Speculation is rife that the contestants in the reality show The Biggest Loser drink lots of fluids before the official weigh-in. This is so that they will weigh a lot heavier in the beginning of the show and consequently appear to have lost a lot of kilos dramatically at the succeeding or final weigh-in. In a show that manages to win audiences based on exaggeration and sensationalism, I wouldn’t be surprised if the contestants pull all the tricks in the book just to win the battle against the bulge in front of a national audience. It would certainly do the trick as long as you can hold it in. But like in any other reality show, only people who are desperate for their fifteen minutes of fame would want to participate in a show that cheap. You just know these people have very little shame.
Philippine President, Noynoy Aquino would be a good contestant of The Biggest Loser or any of the reality shows on offer because he is very good at exaggeration and sensationalism. As predicted, the President’s recently concluded first State of the Nation Address (SONA) succeeded at lowering people’s expectations by convincing them that he does not have much left to work with because of the budget deficit left by the previous administration.
As I predicted in my previous article, P.Noy’s SONA would be devoted so much to witch hunting rather than on real solutions. P.Noy’s speech wasn’t even easy on the ears because he delivered it in such an angry manner. He was like someone who was only reading it for the very first time. It was delivered in the manner like any cheap television production trying to pull a cheap stunt that only vacuous audiences can appreciate. And yes, there are currently millions of vacuous audiences who buy into P.Noy’s style. One can be forgiven for thinking P.Noy had some drama coaches from his equally overly dramatic sister, the actress, Kris Aquino. Only someone as desperate and dense would try to trick Filipinos the way P.Noy did in his speech. But unfortunately, with the help of his media friends, P.Noy seems to succeed in fooling majority of the Filipino electorate.
He said in his speech that “For a long time, our country lost its way in the crooked path” but I really wished that he could’ve given a specific date when the country started losing its way in the crooked path because it certainly didn’t start during former President Gloria Arroyo’s term; and even if it started during GMA’s term (which is impossible), wasn’t P.Noy already a public servant by then (since 1998, to be exact)? Just in case P.Noy or anybody else who bought into his “crooked path” intro forgot, I would like to remind everyone that P.Noy was a Congressman of the second district of Tarlac from 1998 to 2004.
He then served as senator from 2007 to 2009. But P.Noy is making it sound like he didn’t have any idea how his own colleagues were mishandling their funds or not doing their jobs. He now gives the impression that there was nothing he could have done about it. But we all know that he could have done more as a public servant. The billion dollar question is: Why didn’t P.Noy say or do anything while he was a Congressman or while he was still in the Senate to guide the country into “the straight path?”
P.Noy mentioned that “The reality was hidden from our people, who seem to have been deliberately obfuscated on the real state.” Again, why wasn’t he more proactive in finding out the real reason the country is poor when he was a Congressman and when he was in the Senate? Could it be that he didn’t care? Could it be that he lived such a sheltered existence prior to the death of his mother? That is the only explanation I can think of because he acts so shocked and awed now at the state in which the country is in despite the very visible squatters who keep multiplying along the path of his daily commute to work. Indeed, P.Noy has very little shame in putting all the blame on Representative Arroyo. If P.Noy is really genuine about having an open book, he will do his best to help pass the freedom of information act.
In his speech, P.Noy lambasted the employees and board of trustees of MWSS for their salaries and benefits just because a few days before his SONA, there was a water crises. I find this part of his speech unprofessional. Why would he accuse them of wrong doing even before any investigations were underway? Wouldn’t his accusations affect the morale of the employees of MWSS? He is certainly doing a trial-by-media here. He embarrassed them and made them look “guilty” in the eyes of the electorate without going through the proper procedure. P.Noy was shifting the responsibility for the recent water crises to others this early on. He is responsible now for everything. The least he could do is study the problem carefully and look for a solution into the water crises like the possibility of using recycled water or desalination plants. Why would P.Noy concentrate on the salary and bonuses of the workers and board members of MWSS when it is obvious that the problem is bigger than that?
P.Noy spoke about the anomalies done by the NFA. He claims that in 2004 and 2007 (years that he was already a public servant), the government bought more rice than what was needed. Again, P.Noy did not analyse the problem very well. Obviously, since there was a shortage of rice, the offense here is not the oversupply of rice but a failure in the distribution infrastructure. Regarding the rotting supply of rice in the warehouse, P.Noy should know that you can’t just give away rice to the public for the simple reason that if you flood the market with free rice, the market will crash. This is the same principle why food chains like McDonalds or KFC cannot just give away the food they don’t sell at the end of the day. If he had only listened in his Economics 101 class, he wouldn’t be talking out of his behind. A consultation with a real economist before the SONA would have sufficed if he had trouble comprehending the reason behind the situation.
P.Noy spoke about the different infrastructure projects of the previous administration and questioned why they entered into so many projects and how some were shelved in favor of another. This is well and good but isn’t what he is saying just part of his job now? We already know that he does not plan to steal. That is old news to everyone. But eradicating corruption is not enough to put food on everyone’s table. And it is funny how he questions the people who he considers “midnight appointees”, making these people look like they had already done something wrong by asking them to resign immediately “if they have any shame left.”
P.Noy boasted about being in talks with some private business concerns that are interested in partnering with the government in providing infrastructure for the public. According to P.Noy, “There are some who have already shown interest and want to build an expressway from Manila that will pass through Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, until the end of Cagayan Valley, without the government having to spend a single peso.” Wow! The government will not spend a single peso! Who are they and what’s in it for them? Is it a relative or a friend who wants to help out P.Noy to smell good to the public? Good for him but I hope that the deal will be open for everyone to scrutinize. Besides, there is nothing sensational about such deals to grandstand about. Build-operate-and-trasfer (BOT) schemes have been around for some time now.
If there is one thing that I appreciate from the drama-filled speech is that P.Noy is advocating the passing of the Whistlebower Bill and the implementation of a Witness Protection Program to “eradicate the prevalent culture of fear and silence that has hounded our system”. I will not question his motives even though he still has GMA in mind because I really think the country needs this for the reason that the questionable election result last May 2010 would have been resolved easily if the bill already existed.
I sincerely wish P.Noy meant it when he said that “It is every Filipino’s duty to closely watch the leaders that you have elected.” At least we now have his blessing here to continue criticizing him. And I really wish he could follow his advise “to take a step towards participation rather than fault-finding” in the future because his entire SONA is pure “fault-finding” directed against the previous administration.
P.Noy would be a good contestant at any reality television show. He is good at exaggerating, sensationalism and not to mention very good at contradicting himself too. The guy has no shame and never ceases to disappoint his critics. Unfortunately, it is the Filipinos, especially the poor who are going to be “The Biggest Losers” in his show.