Tuesday ∗ 21 Sep 2010

the Charice challenge is on!

This isn’t so much about Charice Pempengco herself, as it is about an audience in this country that’s overly critical of her by default, that obviously doesn’t care much for her. And it has to be said that it’s class, social and otherwise, that allows for this double standard when it comes to national pride, which disallows Charice from being properly celebrated as a high point in Philippine popular culture history.

Even when she’s had the song “Pyramid” on the Billboard charts for a while now. Behind her she’s got David Foster, American icon, music producer and star, who has put her onstage with international superstars. She has Oprah Winfrey as manager and modern fairy godmother. She’s got Hollywood contracts for singing and acting, has done duets with Celine Dion and Andreas Bocelli, and will be in the second season of Glee.

You’d have to be in denial to think all these to be unimportant; you’d be wrong to think that just because there’s little of Charice on TV and in the papers, she isn’t as big a star as Oprah imagines. Because whether we like it or not, Charice’s international stardom doesn’t seem like a one-time deal. In fact, it looks like she’s in it for the long haul. The world has got Charice Mania to prove it. It’s also a response to you, critical Pinoy non-fan.

via GMANews online, the rest of it is here!

Posted in: bayan, ibang bayan, iconography, kapitalista, kawomenan, kultura, pelikula, star creation, tugtugan, TV

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10 Comments/Pingbacks

  1. radikal biik
    September 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I didn’t care to read the whole article, Katrina. But I couldn’t resist commenting here. This is probably one of the most stupidest articles I’ve read. Congratulations! You’ve outdone yourself, idiot.

  2. GabbyD
    September 24, 2010 at 5:19 am

    the thing that surprised me about your article was that twitter people wanted lea salonga. tlga? how many people wanted that? marami? its weird coz glee is a HS show. they’d want young people.

  3. ina
    September 24, 2010 at 6:33 am

    hay GabbyD. it’s a HS show with teachers, yes? Lea would’ve been perfect as a teacher.

    are you on twitter and facebook? the networking thing overwhelms if used properly as a social site (as opposed to a personal one), and when you follow enough people in this country, and their obviously the ones with opinions, well, you had/have to be there.

  4. GabbyD
    September 24, 2010 at 6:58 am


    it does, but the teachers dont sing. except for the glee teachers. and it doesnt make sense to have another glee teacher in the context of the story. also, the teachers are there for largely comic effect.

    also, the reason she’s there is she has an album out. she’s a rising star, where lea hasnt been active in the US in years.

    i dont, uh “tweet”(?). i do facebook :)

    perhaps i should have been there. coz i am shocked that people would suggest that. madami tlga? people with alot of followers? at the risk of being chismoso — could u share a name? :) i know u probably wont do that, but i had to ask :)

    • ina
      September 24, 2010 at 8:08 am

      @gabby d., i ask you how much Glee you watch because your comment tells me you don’t really know of it.

      1. you mean that only New Directions teachers, i.e., glee club teachers sing in the show Glee. you’re wrong on that count.

      2. all of the teachers in Glee sing. all the teachers we’ve met from McKinley High in season 1, all of them have performed a song or two. including the varsity coaches, and the guidance councilor.

      3. it’s too easy a conclusion to say that the only reason Charice is there is because she has an album out. how do we arrive at a conclusion like that? there are so many other young girls in the who have albums out in the US, and who might be on her level as far as experience and talent are concerned.

      4. the number of followers on twitter is irrelevant to whether or not maraming nagsabi. naming names seems petty don’t you think.

      and beside the point.

      • ina
        September 24, 2010 at 8:10 am

        and no, the teachers aren’t there for comic effect. far from it.

      • GabbyD
        September 24, 2010 at 9:16 am

        1) no i meant glee teachers in general. vocal adrenaline included. she was hired coz of her resemblance with rachel, and coz she can sing (she’s a broadway star).

        2) well, true, they “dont sing” (as in never) is too strong. i think the guidance councillor sang once [the sex episode?]. the principal never sang…. the coach probably sang once. once in, 22 (?) episodes?

        the cheer coach sang during the madonna ep and during the olivia newton john ep (meron pa ba?). these are exceptions — these episodes had specific themes that catered to her character.

        my point (which i put too strongly) was that, as a general rule, the teachers dont sing. and when they sing, its an exception to the general rule.

        3) i’ll admit i’m not as plugged in to the pop music market as i once was. but i believe we were talking about lea. so when i say charice is a rising star, i meant shes a rising star relative to lea salonga.

