While reading this article, please imagine the fast speed sequence used in existential movies in which the character remains motionless while the people around him or her are moving fast. This would enhance the excitement and feel of this article about current Filipino trends that will be able to defend through the tests of time and the progression of our very own identity and culture. Hashtag let’s get it on.
Last month, GMA News TV released its second original series Titser, a ten-episode drama series directed by Alvin Yapan. Yes, the print is not deceiving you. Titser only has ten episodes and it has been receiving countless praises from viewers, critics and media practitioners alike. Titser is a subtle and creative representation of the current alarming state of Philippine schools like the lack of books and literate teachers. Titser is about best friends, Michelle (Lovi Poe) and Rosa (Mara Lopez), their high school’s valedictorian and salutatorian both aspiring to be teachers despite the financial limitations of their schools and families.
Miniseries are not really new in Philippine television. Shows such as Bayan Ko, Hongkong Flight 143 and Volta have been broadcasted before with less than 10 episodes, and they were hits.
The future of typical teleseryes depends on its ratings and viewer reactions. If the show proves to be a fan-favorite, it will probably last for two years and a minimum of a hundred episodes. If the show is a flop, it will be done by next month, or worse, next week. But for the mini-series approach, having a premeditated number of episodes and shoot dates, more control will be given to the creative process. It is the “Less is more” philosophy that is materialized in Philippine television, and this might just save and change the celebrity-infested and gooey television industry we have right now.
Compared to the typical soap operas that broadcast a minimum of 100 episodes, a writer and director can infuse more careful and artistic intervention into 10 episodes. A message can become clearer, shoots would be a breeze, more artistic control can be executed and viewers might actually be able to learn a thing or two. This is something people need, and it will last.
Homosexuality in Philippine TV
June 2013, the Philippine television has experienced its biggest break in the 21st century. Millions witnessed history being made, My Husband’s Lover was GMA’s pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and it is the spark that ignited a fabulous fire.
Since the gay trope has now been proven to be a monster moneymaker, there is no doubt that in the near future, Filipino viewers will cross paths with multiple gay-themed dramas or dramas with gay touches more often. There would be an influx of characters who will have surprise revelations of their secret sexual identities (which fully explains their sketchy characters presented in the drama’s initial episodes). Politics has also been affected by the said drama. House Bill (HB) 2352 was filed last month to Congress which appends penalties on married men and women who engage in sexual activities with the same sex.
My Husband’s Lover is the first of its kind, it is a child waiting to experience the limitless possibilities of life, or something like that. Nonetheless, it is subject to change and development, this means that regardless of what network it is programmed and who its actors are, the gay theme will be twisted and given new angles of execution and significance as airtime goes, and it is going to be a colorful ride.
Filipinos react more to slapstick comedy compared to stand-up comedy. We have slapstick actors like Dolphy (of course), Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon, Babalu, Redford White to prove this hullabaloo. But in today’s time, where do Filipinos, especially the youth, usually get to watch comedic acts at least as iconic as Dolphy? Comedy shows and series still exist on television, trying to get the feel of SNL or the nostalgic spirit of Home Along Da Riles.
But there is one medium that gets the modern-day Juan to roll on the floor laughing. The internet is home to millions of pictures, videos, references, books, cats and unresolved personal issues, one cannot stress that enough. The internet is also the source where Filipinos get their daily dose of comedy in the form of YouTube sensations (Bogart the Explorer, Mikey Bustos, Lloyd Cadena) and fan pages that feature Filipino comedy through memes and comics such as Anyare?. And everyday, these people produce unique material that changes the definition and face of Filipino humor.
Filipinos are known to be one of the happiest people in the world. Whether about life-threatening, torrential rain; an OPM star’s sex scandal or in any kind of situation, Filipinos will still be able to juice out a laugh or two. If in the 20th century we only have movies and the television as avenues of Filipino comedy, with only the comedians on-screen being able to tickle the funny bone, in today’s technological power, every person already has the ability to become the new Dolphys, to further become the happiest people with the best humor.
The trends we have nowadays, the things we see on TV, the fad and hashtags the youth is into, all of them define the modern-day Filipino. Most Maria Claras are more aggressive and have outgrown the modesty the Filipino character suggests. It is a new age we are living in and we are progressive and more accepting to change as ever. Homosexuality is becoming more and more acceptable culturally and we have our television sets to prove it. We have our traditions and beliefs still, but more are being created each day, usually with just a few clicks of a button or a remote. A society sometimes unknowingly brews a trend or idea in order to adapt with and survive time’s demands of spontaneity no matter what medium it uses. The Philippines is slowly morphing into a much liberal organism and it will continue to.