‘Kalyeserye’ and the face of poverty



AS the producer of Eat Bulaga aired on GMA7, Television and Productions Exponents Inc. (TAPE) may not know that the show’s Kalyeserye is sending us a political message. While loyal viewers are kept glued to TV sets to watch every episode for laughter, they don’t, perhaps, see anything political in it.

Sad to say, I have a different opinion of Eat Bulaga’s Kalyeserye. I saw in it a vivid portrayal of the face of poverty. Whenever I watched it, I wondered why many families are unable to get three meals a day.

Meanwhile, corrupt, dirty politicians gain votes on empty promises and then feast on other people’s money.

Such is the irony of life.

Kalyeserye, in fact, is a true-to-life depiction of the living condition of the poor. In some episodes, it reflects the worry of the poor where to get the money for their everyday meals. Watching it may not improve at all their life; but it entertains them.

I happened to be at home when Kalyeserye showed the “jeepney family”. I felt the pain of seeing them, particularly the children, live uncomfortably inside a dilapidated jeep that was sandwiched between rows of small houses. Did they not benefit from the much-touted 6-point-something economic growth of this country?

Of course, they did not. The reason is, in the first place, they were never intended to be among the beneficiaries of an improving economy. Whatever the economic growth, it does not trickle down to the poor. The growth is only good for press releases that make an administration good look and thrive on.

What growth?
A six percent or even a seven percent economic growth is exclusive to big business. For instance, the companies listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange report their quarterly financials. If we want to know who are the beneficiaries of a growing economy, we only need to read the news.

“The combined net income of companies listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange rose to P158.28 billion during the first quarter of 2015, up 13.9 percent from P138.96 billion in the same period last year, driven by significant profit gains in the property and services sectors.”

I lifted the above quotes on the financial performance of listed companies from GMA 7 posting on GMA News online.

The news told us about the profitability of big business. It provided us with glowing numbers that we can appreciate only if we have money on stocks that made more money during the quarter under review.

Profits for owners
Who benefits most from the profits of listed companies? Not, definitely, the holders of 10-percent of listed common shares, but only the majority owners. Officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission do not tell us this. They do not strictly monitor it to see if listed companies comply with SEC rule.

Besides, the 10 percent of the outstanding common shares that listed companies offered to the public are not bought by the poor among the country’s more than 100 million population. They were bought by the middle if not upper class of society. They have the money to buy and make more money. They can even afford to lose it all on the stock market.

Back to Kalyeserye. Although I don’t know how long it would last, I am certain of one thing: It is here to stay because it entertains us. What can TAPE people be cooking to duplicate the success of its Kalyeserye and, in the process make more money?

TAPE’s Kalyeserye makes us learn more about the poor communities around us. It may have scored profits from it but ask yourself how it will continue to entertain us without making it too monotonous for the show’s avid viewers to continue watching. Next piece: Kalyeserye’s cast of characters.



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  1. I do agree w/ your view regarding Eat Bulaga’s Juan for all, all for Juan. It highlights the plight of most Filipinos; POVERTY. It gives us the chance to see the life of Filipinos living below poverty line yet it also gives us the chance to help them through referrals to government agencies. Advice were given to them as well as direct referral to Senator Tito Sotto. Behind the scenes, I am sure more is being done. I am an avid fan of Eat Bulaga. It is my cure for homesickness. In my opinion, the format need not be changed simply because every episode represent the life of common tao & it is a way to empathize to our less fortunate kababayan whilst giving us a good laugh.

    • Duediligencer on

      Thanks for the correction. When I watched Eat Bulaga, I always associate Kalyesere to the show. and Juan for all and all for Juan as the main part of Eat Bulaga and Kalyeserye as a subsegment. Thaank you for reading The Manila Times.

    • Duediligencer on

      Thanks for the correction. When I watch Eat Bulaga, I always associate Kalyesere to the show. and Juan for all and all for Juan as the main part of Eat Bulaga and Kalyeserye as a subsegment. Thaank you for reading The Manila Times.