Lest Bayo think that a short three-sentence apology from its vice president is enough. Lest Bayo imagines that a flurry of memes is good publicity still.
Lest they are ready to milk the noise that has surrounded this “What’s your mix?” campaign for all its worth and spin it by having these five girls Jasmine, Ana, Nikita, Margo and Kharu talk about how Filipino they are, or how much they love that percentage of them that’s Pinay.
Lest Bayo thinks they don’t need to reassess and cancel this campaign altogether, because maybe it’s that long copy that’s the problem here. Lest they will take their sweet good time pulling those ads, given reports that they are taking all of it down.
The answer is no, Bayo. In fact at this point, the only logical and correct thing to do is to immediately take down those ads and write a proper public apology to every Filipina who was offended by this campaign – I don’t care that your store windows and billboards will be empty for a while. And that apology should extend to Filipina-foreigners who are being told here that the blood that courses through their veins is to be spoken of on the same level as picking which clothes to mix and match on any given day. Of course one can rationalize, whoever thought of this campaign would say, that at the core of this is the notion of identity: as with fashion, so with blood? You can mix and match your clothes, as you can have a mix of Filipino and foreign blood?
But this hits on identity politics, as it does on issues of race and hybridity, as it does on the crises of women’s images in this country, and there lies its complexity beyond Bayo’s imagination. This proves how this campaign is so ill-conceived, it actually set itself up for this backlash; at the very least and at the simplest of levels, it must be called out for being insensitive, at most it is nothing but irresponsible.