So is GMA doing the exact same thing? Will they be ripping off Robin dud only with a much popular actor as its lead?

Filipino comic artist extraordinaire Gerry Alanguilan made this point when he reacted to the teaser of Alyas Robin Hood.

Komikero Gerry Alanguilan reacts to Alyas Robin Hood Teaser Trailer

Source: Alyas Robin Hood Teaser Trailer Page

How about you guys? What do you think of The Alyas Robin Hood teaser trailer? Share your thoughts and opinion in the comments section below.
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On Contributing for LionhearTV: A Writing Stint and Experience on Doing Local Showbiz Articles

I have been writing for a local entertainment website called Lionheartv since January 26, 2016. It is quite an interesting experience and feeling to be part of something big; bigger than my blogs that is. Lionheartv is bigger in a sense that it has higher readership and community of 'followers' compared to my blogs; even if they are all combined. Majority of Filipinos loved Philippine entertainment 'news' and most of the times to fault.

Filipino Blogger Christopher Aquino Contributions for Lionheartv CMABLOGS Life on a Pencil Feature

People connected with me in my personal social media account and Twitter account knows I am usually indifferent towards what happens in the Philipine showbiz, so I also find it quite ironic that here I am doing showbiz pieces. Well, people need to make a living and this is currently my main project, so I got to lived with such ironies. As much as possible I try to inject a little bit of my usual critical self in most of the usually trivial (for me and Philippine society in general) showbiz "news" article handed to us, the writers. Well, I am really not that indifferent as back then I made a piece about Vice Ganda with On Vice Ganda on Anti-Bullying Fiasco on ABS-CBN's Showtime which I once again revisited with my Lionheartv article "Comedy at the expense of others, ‘bullying’, and Vice Ganda." There are some things that needs discussing, more important that feuding ex-lovers, something that reflects and concerns society. Mass Media has been the pink elephant in the room on its hand in shaping up the collective consciousness of the mass.

Some of the Lionheartv articles I have contributed and proud to share here includes the following:

(1) Amidst Sen. Sotto statement, AlDub is still getting politicized
(2) Is Tito Sotto hurting the public’s perception of “Eat Bulaga?”
(3) Emotional Tito Sotto temporarily leaves “Eat Bulaga;” asks Dabarkads’ support
(4) Aiza Seguerra reacts against Manny Pacquiao ‘Same Sex Marriage’ statement
(5) Reelectionist senator Tito Sotto, “Eat Bulaga,” AlDub, and the 2016 Pangasinan Political Rally
(6) Manny Pacquiao quotes and deletes bible verse on ‘Gays Put to Death’
(7) A Look into the Social Media Backlash regarding Vice Ganda’s Opinion against Manny Pacquiao

There is also an article I made which I hardly consider to be a proudest work, but find it really "interesting"; for lack of a better word. In my article "Fans Clash and Petition to Disqualify Maine Mendoza from Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards 2016," I had a "fascinating" "luxury" of encountering some passionate AlDub, Lizqueen, JaDine, and KathNiel who are at each other's throats. You can check out the article at how I handled it for more information. The funny thing is that in Twitter, some fans are reacting negatively even if they haven't read the article which in reality is skeptical about the whole matter. Ladies and gentlemen the best of what fandom has to offer (NOT):

Philippine celebrity fans against Chris A article

I am still currently contributing for them as of the writing of this article. This is probably the main reason why I was able to do more updates and articles there, than in my actual personal blog. Every once in a while I make an exemption and update 'Life on a Pencil' especially if it has something to do with the things I am passionate about, secularism and freethinking. I have been doing a series of Editorial Reactions which I will be making a regular segment/section here at 'Life.' Well, I have been more active with my other niche blogs, mainly Retro Pilipinas and Pinoy Movie Blogger, but that will soon change as I am slowly going to the direction of full-time blogging. I really appreciate my experience writing for Lionheartv.
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A Reaction to "Scared to speak one’s mind" by Ramon Tulfo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer: Bigotry Has Friends

A Philippine Daily Inquirer online editorial posted on February the 18th, 2016 entitled "Scared to speak one’s mind" by Ramon Tulfo posted caught my attention. This editorial piece is all about the author's condescending opinion about homosexuality, the whole Manny Pacquiao bigoted opinion, and the LGBT community. Let's break it down and share a different and more rational take on it.

A Reaction to Scared to speak one’s mind by Ramon Tulfo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Let me get this out of the way first, I am for the equal civil rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community or more commonly known in the shorthand LGBT or LGBTq. Now after that statement, you have either click out of this opinion piece because of (1) your mind is so closed off that you no longer welcome any other opinions disregarding if there is any merit or logical reason behind such opposition; (2) you share the same mentality that discriminates and dehumanize the LGBTq as exhibited by Pacquiao or as he simply put it *is the only 'absolute' truth as seen from the Bible and God'; or if you are still here, then congratulations for having an open mind willing to hear what other people has to say about the matter.

What I will be doing here is I will be quoting Ramon Tulfo's editorial piece online entitled "BScared to speak one’s mind" in the February 16th, 2016 Editorial section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I will be addressing the article and present my reaction as if I was talking directly to Ramon Tulfo, thus the use of the second-person pronoun 'You' in the entirety of the "Editorial Reaction". A littler disclaimer, I do not own nor claim ownership of the article and this will simply be a commentary that aims to dissect, provide rebuttals, and hopefully a more rational take in this condescending Inquirer opinion piece as protected by the Fair Use and Freedom of Expression. I will be addressing him. Let's get started.

