An Abundance Of American Media May Also Contribute To Filipino Anti-Intellectualism

Do you ever bother to watch most of Philippine TV these days? For me I don't even bother. There's hardly anything good or intellectual to watch. Aside from those stupid locally produced telebasuras day in and day out -- it seems to be that the only alternative we have these days aside from a few Korean TV series that will make you think through the plot is American entertainment. While this isn't my call for Filipinos to become anti-American like the members of Bobo Muna, Akbobo and other activist groups but I want to raise the issue about an extreme abundance of American shows. While I do support American stuff in some way but like every culture I'm selective. I like Chinese aesthetics but the dog eaters in Yulin are disgusting filth. I like Filipino aesthetics but the practice of late night karaoke has to stop. In short, for the nth time I don't favor any nationality.

A lot of American TV shows glorify anti-intellectualism to the max. While some American shows don't do but a I feel a lot of them do. One may consider stupid shows like Family Guy. A lot of American shows these days seem to border on mediocre acting, people laugh at what's not funny, repetitive plots that never get anywhere, their love for annoying characters and overly simplistic plots which also characterize Filipino telebasuras. What I'm afraid of is that American superiority mentality may also be a reason to why a lot of Filipino media sucks. I guess those telebasura loving pseudo-nationalists would get mad at the thought that their telebasuras suck because the Filipino tendency to emulate America for the worse.

I remembered growing up in the 90s on mostly American shows which were usually shown on ABiaS-CBN, GMA-7 and TV5 while it was still ABC-5. I think most of them are plainly anti-intellectual. It seems to be the rule of American cartoons and children's shows back then that certain characters aren't allowed to die and that deaths are just simply written off as simply out for healing (and never seen again). The networks tend to favor the American version of Japanese shows over the Japanese shows. I don't blame Power Rangers (even if I'm not a fan of the franchise) or Haim Saban himself (because Toei and Saban both run the franchise together) to why Super Sentai or most of the Japanese originals aren't showing anymore in the Philippines. Instead, I blame the mentality where people think that it's the best because it's American. An example to raise might be I'll ask someone to why he or she thinks Power Rangers is better than Super Sentai. The answer can be as ridiculous as because it's American. What kind of an answer is that?!

Some Filipinos may also tend to think that aside from because it's locally produced then it must be good (for the ultranationalists), you may also get, "Because it's American then it must be good." It's just as stupid as saying something is good without defining it like if I say it's good because it's old school or new school without providing any valid defense. Then they immediately develop a bias for the imported media from their neighboring Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea. While I'm glad that some Japanese, Taiwanese and South Korean films do get shown in the cinema but it's very rare. Most of the time, the alternatives are just between a Filipino film and an American film. The problem isn't about Filipino films or American films but that even if it's bad, they still show it for the sake of either "nationalism" or "because Americans liberated us".

For those whiny crybabies who say, "No to Japanese media because of the Japanese invasion." Please, the Empire of Japan has long been dead and the Philippines is now an important ally of Japan. It's just like the new generation who are taught and bred to be martial law crybabies because their parents were martial law crybabies. What's funnier is that some of those who are bred to be crybabies have parents who weren't even victims or direct victims of martial law. Plus, with the whole excuse of invasion did we ever forget the Philippine-American war happened before Philippine-American friendship day was ever established? Based on the logic that Japan invaded the Philippines last World War 2 then Filipinos must also boycott America because it also had a conflict against it. I guess they can't answer why they still overrate American culture in spite of the Filipino-American war. Maybe, some of them don't even want to watch anything spoken in Chinese because of the recent China vs. Philippines dispute even if a lot of people from Hong Kong and Taiwan are both clearly against what China is doing.

What I can say is don't be anti-American but don't be somebody who overrates American culture. It's okay to enjoy American-made stuff but don't think that everything American is good. This is also no call to be an ultranationalist or somebody who favors other cultures blindly. Instead, this is just a call for check and balance of cultural immersion. Besides, the Philippines can learn how to be better also from its neighboring countries like Singapore and Taiwan and not just America.


  1. Shouldn't Philippines learn from North Korea because NoKor's TV media is pure propaganda of gov't and state.


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