It all started with a tweet, but NO I say; it all started when one brave professional young artist dared to speak out about a very sensitive fact that could’ve probably ended some of his good relationship with friends in the industry.
I hope not.
Rhap Salazar’s tweet became very controversial mainly because of social media and how some netizens reacted to it. It clearly stated his frustration on what he is seeing happening on TV and how non-singers are being patronized simply because they ‘sell’ more than real talents. It’s an unfortunate circumstance in our country today specifically in the way we see and value entertainment. In so many ways, Rhap’s tweet was taken out of context by others who contributed to the discussion, but regardless of however it was taken; there was an ounce of truth that surfaced and was predominantly highlighted.
“HINDI NATIN ALAM PAHALAGAHAN AT BIGYAN NG PANSIN ANG TOTOONG TALENTO!”
(We don’t know how to give ideal support and importance on real talent.)
There were a lot of tweets that followed after that. Some agreed with Rhap and some disagreed, but the more notable ones, I’m happy to share, came from his fellow artists that backed him up.
As Filipinos, whether we like to accept it or not, we are mostly drawn by beautiful things we see and our definition of beauty doesn’t go beyond the physical aspect anymore most of the time. We have grown to appreciate only physical appearances; doll faces, perfectly symmetrical features, hot juicy bodies, and even (sad to say) the obvious flaws (ugliness) a person has in his or her looks that we find entertaining. We disregard talent and when I say disregard, I mean to say that we choose not to look beyond anymore as long as we find it ‘entertaining enough’. We have learned to support novelty over quality or as Lea Salonga would economically state it: The Law of Supply and Demand
We empower companies to toy around with our taste and manipulate us by using our weaknesses against us. We are not being progressive, lest, we are held back. This manifestation does not only pertain to the way we see entertainment, but how we are in general; how we are as whole proudly shoving our nation’s pride to the world. (Though I don’t exactly know until now what we are even consistently proud of.)
“Kasi Rhap alam mo, even the best artists, even the most brilliant singers have to lip sync depending on the circumstance. It’s technical issue sometimes, mikropono ba ito, venue ba ito, sometimes it’s even a health issue. Hindi makakakanta but the artist is forced to be in a certain event. It’s not evil. It’s not bad. It’s not treachery. Hindi pandaraya ang pag lip-sync. Kailangan ito sa ilang pagkakataon.”
“Doon naman sa hate, hindi ko alam kung ito’y strong feeling of disgust, kinamumuhian ba talaga niya o ito’y pa-witty ba na hate, like I hate cola… Kung hate na totoo ito, I want to remind Rhap that if you have the freedom to hate artists who lip sync, you also have the freedom not to watch them, switch off, ‘wag mong panoorin walang pumipilit sa ’yo.“
“Instead of hating, instead of disliking these non-singers who make it as singers, panoorin mo sila. Discover what makes them tick. I mean, review your brand essence, your equity, ano ba ang ginagawa nilang tama na hindi mo ginagawa? Because with your enormous talent Rhap, I am sure you have a place under the sun. That’s how you make something negative positive, isang opinyon ng maliit na manager na katulad ko.”
Coming from a very respected personality from the showbiz industry; I believe Tito Boy isn’t in the right place at all to PREACH and make Rhap sound like the bad guy. As a matter of fact, everyone was expecting a different statement from him; at least in Rhap’s defense. Being an influential figure in the shaping of Philippine entertainment and being a “maliit na manager” as he calls himself, it would’ve been more comforting to hear words of encouragement from him more than his unsolicited comments directed towards the young artist’s opinion.
We understand so well that lip-synching is required from time to time depending on the circumstances, but obviously, that wasn’t Rhap’s whole point at all as supported by his succeeding tweet, “Yung iba nagkaka-album pa.”
Did Tito Boy fail to read between the lines this time? Why did he simply dwell on the lip synching issue and made a big fuzz about it? Did his intelligence fail him this time ’round? Why didn’t he see the beauty in the courageous statement set off by this young artist that could’ve been an eye opener to us all on how we see and value entertainment? Why didn’t he take the opportunity to move us all forward and take us at least a step further in honing our own talents so that we can really be proud all the way through? Why?
I have so many questions in my mind that eventually turned to hate. Yes, HATE! It’s very frustrating to hear these words come from someone who has the authority to make a big difference. I am not saying that Tito Boy’s statements are false, but it is definitely not what you would expect from an authority like him.
Yes indeed that at the end of the day what is important is talent that sells, but how can a talent even be salable if it won’t get a chance to be polished along the way because the artist lacks appearance or good looks? We are a struggling and striving nation simply because we choose what is obvious and easy to see rather than focus on growing and developing potentials and skills of our fellow kababayans. (If you’ll notice, that’s the main reason why we have a so-called “artistang nalalaos” in our country compared to the ones in Hollywood that does not tarnish over time not unless they really become problematic along the way.)
“Well, I think in the recent past kasi, if you see kung ano yung pinagdadaanan talaga ng mga singers, nakakaawa rin. Talagang marunong kumanta, pero hindi masyadong napapansin dahil nabibigyan talaga ng priority, yung visually nakikita.
“I think what Rhap was mentioning, I don’t think he was pointing to anyone in particularly but siguro, napansin lang niya na marami talagang ganun. And the comment kasi, hindi lang lumalabas online but nanggagaling din sa mga ibang… yun nga, yung mga hindi marunong kumanta na, ‘Ba’t ako ang pinili? Ba’t kami? Siguro narinig na niya a number of times.”
With that said, I am very disappointed with the things I saw recently online and on TV. I don’t think what transpired was a healthy discussion at all, but rather a patching up of the wound that was opened by a simple tweet coming from a true and courageous artist.
I am still keeping my hopes up however. I am not losing faith in the future of entertainment here in the Philippines. In one way or another, it’s beginning to make me smile that the series of events prove to be eye opening to everyone. There is always hope. Let’s make it a habit to be progressive in the things we say and do. After all, we are the reason why artists’ exist. We are their audience. We are their guests and the only sure way to make them better is to put a little pressure on their shoulders. Let us assure them that we are here ready to support regardless of looks because it is only in that way that we will truly have beautiful works of art sprouting from every corner of our motherland.
Mabuhay ang sining! Mabuhay ang kulturang Pilipino!
IKAW NA TITO BOY!