I was laughing and nearly fell off my chair as I was reading a story about world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao being driven to the ropes by a flurry of jabs, hooks, and uppercut and straight punches from various groups for his comment about homosexuals.

Hala, bay, ayuha ug panagang sa mga bayot ug tomboy (You have to reel from the punches of homosexuals, my friend)!

You started out strong by laughing at the backlash received by Pacquiao in his 'Bilang Pilipino' political series interview that asked him 'What is his stance on the issue on 'same sex marriage' which Pacquiao made his controversial seemingly demeaning and dehumanizing remark that 'LGBTq is worse than animals'.

Manny Pacquiao on same-sex marriage

"Mas masahol pa sa hayop." Senatorial aspirant and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao had this to say when we asked him for his stand on same-sex marriage. #BilangPilipino

Posted by Bilang Pilipino on Monday, February 15, 2016

In your local dialect, you stated that you find it humorous that Pacquiao is receiving punches from 'homosexuals'. We have not gone far and you already committed an mistake. The criticism thrown at Pacquaio did not only came from 'homosexuals' but from straight individuals who has better understanding of their plight and the cause they are fighting for. But you could argue that this is just a 'figure of speech' and I'll give you the benefit of doubt. Let's continue....

Pacquiao said two persons of the same sex who copulate are worse than animals.

“Would you see any species of animals engaging in male-to-male, female-to-female (sexual) relations? Animals, then, are better than humans. They know how to distinguish males from females,” said The Champ.

I said I was laughing not because I find his comment outrageous or hilarious—it’s not—but because he’s getting flak for speaking his mind.

What is so funny for receiving flak for reacting to something? As far as we are all aware, there is nothing in the constitution that limits us from reacting negatively from anything. If Pacquaio can share his negative opinion, then why can't we. PAcquaio did say something 'negative' right or don't you find anything inherently 'wrong' with such dehumanizing remarks? Do you also find it true, then?

Most full-blooded males and females would find sex between two men and two women repulsive.

But they are just too scared to speak their minds.

I have to commend you for not falling to a fallacious generalization when you used 'Most'. Although I find it quite interesting and curious as to where did you get that 'interesting fact of "Most full-blooded males and females would find sex between two men and two women repulsive." do you have any scientific journal or at least reference that documents such statement?

Well here is an actual scientific reference for your consideration which does not assume without proper evidence - An article entitled "All Women Are Attracted To Other Women, New Study Says" which shared a US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health research on Sexual Arousal and Masculinity-Femininity of Women.

They are too scared to speak their minds? What are you saying, man? Just a quick glance at every social media 'news' post that pertains to Manny PAcquiao's 'same sex marriage' debacle will give you a ridiculous amount of people freely speaking their minds that Pacquiao is right'. I shouldn't even cite links. Just go on and check your preferred local news channel social media page and you'll see that you are terribly mistaken, Mr. Tulfo.

To gays, lesbians and transgenders: The public understands you because ours is now a tolerant society.

By “public,” I mean the majority of the population, that is straight or heterosexual.

But being tolerant doesn’t mean our society encourages same-sex marriage or passionate kissing between two men or two women in the open.

The first two lines was passable, but then you went down with "But being tolerant doesn’t mean our society encourages same-sex marriage". Wait, okay so what is the limit of your 'tolerance' towards the LGBTq, what made you become tolerant towards them in the first place? Why is it not tolerable for society to encourage same sex marriage?

Then you continue with an equivocation (fallacy) "...or passionate kissing between two men or two women in the open". The cause of same sex marriage is not the same as passionate kissing of LGBTq in open so don't lump them in one statement as if that is what is the issue here. The issue here is same sex marriage or the state recognized civil union among the members of the LGBTq. They are not asking for tolerance or approval to kiss "in the open" they can freely do that now whether you approve of it or not. Remember, what you said earlier, Tolerant society? This is one of the sneak peak of how ignorant and uninformed you are to what the LGBTq are fighting for.


A little lesson about Equivocation. Additionally from our dear good old 'partially' reliable Wikipedia, Equivocation ("to call by the same name") is an informal logical fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time). It generally occurs with polysemic words (words with multiple meanings)...


If most Filipinos are scandalized by straight couples kissing passionately in public, more so gay couples petting in public.

They find the latter an abomination.

Please do your thing in the privacy of your bedroom.

This is a classic form of 'slippery slope' fallacy (see definition below). How did it became a slippery slope? Well, The topic we are talking here is about 'same sex marriage' and now you have stray away from he topic and imply that the LGBTq is actually asking for approval to commit sex in public.Then you went on blabbering about most Filipinos being scandalized by public display of affection (PDA), then connects that with PDA that may be practiced by the LGBTq, which you then say an 'abomination'.

I ask you again. Why do most Filipinos get scandalized by couple passionately kissing in public? What is your basis? Where are you coming from when you made such 'prejudice' that the LGBTq's version is an 'abomination'?