        4) i was trying to get a sense of how popular/influential this “dapat si lea na lang” theme was on twitter. i’m not on twitter, plurk, etc, so i dont know.

        thats why i asked the question. the number of followers of the original “twitterer” (tama ba tong term na to?) also tells you how much/far the meme spread.

        4.1) yes, its very petty and chismoso of me. thats i why i didnt expect you to name one. :) its ok. as i said, i had to ask, but i had no expectation that u’d respond :)

        5)most of the teachers are comic characters, but not wholly comic, of course. its a comedy that has these heartfelt/dramatic moments.

        can lea salonga play a character like that? probably not. she’s a straight up romantic lead, straight dramatic lead. to my knowledge, she’s never played “quirky”, or some other comic archetype. especially in her recent work abroad. casting directors wont see her that way, with good reason.

        • ina
          September 24, 2010 at 10:37 am

          @gabby d: this is all beside the point if you read the essay itself, which came out before Glee’s season 2 even showed. but here:

          given your 1 and 2: so the teachers in the show Glee do sing. period. which means that Lea can go on the show, be a teacher, and sing. period.

          you say that the teachers singing are exceptions to the rule because these are episodes with specific themes. ALL Glee episodes have specific themes. if a character doesn’t sing in an episode it means that he or she is not the focus of the plot. this is the function of creative writing.

          you speak of rules based on who? i don’t think your notions of rules and exceptions hold.

          on your #3. given your reasoning, you’re saying that if Lea had an album out in the US, by default she would be on Glee. and if there’s anything that’s wrong here, it’s your idea of pop music. the essay also explains precisely the notions of what’s pop and the versions of it that’s here.

          4) yes, if i didn’t have social networking accounts, then really, i wonder what kinds of questions i’d be asking. i’d be so out of touch, i wouldn’t write anymore.

          you said: the number of followers of the original “twitterer” (tama ba tong term na to?) also tells you how much/far the meme spread. — NOT AT ALL. it depends on how many people are online when a tweet is posted, it depends on who retweets who, who responds, how far it gets. it doesn’t matter how many people. and really you won’t find out if you tried.

          on your number 5)that most of the teachers are comic characters? ALL of the characters on Glee are comic characters.

          oh, to generalize about Lea Salonga’s skills! have you seen her? she can do a mean comedy, and i’ve seen her do quirky. and really, she’s a world class actress. she can do anything. you’re putting celebrities in boxes and limiting their skills. the same goes for pop culture.

          there’s a series of Glee critical essays on Metakritiko that i think everyone should read.

          • GabbyD
            September 25, 2010 at 5:34 am

            “oh, to generalize about Lea Salonga’s skills! have you seen her? she can do a mean comedy, and i’ve seen her do quirky. ”

            really? where? i’d be interested in seeing that.

            1-2) rules based on who? just by watching the show… the non-glee teachers sing one ep per season? maybe two? as a general rule they dont sing. (vs. rachel who sings all the time)

            i guess it could change. ryan murphy can do what he wants. but i doubt it.

            on 3) no, i said if she’s a rising star, and younger (if she can play a student) then she’d be a candidate for sure!

            4) ah re-tweeting nga pla… ah, there’s no way pla. trending topic kaya? just thinkin’ out loud…

            5) i can accept that they are all comic characters, with dramatic/dark moments… except for the ex-wife i think… she’s an element that didnt work in the show, i think…

            assessing people’s ability to play a character is part of casting. casting directors look at past work to determine one’s ability to play a specific part. as far as i can tell sa imdb, its all straight drama, romance for lea.

            but you are right. “can she play a part” (ability) is different from “will she likely be cast as a part”. the former is not the latter.

            actually this is part of your essay no? nice article! sterotyping is definitely alive in the US… sadly enough…

  5. ina
    September 25, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    @gabby d:

    you need to be into, ingrained in, popular culture if you want to EVEN TALK ABOUT IT. no one’s here to help you out with questions that have obvious answers. this is the function of reading. read up on popular culture. google it. THEN you’ll have something relevant to ask and say and contribute.

    conclusions about Glee by watching the show, creating YOUR OWN general rules, are all borne of a lack of skill in reading and critiquing pop culture, here and abroad, really.

    and you don’t guess that things COULD CHANGE in popular culture. if you knew enough, you would know that IT DOES CHANGE, ALL THE TIME. and Glee is part of that change, as is Charice, as was/is Lea, as all casting directors and creative people would know.

    your doubts, your rules and your notion of exceptions (including for will’s ex-wife) therefore, are unfounded, unjust and anti-critical. read up. google it. it’s the only way.

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