While riding the EDSA MRT, I happened to be shocked by the Guadalupe bridge billboard of “Willing Willie,” where the infamous host Willie Revillame poses with a troupe of dancing girls flocked around him like the slave girls of a pharaoh. This is obviously common fare in this country, but for me, it represented how terribly vacuous and meaningless our local media and even our culture have become.
Now what’s the problem with this?
A Filipino OFW maid’s employer who saw Wowowee on the Filipino Channel immediately banned watching it in his house, because he did not want his daughter to see the sexy dancing girls in the background.
Why, what’s wrong with your daughter seeing this?
One daughter of another family back here, who was dancing along as she watched the show, said, “when I grow up, I want to be a dancer there.”
This is a bad goal. Why? Once she gets to know the facts, if she has a sense of decency, she will avoid that job. Some of the dancers are also reportedly involved in what is called PR – basically, prostitution gigs. And as if that TV dancing job is glamorous. It’s actually in bad taste.
If your excuse is that other countries have similar shows, note that they tend to be shown in places and times that children don’t normally have access to. You don’t see sexy dancing girls every time on American Idol or other “general patronage shows.” They are in late night or pay-per-view adult channels. Thus it is another great hypocrisy to call these Wowowee-type shows with the sexy dancing girls “entertainment for the whole family,” as some of them advertise.
Not only this. Remember when Adam Carolla talked about sex tours? Do you get insulted thinking that the Filipina is seen as nothing than a sex toy abroad? Go beyond Ermita or Cubao. Go to Singapore; the red-light district has lots of Filipinas! Go to Italy or any other red-light district in Europe; Filipinas are sure to be there. We know what Japayukis and Brunei beauties are. And when you see the Wowowee girls or other sexy dancing girls, they strengthen affirmation of the “sex tours.” Carolla wasn’t inventing things.
That’s one reason it’s better for the OFW maid to stop watching Wowowee. Shows like these give the impression to people of other cultures that our culture accepts kalaswaan (lewdness or indecency) in the open as a normal thing. And the clincher… this happens in a country that prides itself on being predominantly Catholic.
The existence of the dancing girls on TV is one of the lowest points of our culture. It is a symptom of our moral depravity. Yet these things exist also because of our economic as well as cultural poverty. It shows how many girls are so deprived of opportunities for decent jobs that they see no other way than to use their bodies to gain money to eat. Hence, we have “prosti nurseries” like Bagong Silang and other poor, run-down areas of the country. While I do understand that being dancing girls is a job, they still deserve better than this.
And yet another reason is that our local media protects it; it’s part of their source of income. But someone has to make an outcry against the local media companies that allow this demeaning content. Yet there’s another bit of hypocrisy here: how could we have a church that is so against the RH Bill, but doesn’t seem to raise a loud enough hoot against these shows? Are they getting shut up by the “donations” of these networks?
And another issue is… even if these are on the air, why don’t the complaints from those who are vocal see much exposure? Well, the local media controls mass information dissemination. But perhaps our culture has grown to accept it. After all, the shows wouldn’t air if there were no audience who allows these things.
I for one boycott these kinds of shows. Of course, there are a lot of other things that make them not worth watching. Now some Filipinos would call a “Wowowee ban” or “Willing Willie boycott” oppression or insult to their country. Is it? Why call something Filipino when it is clearly something that our culture also calls “malaswa”?
There are many ways to address this, such as opening the economy to allow more decent job opportunities for women or calling for the religious organizations to open up more loudly against it. But another suggestion is to vote with your remote: if you parents don’t want your kids to watch it, don’t watch it yourself.