"Please do your thing in the privacy of your bedroom.". Again that is not the issue here Tulfo. Oh, another fallacy, 'non sequitur" or "it does not follow".


Slippery slope fallacy'. Wipedia states, A slippery slope argument (SSA), in logic, critical thinking, political rhetoric, and caselaw, is a consequentialist logical device in which a party asserts that a particular result will probably (or even must inevitably) follow from a given decision or circumstance, without necessarily providing any rational argument or demonstrable mechanism for the likelihood of the assumed consequence....

Non sequitur. Wikipedia states, Non sequitur (Latin for "it does not follow"), in formal logic, is an argument in which its conclusion does not follow from its premises.[1] In a non sequitur, the conclusion could be either true or false, but the argument is fallacious because there is a disconnection between the premise and the conclusion. All invalid arguments are special cases of non sequitur. The term has special applicability in law, having a formal legal definition. Many types of known non sequitur argument forms have been classified into many types of logical fallacies....


You cannot and should not impose your homosexual norms on a society which is still “primitive” by your standards.

Oh hey, look you are trying to be sarcastic by doing the "QUOTATION thing". Cute, but not smart or proper. Philippine society is truly primitive in the sole basis that amidst having The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines declaring The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable, here we have church and religion having a hand in state affairs. Of having no fangs against the violations pertaining to religious organizations. Why is divorce, medically-assisted abortion, medically assisted euthanasia, and legalization of prostitution not being considered or comes close to passing into laws? Who are the usual opponents of such progressive laws? What are their usual basis? Isn't that NOT in violation of separation of church and state? What is holding that back? The answer, a primitive source which is now being questioned by the critical thinkers something that you might not relate to.

If you can’t stand our primitive society that frowns upon same-sex marriage, you should migrate to the United States and Europe where most states now allow same-sex marriage.

What a very 'mature', 'rational', and 'understanding' remark; 'zero-bigotry'. See you are also not the only one who can use sarcasm and quotations effectively. Let's see, historically there was a time when women do not have any rights to vote or held positions in the government. There was also a time, when 'Blacks' or any darker skinned race where considered as slaves. Now, did any of them leave their country to fight for their rights: Right to vote or hold position; rights to be free men? Did the Filipinos simply left the country when Colonizers occupied the country and commit all sorts of atrocities in the name of the Roman Catholic church? No. They fought for it in our very own freaking country, which bigots like you would probably have exiled them or issued statements like "If you don't like how we ran things here, then leave".

Please do not display your homosexuality like a badge of honor because it’s not.

The same applies to you, Pacquiao, and some religious fundamentalist conservative's bigotry and discrimination which dehumanize fellow human beings for being different from what you think and believe is true, when in reality it is now a subject for debates and discussion. No religion, deity, or ancient scripture is free from criticism and analysis.

Haven’t you noticed?

Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender have formed themselves into a party-list group led by Danton Remoto, a professor at Ateneo de Manila University.

The public loves gays because, well, they’re happy and gay.

What is your point when you cited LADLAD and the leadership of Ateneo de Manila University Professor? The public love gays? It is kind of inconsistent in your 'book' given that all your previous statements seem to antagonize the LGBTq or dehumanize them. Let me help you by saying that "Most of the public loves gays..." which you are in the minority.

Gays make good entertainers and beauticians.

Many of them are talented and intelligent.

This is you trying to save face by simply stating the obvious. Cute, but of course nothing good will come out of pretentious and hypocritical bigotry.

But has the LGBT party-list group ever won in any election? No.

Why? Because our society still can’t accept homosexuality as normal, pardon my saying so.

Pouring salt in a wound. How very understanding of you. You ask the question"Why". I ask you back "Why can't society accept homosexuality as normal"? What is its sole basis? By now I think you know where I am getting at.

And lest I be misconstrued as a bigot, I have many gay friends.

I respect them as much as they respect me.

Well, at least this time, you didn't commit a fallacy. Just a hypocritical argument. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with the "Friend Argument"...


The friend argument is an argument used by people who want to claim knowledge about and/or sympathy with a group, by referring to their "friends" belonging to this group. It is commonly used to clear and absolve oneself from suspicion of racism, xenophobia or other kinds of prejudice. It is a particular form of the "Not prejudiced, but..." statement.

It is one of the easiest ways to try to worm out of accusations of prejudice. The thinking is that someone cannot be prejudiced if they have friends of that demographic; if they had a real prejudice against a full group, then none of them would be okay to hang around. In a rather absurd example, someone can cite a specific example that excuses their general behaviour, for example "how can I be a misogynist, I love my mother."- or, in an even more absurd example "I'm not sexist- after all, all of my girlfriends have been female." While this line of reasoning might be true for someone who genuinely doesn't have a general prejudice, it isn't a good argument to prove it - and it certainly doesn't absolve someone who actually does hold such a belief. Such argumentation can be used as 'evidence' that someone is not prejudiced, but this alone does not amount to 'proof'. The underlying fallacy is that one single point of data, this one "friend," completely overrides any other bits of evidence we have to assess someone's views. This is simply not valid reasoning. The presence (or not) of a prejudice is determined by what follows the "But..." in those above examples, not what comes before.


And we don’t talk about their sexuality.

