Filtered By: Opinion

The Piolo predicament

Is not his, but ours. Not KC Concepcion’s, but ours.   Which is not to look down on how KC feels. Any girl who’s gone through a bad break-up, celebrity or not, would’ve seen those tears and known them to be real, would’ve heard her anger and known it to resonate. We can argue about why she had to do that interview of course, but the easy answer really is contemporary showbiz: where tell-alls with Boy Abunda à la Kris Aquino are the order of the day. This is not new, and in fact if we are to look at this as a form of prostitution, then really, it’s been going on for more than a decade. Is it right? What is right in the age of reality and trash TV? Calling it prostitution doesn’t engage it in a productive discussion anymore, not at this point.   What is clear is the fact that in this tell-all, the first that she’s done, tears and all, KC for the first time revealed herself part of this enterprise of show as we know it, and this is where her image as proper intelligent independent girl went through an unraveling all its own. Now we can argue about whether it was a good unraveling or not; I’d like to think that happening on nationwide television as it did, it can only be important that those who look up to her, young teenage girls and her peers, see her falter and fall and fight in this way. That is an image that’s strong, extraneous to who she was talking about. Or what.   Because it was clear that she was talking about herself, how she was suffering in the aftermath of a break-up. That the questions thrown her way provided the opportunity for more tears to fall, for the difficulty of this conversation to be made more distinct, for this and that unsaid to be brought to light is the product of the Abunda school of interviewing. Again, it is irrelevant to me that she even put herself in that position opposite Abunda.   What is relevant is what the middle- to upper-class inhabitants of social media sites decided to do with what KC did not say, and how this has revealed itself to be a homophobia that’s just horrible, not only because we will refuse to admit it, but because we even think – because so many of us are doing it – that we are on the side of what is right and correct and valid in light of Piolo.   Granted that the rumors of Piolo’s homosexuality are considered as fact by many, granted that we love tsismis like this, and granted that right here is where we can all poke fun at the impossible images that this guy creates for himself. But do we really think that this kind of bombardment, almost a collective concerted effort at making fun of him, allows for anything productive at all?   In fact it is nothing but mean, and it is not only mean to Piolo, but it looks down on the kind of pain that KC as the aggrieved woman is going through. It looks down on Carmina Villaroel, whose name shouldn’t need to be dragged into a narrative on ending up with a homosexual man. It looks down on the kind of life that someone like Rustom Padilla aka BB Gandanghari has proven to be difficult but possible.   That this meanness cuts across the tunay na lalake and the federacion on my Facebook News and Twitter feeds seems like a sign: we want equality? Apparently we can come together and push a guy against the wall, ignore the pain that is in this narrative, and feel like we have a right because we all saw it unfold on television.   And yet, truth to tell, none of us needed to watch that interview. None of us needed to involve ourselves in this narrative at all. None of us were forced into this. We engaged with that video of KC crying and instead of feeling compassion and listening to what she had to say, we decided to read between the lines and bully Piolo into coming out of the closet.   But why would he? For us? Why would he do it for every tunay na lalaki or every bakla who is making fun of him already at this point? By this kind of reaction of a purportedly intelligent and educated class, no one – and I say no one – of Piolo’s stature would even think of coming out of the closet. For truth to tell, what is liberating about coming out of any closet, going public about anything at all, in a nation that has proven itself incapable of dealing with difference? What is it that someone like Piolo will gain by coming out of that closet, to a public that’s already making fun of him, already bullying him, at this point?   And seriously, what is our problem with anyone being in the closet? Many have lived and died within it, and that is their own cross to bear. And when we can’t promise freedom from oppression outside of that closet, staying within it could be pretty liberating, too.   In this instance though, I think what we’ve revealed is not so much that Piolo could be in some closet, but that all of us who fell into the trap of bullying him are all, at the core, tragically hopelessly homophobic. THAT is our predicament. - YA, GMA News