Y-Speak: Discrimination in the Philippines

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THE Philippine society is full of discrimination. Crazy as it may seem but it is very rampant that it becomes a hobby for other people. People discriminate without even realizing that they are committing a serious mistake. What’s sad about this prejudicial treatment is that it exists everywhere and can happen anytime.

It may be at school, in a workplace, or even at one’s home. What’s even sadder is that, it is being disregarded by a lot of people and somehow treated as if it is not an alarming issue—that is why discrimination doesn’t stop. A lot of people are becoming a victim of this treatment, the same thing with people who commits this action.

Discrimination doesn’t only happen in a place where we stand; it also exists in different forms of media. Facebook and Twitter are just some of the media platforms where discrimination exists.

One would post about a thing that will somehow contradict other people’s beliefs and instead of attacking his or her claim; some people would attack the person himself or herself. They would make fun of the person’s physical appearance and throw offensive words that may affect him or her personally.

Another form of media where discrimination happens is the television. Some TV shows exhibit discrimination especially in the Philippine context. Gandang Gabi Vice and It’s Show Time are both variety shows hosted by the famous comedian Vice Ganda. He is indeed a funny person that would switch your mood from 0-100. However, there are times where he’s exceeded his limitations as a comedian.

He often makes fun of a person’s physical appearance which is inappropriate. Editors of such TV shows must cut scenes which might be offensive, but they chose to include it because audience just laughed without realizing that what the comedian did was already discrimination.

Another TV show is Banana Sundae. An episode on May 5, 2019 showed a scene reenacting the Binay siblings’ church fight. Three of their cast showed up as Abby Binay, Junjun Binay, and Jejomar Binay. For some reason, the comedians used cosmetics to darken their skin which attracted controversy.

The comedians used blackface which is an offensive act to black people. There’s an entire article regarding why blackface is offensive but to give you gist of it, white actors use blackface before to depict plantation slaves and blackface was used by some as Halloween make up.

Basically, blackface was used to mock and ridicule other people and if you’re going to think of it, it is not really something that one must do. Despite the controversy, the cast of Banana Sundae didn’t say a word for the mistake they have committed. Gandang Gabi Vice, It’s Show Time and Banana Sundae are just some of the TV shows that publicly displayed discrimination.

Generally, Philippine television has been very problematic through the years. Actresses in dramas unnecessarily change the way they talk and mock Bisaya people to depict maids. This act has been done multiple times in TV shows.

Every maid in every drama speaks Bisaya accent which is very discriminating. Bisaya people are more than just maids. The said profession shouldn’t be discriminated either but the issue here is that Bisaya people are being stereotyped as servants.

People with disabilities (PWD) such as handicapped are depicted as the weak ones in a drama. PWDs might have limitations in their activities, but they are also capable of doing most of the things that a fully capable person does.

Another thing is colorism. In dramas, they darken the skin of an actor to depict a poor person. They also use the same approach when it comes to “bullying” scenes. The amount of discrimination in every show is very alarming; however, it is being ignored by most of the viewers since it is used as a form of entertainment.

In the media context, it is very important that public figures know the consequences of doing such act. Everything that public figures say is being heard by the whole nation or even the world. They serve as a role model especially to the young generation. Therefore, being careful with what they’re saying is a must for people might adapt their actions. People must know that discrimination can lead to something worse if tolerated. Lesser discrimination would lead to more united and less toxic society. (Kay P. Necesito, Ateneo de Davao University)


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