I don't have that many close gay friends. I have that former co-worker who I think is gay or probably transgender. Never really ask how he identified himself. We also don't talk about their sexuality or what they do in their intimate moments with their chosen partners, but guess what, I am for giving them civil rights and the option to be protected by the Philippine constitution just like any straight couples out there.

To also educate your ignorance about the 'Same Sex Marriage, I will leave you with a very informative post from Ella Espinosa:

Ella Espinosa Same Sex Marriage Education


Same Sex Marriage:
Ano bang akala niyo mga te? Gusto naming makasal dahil gusto lang naming mag gown at lumakad papunta ng altar? Very wrong po kayo dyan. Uulitin ko, Maling mali po.
Unang una, hindi namin hinihiling ikasal sa simbahan. Malinaw bo ba un.
Bakit nga ba gusto namin ikasal?
1. Puede na naming ideklarang dependent yng partner para naman nde malaking tax ang kinukuha ng gobyerno. Kakahiya naman, mas malaki yng tax na babayran namin kasi pareho kaming single ang status?! Nasan ang hustisya!
2. Sa health insurance, kasama mo ng halos 10 taon pero nde mo din sya puedeng maging dependent kasi nga nde kayo magasawa sabi ng batas?! Makatatungan ba un?!
3. Mga desisyon pang financial. Pareho ninyong pinundar ang kabuhayan niyo. May di inaasahang mangyaring masama sa partner mo. Sino makikinabanag?! Yng magulang, na baka itinakwil pa nya dati yng anak nya?!
4. Nde ka puedeng magdesisyon para sa partner mo kasi nde ka immediate family sabi ng batas. Eh sino pipirma kng sakaling kailangan ng desisyon tulad sa hospital?!
Huwag po kayong makasarili. Huwag ninyong ipagdamot kung ano man ang nakukuha ninyo benepisyo kasi kinikilala ng batas ang pagsasama ninyo.

Let's defining Bigotry..

Bigotry is intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself:

Well, Bigots have families and friends who they they think does not deserve to have equal civil rights for the mere basis of their limiting divisive and questionable belief system which they have never questioned all their lives; even amidst such claims, they are still bigoted.
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A Reaction to "Beware of the real bobotantes" An Editorial by Tonyo Cruz: Will the Real "Bobotante" Please Stand Up

A Manila Bulletin online editorial entitled "Beware of the real bobotantes" by Tonyo Cruz caught my attention. This editorial piece is all about the author's condescending opinion about Miriam Defensor-Santiago, her choice for Vice-President, and the voting public who chose her as their president whom he refers to as "bobotante".

A Reaction to Beware of the Real Bobotante by Tonyo Cruz

Let me get this out of the way first, my primary candidate whom I have clearly expressed my support to upon the announcement of her candidacy this coming 2016 Philippine election is Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Now after that statement, you have either click out of this opinion piece because of an instant allergic reaction to (1) Senator Santiago in general, (2) the Santiago-Marcos tandem, or opinion against Tonyo's piece; or if you are still here, then congratulations for having an open mind willing to hear what other people has to say about the matter.

What I will be doing is quoting Tonyo Cruz' editorial piece online entitled "Beware of the real bobotantes" in the October 16 Editorial section of the Manila Bulletin website. I do not own nor claim ownership of the article and this will simply be a commentary that aims to dissect, provide rebuttals and counter-arguments in this condescending Manila Bulletin opinion piece. I will be addressing him. Let's get started.

Miriam Defensor Santiago gave the nation – especially the intellectuals – a much-needed reality check on Philippine traditional politics after she unapologetically announced Bongbong Marcos as her runningmate in the 2016 elections.

The announcement turned the tide of support for Miriam into a tsunami of frustration and disappointment.

Right from the start, you start off strong by indirectly implying that there is something awfully wrong about Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago's preference as her Vice-President running mate, Senator Bongbong Marcos. You imply that this will be problematic to the voting public, with the special mention of the intellectuals who have chosen her as their (our) President for the 2016 Philippine election.

You generalize that after such announcement that seemingly ALL supporter's perception of Santiago changed to frustration and disappointment. While some are true as I observed this myself, this was not the complete picture as a good majority are still supporting her candidacy as President of the Philippines for 2016. There is a reason for that... her achievements and performance as a lawmaker.

Because never mind that Filipinos can split the ticket, as we often do. What irks us is this: How could this highly intelligent and one of the nation’s brightest political superstars wittingly help deodorize the Marcoses and present a Marcos as a qualified vice president or president-in-waiting?

Why should we not mind that fact? Why are you discounting that the voting Filipinos can always opt out of Marcos and chose a different Vice-President candidate? We then find out what causes all this frustration and disappointments for him; Santiago choosing the son of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos who was held responsible (as how the chief of staff should be) for the atrocities committed during the Martial Law era.

Those who audaciously defend Miriam and Marcos are the real “bobotantes.” They are in the same league as those who defend Mar Roxas and Len Robredo, and Jejomar Binay and Gringo Honasan. Let me tell you why.

You then proceed to make a very bold and condescending statement that those who support Miriam and Marcos are the real "bobotantes". "Bobotantes", the combination of two Filipino word "bobo", a condescending insult which means stupid and "botante" which means voters; therefore "stupid voters". What is interesting here is that he mentions other Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates like Mar Roxas and Len Robredo, and Jejomar Binay and Gringo Honasan.

