IT’s not just the tabloids or the tv networks that are avidly reporting blow by blow the quarrels and antics of the Barretto family and the Barretto trio of sisters and their brood.
The mainstream press, including this paper, have been reporting this virtual family nervous breakdown with much interest. No day passes in which the story does not find its way into the papers. If one sibling is fortunate to get her side reported by one paper, you can be sure another sibling will have her side depicted in another paper.
Since there is little chance that the Barretto saga will disappear from view anytime soon, or that the family will declare a policy of boycotting or avoiding the media, we believe it is time that we in the Times explain why their story and travails deserve a place in the media, other than to boost audience interest and circulation.
From a more serious point of view, as has been cited to us by readers, the Barretto saga feeds two troubling possibilities:
First, foreign observers could mistake the Barrettos as typical of the Filipino family and its principal values and traditions. Most Filipinos will immediately reject this as false, because these people do not reflect what most Filipinos value in their families and their ties with one another.
Second, because the Barretto sisters are associated with entertainment and the popular culture as onetime performers, young Filipino women might take them as role models for their own life choices or careers.
It will not be unfair to the family if we say that the Barrettos do not exemplify a typical Filipino family and its values and traditions. Regardless of income or social class, unless they are divided by circumstantial conflicts, members of Filipino families are loving and loyal to one another, and their family ties are generally strong. They prize their good name, their ancestry and their heritage.
The family, for most Filipinos, is the rock of ages.
So, in great and powerful ways, the loudness and bitter quarrels of the Barrettos are alien to our culture.
The Barretto sisters, despite their good looks, are not people to emulate. None of them seems to have had a successful career that shows achievement. They are notable chiefly for their attachment to men of power and wealth, and the children they sired by them.
We point all this out in order to suggest softly to the sisters and their children that it is surely time to cool it. No one will gain from prolonging this quarrel ad aeternam. It will only poison your lives and your name some more.
With this, we also suggest to all media and the public that we should now quietly turn our attention to another scandal or social sensation. Let us allow the Barrettos to have their privacy. Let each sister turn to her camp followers for moral support
There is a popular saying that people should not wash their dirty linen in public because of what they might betray. Strangely, the Barrettos have gone as far as washing their ugly thoughts publicly.