Maine and authenticity



THERE were some interesting results in my firm’s online poll, Pahayag on Filipino Millennials. The online panel respondents were provided by Singapore-based Lightspeed Research. The respondents were asked to answer a structured questionnaire online. The panel sample was drawn from a panelist base that is in proportion to the general population of the Philippines. For the specific criteria, the sample was pulled based on filters set and invitations were distributed on a random basis in urban areas nationwide. The panel respondents were screened/filtered and possess the following characteristics: registered voters, aged 18-36 years old (millennials), active online (has an email account, sends and receives email), has at least one social media account and follows it everyday or at least twice a week, reads or researches online.

There were other interesting results in the online poll. More millennials think that it is a bad thing that more people continue to work beyond age 65 years old. In terms of their attitude towards technology, about half of respondents think that technology makes people closer but more than a third recognize that it also makes people isolated. A third of respondents say technology allows for efficient use of time but a higher percentage also recognizes that technology makes people waste too much time. They also say that technology allows them to multitask, in fact, the term super-taskers was coined for this generation.

In terms of politics, majority of the registered voter millennials see themselves as progressives. However, about half see themselves leaning more to the right in politics. On political views and social issues, mixed reactions were obtained from respondents in terms of their political and social views. None of them claim that they became totally liberal. When it comes to EJK, about half of the millennial respondents are aware that there is EJK in the Revised Penal Code (RPC). There is no EJK in the RPC and that makes their knowledge on the issue superficial, driven by the kind of angling the issue got in the media. In general, about 6 in 10 millennial registered voters think that the EJK problem is serious/critical. However, a very small portion of respondents in Mindanao perceived it as serious. There are so many aha! moments giving one a sense that with the self-image of Filipino millennials, the future is indeed bright for the country. This generation does not see money as the holy grail. Would our future be less of greed?

The main takeaway there and in almost all polls is that Mindanao is like a sword of Damocles over PRRD. He is politically buoyant because of Mindanao. It gives him the kick in terms of trends but it also means high expectations. PRRD has to deliver in Mindanao so that support won’t dissipate. Mindanao supports Mindanaoans and they do not waver unlike support bases of former presidents who, by around this time, the trajectory would have been reversed.

Then I came across television star Maine Mendoza’s open letter to her fans. Maine Mendoza of “AlDub” and “Kalyeserye” fame wrote a rather long, heart-wrenching letter talking about “living in a box.” She was very authentic in describing her joys and happiness in the past two years and the pain of being a popular star. The rawness of her letter moves one as she points out, “hindi ko kinailangang magpanggap para mahalin nyo. At nagpapasalamat ako dahil tinanggap at minahal nyo kung sino at ano ako bilang tao.”

At the height of her success where “Kalyeserye” became a phenomenon, the first TV/online show hosted by Eat Bulaga hitting millions in a live telecast, I am surprised that she would reach out to her fans this way. Were expectations too high for her to even claim publicly that there is nothing going on between her and Alden and that they were just a love team? “And for all the love and effort you have given us, you deserve to know the truth that at this very moment Alden and I are just friends. We are a love team.”

We have seen famous local stars go their way and promote what can be. If the fans want the dream, they gave in, until reality sets in. We have seen famous love teams, Guy and Pip, Vi and Bobot, and so on, ending up with different life partners. Even the Guy-Boyet team had a different ending. But here is Maine Mendoza saying, “I was never into money and fame. All I want in this life is to be free and happy. And I am certain that no amount of fame and money can ever give me genuine happiness.” The star, who became an overnight success because of her candor and authenticity, is redefining the showbiz industry. Would the gods allow her or would she end up tagged as a rebel? An ungrateful child? Or would her fans see her like how they saw her from the very beginning? “Taong tao kaya nga minahal?”

I remember what poet E.E.Cummings wrote: “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” And in the words of Maine Mendoza, “I got myself, I will catch myself, and I will pick myself up.” Thank you for making as believe that what we saw in you remains to this day. If you love Maine, you will understand her. Kasama ako sa sampu, Maine!


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