We'll start to see who Tonyo may support in the 2016 Philippine election; the Presidential candidate Grace Poe and her Vice-Presidential running mate Chiz Escudero. One can argue that he has only named those who have officially filed their Certificate of Candidacy, but come on! We all know that Poe-Escudero will be in the game, so why not call them out? Well, why indeed; unless he finds no faults in them. He supports them. We'll get back to this one later on his piece.

The apologists of Miriam and Marcos are intellectual and moral orphans who want us to believe nothing is wrong in the tandem, and that nothing is wrong with Miriam’s vice-presidential battlecry “Marcos pa rin.”

I am a Santiago supporter, but I am not blind to the flaws and blunders committed by Santiago, nor turn a blind eye on the atrocities committed by Bongbong's father in the past. So basically this one is not for me, right? Or is it?! You continue on implying that these Apologists makes them (those non-supporters) think that there is nothing wrong with the tandem. I am aware of my candidate’s flaws, but amidst all of that I am still in support of Santiago. Like your awareness of the flaws of your candidate and still voting for her.

Well, I just hope that you are not making a fallacious statement as hasty generalization is not a good argument. I am referring to your statement that these Apologists are intellectual and moral orphans. Hmm curious, what do you mean when you used the term "intellectual orphan" and "moral orphan"? Is there an absolute parent of intelligence and morality? I hope you don't go all religious fundamentalist on us. My mind is no longer boxed in by religion.

For what is the use of intelligence if it is offered to help whitewash the Marcoses’ record and present its scion as a national leader worthy of votes and the vice presidency?

You seem to think that Anti-Marcos sentiments have the exclusivity to intelligence or how intelligence is proper utilized. I would like to assume that Santiago has something up her sleeve for choosing Marcos. Nothing is as plain as black and white like how you paint and view her. It is as faulty as to think that ALL Miriam supporters are INSTANTLY Marcos supporters (will vote for Marcos).

By choosing Marcos, Miriam reopens a can of worms: Her support for Joseph Estrada in the impeachment trial and her agitation at Edsa Tres. Her mental fitness to make important decision. Her moral compass

You assume here that past blunders committed by Santiago's will not resurface. Even if she didn't choose Marcos as her running mate, it will still be reopened as mudslinging is a common phenomenon in Philippine politics. There is no argument that Santiago has made blunders in the past; non-criminal blunders if I may emphasize; of her questionable loyalties whether it is to Estrada or to Arroyo. But amidst all these obvious criticisms to her in knowing how to play with an age-old established flawed political system in the Philippines, she still managed to performed and stood above the rest performance-wise. You can question her mental fitness to make important decision (For what? Your parties’ interest? To side with chaos and the unconstitutionality?) or her moral compass (which you seemingly imply to have exclusive superiority on). We chose her not for such blunders but for her achievements and what she will be capable of once she acquires the highest seat in the Philippines.

Miriam and the Miriam-Marcos defenders now own the distinction of being symbols of impunity that reigns in Philippine traditional politics. Their opportunism and naïveté are not our problems – except if their flawed reasoning manage to infect the electorate.

So we are a symbol of impunity now eh? But if you trace the source of this impunity, who or what can truly be held responsible for it? Who or what has allowed the impunity towards the Martial Law victims? Why is it that up this day that the Marcos(es) are not kicked out of this country, prevented from holding any position, or been brought to "justice"? Is it the Santiago's supporters fault? Are all Santiago supporters, Marcos supporters? You seem to be throwing fist in the air. Not pounding on the right doors. You seem to commit another hasty generalization; a non-sequitur and hasty generalization.

It is also a bit naive of you to think that your opinion is the only opinion that matters; or anti-Marcos sentiment that matters; that your sets of candidates are the only deserving candidates. That opposing opinion cannot influence the electorate. We can see the deep-seated hatred towards the Marcos that affecting you as a supposed rational man and "intellectual" as much as you avoid it.

The defenders of Roxas and Robredo are no different. They also commit the same intellectual and moral mistakes in their crazed ad crazy quest to install their idols.

Now this is where it gets interesting. You start dropping names. First off, Roxas and Robredo…

Nearly six years into Daang Matuwid of high taxes, collapsing public services, selective justice, incompetence, presidential pork barrel, disaster mismanagement and others, why do they insist that this yellow scam be “continued and expanded” even further? Are they masochists and do they want the rest of us to be masochists, too?

Finally something to agree on; well, Aquino and Roxas supporters will sing a different tune. But to their credit, they will tend to focus more on the positives and achievements as well that is pretty much obvious, right?

Talk to any of the few intellectual supporters of Roxas and Robredo and they’d say two things: Brag about their candidates’ character, and demonize the others. Character is obviously not enough, especially “manufactured” character – BS Aquino himself is the best argument against this.

It looks like you had no luck in finding intellectual supporters of the Roxas-Robredo camp as you seem to generalize that all they do is brag about their candidate and demonize the others. Not because you haven't found any, or have not put an effort to actually engaging in discussions with one, doesn't justify your hasty generalization. Hmm, isn't this what has been considered the norm in Philippine politics? While I am not supporting this or this is acceptable. Makes you wonder if there is any presidential candidate who has not demonize their opponents and has not bragged about their character... (Ahem! Poe! Ahem!)

There’s a third thing they’ll say: Daang Matuwid is perfect, Aquino is the best, and his reign must be continued. Shades of Marcos, if you ask me. But the most important response to them is this: We deserve better because Daang Matuwid has been weighed and found wanting.

We deserved better and those who claim that they too can also continue a Daang Matuwid (Grace Poe) variant should also be questioned, right? For crying out loud, don't you think Grace should get her own slogan? Even the "Bagong Umaga" is not even hers, but her father's. We deserved better and an inexperienced candidate like Grace Poe is miles below what Miriam Defensor-Santiago has achieved; or do you deny and dismiss that?

The stragglers of the Binay-Honasan camp are in other parts of the same complex where the yellow trolls and the Miriam-Marcos diehards reside.

How about the Poe-Escodero? are they on a different playing field? Poe is into necropolitics as well and Chiz is to supporting Marcos as well, or have you forgotten that. Necropolitics, let's get back to that.

Like his defenders, Binay refuses to accept the fact that his brand has been sullied by his utter failure to sufficiently respond to the serious charges hurled against him and his family. He seems to live in a bubble, oblivious to his falling fortunes in the eyes of the public.

What we can commend of Binay and his supporters are their resilience. Political will? Hahahaha. Binay lives in a bubble just like the Marcos(es) with how they believe and deny the atrocities committed during the reign of the father.

We have been told that elections are the “ultimate expression of democratic will” in our system, but these tandems and their defenders represent the worst in Philippine traditional politics.

Hmm, only those tandems? How about those whom you didn't mention? Are they the shining beacon of hope that this country needs? Where is Trillanes, Cayetano, Escudero, or Poe? The supporters/defenders and the tandem you heavily antagonized represent the worst? And what of you who seem to take it up your high horse to proselytize this. Who will be your candidate that you'll endorse? You have only endorsed Neri Colminares, and so far I have no qualms on his candidacy. Isn't it better to lay your cards on the table so that we can easily criticize and scrutinize each other's candidates?

The defenders of these tandems are spreading poisonous ideas of cynicism, resignation, and defeat, aside from the gross misinformation and deception. They boggle and tire the senses so that we would give up the cause of change.

Cynicism? Resignation? Defeat? Seriously. As far as I am aware, I am a supporter of Miriam and I have made it clear that I will continue to support her amidst her past blunders (support for Arroyo and Estrada - "I lied" interview). You seem to be making a fallacious statement. That defenders and supporters are ALL doing those condescending allegations which have no rationality. So what kind of poisonous ideas of cynicism, resignation and defeat are you referring to OR are we here to simply pull ad hominem (s) up our fundaments and throw at those who has opposing views here?

But how do we manage the avalanche of political trash this election season?

Well, our barangays tell us to segregate our trash into “nabubulok” and “di nabubulok” and we could use the same concept to guide our way:

Well that is a good concept. Let's see what you have to say.

Both the Binay-Honasan and Roxas-Robredo tandems are obviously “nabubulok” in their corruption, deception, incompetence, cynical candidacies of convenience, necropolitics, and the blatant use of public funds and ill-gotten wealth.

Miriam-Marcos meanwhile are “di-nabubulok,” due to impunity and naked political accommodation.

Okay, a bit harsh but has a point. Hmm, necropolitics. I wonder who else is seemingly using that tactic that didn't make the list (Ahem! Poe! Ahem).

I am not surprised with your stand on Miriam and Marcos.

They, their ideas, and their defenders all ought to be sent to the political garbage dump for proper disposition.

Well for someone who is striving for unity, and has a general positive outlook on Philippine politics; that sure is some pretty bold condescending statement; a statement claiming your side as the only valid opinion. This reminds me of that over-privilege religious group that cripples the traffic with their every undertaking just because they can. But alas we are in a democratic system and not a totalitarian one where your group's voice is the only thing that mattered and you’ll “dispose” those who go against it.

The similarities end there, however.

These three tandems should embolden citizens to study, criticize, and condemn a system that maintains only fake political parties, dominated by political dynasties, and ruled by guns, goons, and gold. This is at the root of our frustrations and disappointments, and at the same time the lifeline of the worst traditional politicians and their defenders – the true bobotantes.

Only three? What of the other? What of Poe and Escudero? Or the independents like Trillanes and Cayetano? Shouldn't it far better if we ALL look at all these candidates? To look at them with a critical eye. What system maintains these fake political parties? What is a TRUE political party system to you? Condemn the system? Are you referring to the 1986 Philippine constitution, then? Then what do you propose? Are we simply shouting in a vacuum here or do you have a better alternative? Let's continue and we'll know what you have to offer.

We deserve a new, modern political system with genuine parties that hold caucuses, primaries, and conventions to openly select candidates and where citizens could actively participate, way ahead of Election Day. It is a system that puts platform and programs above personalities. This is what excites us and what we deserve as a proud people – the true saviors of our country.

I agree, we need a new political system. We had a taste of a totalitarian one and been "spoiled" and frustrated by a democratic system (and behind all them are strings pulled by a theocracy and oligarchy), it is probably time to try out other system. How about Parliamentary or Federalism, or a hybrid? Well, it could make a big difference if only the states men and women that will be voted this election will push for a much needed change; a charter change. But that can still work with the current democratic system, all it takes is the political will and numbers to amend or revise dated laws to give them a much needed update to cater to a more transparent and secular society; of change favoring debates and abolishing of political ads. It can happen if we place competent and progressive thinking lawmakers in office. .

This may not happen yet in the coming elections, but having such realizations would provide us a framework to make sense of the limited and elitist choices that we may soon have, expose and pit the warring dynasts against each other, and take concrete steps forward.

If so, then we need to put the right people in office. We can all start in putting people who have good platforms and not because of star power, necropolitics; or misplaced patriotism and nationalism. Concrete steps forward? Who has the political will and understanding for that? From where I am looking at right now, Miriam Defensor Santiago seems to be the best one; a game changer.

The latter may come in the form of a first people’s senator, and lots more patriotic partylist representatives – because those we could very possibly help win and introduce bold measures in Congress. There remain these openings for progressive change in an arena of dominated by political Frankensteins.

First people's senator? Who are you referring to? Pacquio? We have clashed ideas and I personally think Pacquiao's incompetence, poor performance in congress over his matches internationally, lack of focus, and dedication to lawmaking; makes him ineligible to even be considered to be voted as a Senator. We are not discounting that he has brought a good sense of pride to most Filipinos through boxing, but as a lawmaker? He miserably fails. How can a religious conservative become a progressive lawmaker? He is against such laws like the RH Law. But I digress; you are probably referring to new faces which I can back up. Not just the incompetent (in public service and lawmaking) poor performing (in track record) kind of Manny Pacquiao.

Political Frankenstein of whose creation? A frankenstein of what aspect? Are you making ad hominem reference again not backed up by rationality?

This early in the election season: Never give up quickly and never give in to the traditional politicians and their defenders – the real bobotantes. Don’t get mad, get even by taking a larger view and fight battles that we could win.

So this is how you define a REAL Bobotante. So a REAL or TRUE BOBOTANTE are the Filipino voting public who (1) gives up quickly (no longer casting their votes) and (2) gives in to traditional politician and their defenders. So define a traditional politician again? Is Grace Poe not a traditional politician with her recent blunders and necropolitics?

Well at least you are consistent with your cynicism, I mean condescending statement earlier with ~ those who audaciously defend Miriam and Marcos are the real “bobotantes.”

What I can say is this. What constitutes a Bobotante is someone who already pass judgment without even listening to the platforms and positions taken by a candidates. I initially support Miriam Defensor-Santiago because of some personal and rational biases, but if ever she makes a stand on issues that currently matter, then I can always choose another candidate with stronger political will and have better proposals. This is why debates are important.

Oh, I definitely agree on this one. This is why I am campaigning for Miriam Defensor-Santiago and not voting Grace Poe, Mar Roxas, or Jejomar Binay. I am also campaigning against Pacquiao and Sotto as they run for Senate; a bunch of religious fundamentalist conservatives who impose and force their belief system in legislating laws rather than passing progressive laws that will benefit the mass that lacks proper education.

In short: Don’t be cynical. Cynicism is the lifeblood of the system we hate and we hope to revolutionize soon.

Cynicism is an attitude or state of mind characterized by a general distrust of others' motives. Your stand on Miriam-Defensor Santiago, Bongbong Marcos, Mar Roxas, Len Robredo, Jejomar Binay, and Gringo Honasan are not cynicism? Then what do you call this?

I'll end this with a conversation we had about Pacquiao and how I expressed my strong criticism against him running. You gave me a "good optimistic" piece which obviously should now be applied to you on this post:

The Irony and Selective Bias of a Political Left Wing Member

How ironic and a bit hypocritical.
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What is AlDub and Why has ALDUB Trended on Twitter this 2015?

You just logged in on Twitter and saw a curious hashtag that has gained over more than 10 million tweets which included the keyword ALDUB and you might start to wonder What is AlDub and Why has ALDUB Trended on Twitter this 2015? People outside of its influence, today we'll answer that for you.

What is AlDub and Why has ALDUB Trended on Twitter this 2015

ALDUB is a combination of two names mainly AL and DUB. AL stands for Alden as in the Filipino celebrity (actor, singer, host) who goes by the screen name Alden Richards with a real name of Richard Reyes Faulkerson, Jr.. Meanwhile, DUB stands for Yaya Dub (directly translates to "Nanny Dub") a fictional character and persona created exclusively for a comedy-charitable segment called "Juan for All, All for Juan" on the Philippines longest running noontime show, Eat Bulaga!. Yaya Dub is played by an new rising television and online celebrity named Maine Mendoza with a real name of Nicomaine Dei Capili Mendoza.

Reasons Why has ALDUB Trended on Twitter this 2015

Maine Mendoza's Success in Her Dubsmash Video Series

Before becoming popular as Yaya Dub, Maine Mendoza first became popular with another technological fad called "Dubsmash". Dubsmash is an app in which people siyncs their lips and performance on a list of short audio files taken from movies, television, and music. Maine Mendoza's duubsmash video that she can now be deemed "Queen of DubSmashing in the Philippines". One can observe that Maine Mendoza is a naturally charming Filipina; a Filipina who is bold in making a fool of herself by making ridiculous faces. This is really nothing new (really) as this has been a formula of success of many comedians (in her case comedienne) and popular Youtubers. Her pretty face plus her boldness is what made her famous in dubsmashing and online. It was only then a matter of time before one of the two major rival Philippine television networks (ABS-CBN) grab a hold of her. In this case, GMA Network's Eat Bulaga won her over.

Maine Mendoza's doing a dubsmash of Kris Aquino in her official Youtube channel

The Power of Millennials and Social Network

Anything trends in social media as long as people interested in it keeps on talking about it. In ALDUB's case, it is all thanks to most Filipino Millennials (Generation Y) and even those in the older generation (Generation X Filipinos) who have now familiarized themselves with social media being allured by the charm of the on-screen television love team. Similarly, thanks to the "healthy" rivalry between GMA Network's Eat Bulaga! and ABS-CBN's It's Showtime, it seems that most fans have brought the rivalry online. Thus, fans from opposing end are tweeting (and at times hating) about AlDub and Pastillas Girl (It's Showtime's answer and imitation of AlDub). AlDub's phenomenal Philippine television and online success can now be traced on how well the the old and new media has united on this one. Eat Bulaga's creative team or social media team has embraced social media tapping in it's maximum potential... by uploading Eat Bulaga episode of the Kalye-Serye (Street Series) on Youtube and marketing it on various social media channels.

Eat Bulaga Kalyeserye Aldub trended on Twitter with more than 10 million tweets last september 2015

The social media power for Filipino Millenials was observed when the (hashtag) #ALDUBMostAwaitedDate trended on Twitter with more thatn 10 Million Tweets last September 19, 2015, Saturday, PH Time

ALDUB is on Eat Bulaga!

Eat Bulaga is the longest running noontime variety and game show in the Philippines that started from 1972 and still going strong as of the present (2015 as of the posting of this blog). On a relevant note, the noontime show has gained so much popularity that Indonesia has picked it up with Eat Bulaga! having its first overseas franchise with Eat Bulaga! Indonesia. ALDUB being on Eat Bulaga! greatly helped its popularity and in turn helped Eat Bulaga back to become more popular (worldwide) than it currently is. ALDUB has tapped the market of Eat Bulaga! and in returned receiving more viewership and attention. Eat Bulaga has struck gold with the AlDub phenomena.

ALDUB is on GMA Network Eat Bulaga - Reasons Why has ALDUB Trended on Twitter this 2015

Most Filipinos Love Rom-Coms

Most Filipinos loves an equal mix of comedy and romance which is probably why the romantic-comedy genre has became so successful and phenomenal in Philippine cinema in terms of box office; and television with viewership and tweets. The ALDUB is an on-screen love team which was developed when Yaya Dub's character was supposedly indifferent towards everyone around her and will just do her "dubsmash" gig only when her character calls for it. Maine broke character when the camera panned to Alden in one episode of All For Juan, Juan For All in and august 2015 episode and from then on, the love team was developed. In reality, AlDub is not that different from any showbiz love team that has become popular in recent memories, the only difference is that it has the power of the entire (GMA) network and its online counterpart to support it and so far it has worked for their favor (financially speaking that is with endorsements and advertisements; the lifeblood of television).

Reasons Why has ALDUB Trended on Twitter this 2015 - Most Filipinos Love Rom-Coms

GMA Network and News Coverage of ALDUB

Another factor on why ALDUB has become phenomenally successful in the Philippines which transcended to the "Twitterverse"is how aggressive the network covers the phenomenal Philippine noontime show on-screen love team of AlDub. ALDub is being mentioned and featured in showbiz segment and even by reputable news reporter/anchors even in non-showbz segment in GMA Network's morning news in "Unang Hirit", it's sister company (separate Philippine television network/channel) GMA News TV's noontime news program "Balitanghali", GMA Network's afternoon news program 24 Oras, and the late night news program "Saksi". The success has also spun 2 television advertisement which may now appear in other television networks.

ALDUB 1st Television Commercial in the Philippines - ALDUB's AlDub Ko To Mc Donald's Chicken Ala King TV Commercial

ALDUB 2nd Television Commercial in the Philippines - ALDUB's Talk N' Text TV Commercial

Probably one of the more head-scratching one as the network has seemingly focused all their media machinery in promoting and endorsing the noontime show's on-screen pair. Guess it was expected of any traditional television media and somehow confirms the what the thinking Filipinos perception of the mass media.

The ALDub on-screen love team is here to stay whether Filipinos like it or not. AlDub will still trend just like any video game, television, of movie franchise; if it works, it will be milked until the cow is no longer capable of being milked. There is really no sense in fighting over it amongst fans or no reason in hating it if you are not into it. It is what it is. Not long ago we have a similar fad in the form of Boy Pick-Up where alMOST everyone seems to make pointless pick-up lines and thought that Boy Pick-Up was funny but it eventually died a natural death; this may very well happen to the AlDub just like Guy and Pip, Vilma and Bobot, Angelu and Bobby, Judy anne and Wowie, Leah and Aga, Regine and Ariel, Richard and Dawn, and many on-screen pairs that came before it. Then we'll have a newer generation of on-screen couple replacing AlDub that will bring "kilig" to many Filipino who prefer escapism than facing the harsh realities brought by poverty, government, justice system, war, and politics.
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