Friday, February 23, 2007

PCSO : The Worst TV Commercial, EVER!!!


“Ikaw ang kanlungan sa kahirapan/
Ikaw ang pagasa at kinabukasan/
Haplos mo ay lunas sa bawat pagal/
Ikaw ang dampi ng pagmamahal/

Too many times in the past month or so,
I've almost thrown the remote at my TV,
or punched out my car stereo.

All because of this $#(@*@!)*@:!" song and commercial.

thanks to CONRADO de QUIROS,
I don't have to.

He has righteously and indignantly exposed
the torture that millions of Pinoys
have been subjected to.

My dad, the late great
Atty. Conrado B. Enriquez,
would have loved the piece below.

Thank You, Tocayo!!!

By Conrado de Quiros
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Last updated 01:02am (Mla time) 02/22/2007

I REMEMBER again a joke I heard many years ago
about Ferdinand Marcos.

A foreign correspondent came to town
and wanted to get a feel of the public sentiment about Marcos.
He chanced upon a man in the street and asked to interview him.
The man agreed, and the journalist asked him,
“What do you think of Marcos?”

The man froze and said,
“I can’t answer that question here,
the walls have ears, we have to go elsewhere.”

They went to a park and the journalist repeated his question.
The man still looked anxious and said,
“This place is still too full of people,
we have to go to a more secluded place.”

They went to a pier,
and again the journalist repeated his question.
The man replied:
“Please excuse my nervousness,
but just to be sure let’s take a boat and row out into the water.”

They did so, and the journalist said,
“So now, we’re all alone, no one can hear us.
What do you think about Marcos?”

And the man whispered, “I actually like him.”

Something not unlike this happened to me recently.

It was a reunion of sorts in the province,
and in the middle of the festivities
someone pulled me aside to ask,
“Why do you keep attacking GMA [Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo] --
don’t you see anything good in what she does?”

After blinking a few times at the suddenness of the question,
I said as pleasantly as I could, “No.”
And I asked him why he had to pull me aside to ask it.
“Because,” he said beyond earshot of the others,
“I’m actually maka-GMA.”

Why am I not surprised
that someone who wants to profess to be a fan of GMA
now has to do it in secret?

I remembered these because of an ad
that I keep seeing with numbing regularity
each time I watch the NBA on Basketball TV.

In the ad,
a singer of a band sings in a plaintive Freddie Aguilar-type voice
a paean to the legit numbers racket known as the sweepstakes.
At least the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)
is the ostensible subject of the paean.
But Arroyo’s ubiquitous face there shows otherwise.

The lyrics are positively ingratiating.
The reason I know the words is their sheer repetition,
the ad materializing at nearly every commercial break,
giving me a case not just of “last song syndrome”
but of being subjected to hypnotic suggestion under torture.
It’s tapered off over the last few days but last I looked,
it was still there. The song goes:

“Ikaw ang kanlungan sa kahirapan/
Ikaw ang pagasa at kinabukasan/
Haplos mo ay lunas sa bawat pagal/
Ikaw ang dampi ng pagmamahal: PCSO."
["You are the refuge from poverty/
You are the hope and the future/
Your stroke cures every tired body/
Yours is the caress of caring: PCSO.”]

While this is being sung,
Arroyo is portrayed in various poses of solicitousness.

No, the office is not the object of adulation, the person is.

Every time I see that ad --
which is inescapable unless I foreswear to give up the NBA --

I ask aloud,
“E sino ba ang nakakapagal sa bawat pagal sa bansang ito?"
["Who is making the tired of this country tired?”]
Take it from her name.

My first reaction upon seeing this ad was annoyance,
particularly because it came at the break
of a particularly suspenseful game where my favorite team,
the Phoenix Suns, was trailing its opponent.

My subsequent reaction from seeing it again and again --
enough to give me the paranoid feeling it is expressly aimed at me --
was awe at the cheekiness of it.

And no small amount of infuriation
that I and the other taxpayers of this country,
who earn our money honestly through the sweat of our brow,
were being fried in our own fat.

We saw the same ad before in different clothing
but with the same ferocious ubiquity during the 2004 elections.

The PCSO -- and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. --
ran ads then depicting Arroyo
as the secular version of Our Mother of Perpetual Help:
visiting the victims of floods,
earthquakes and natural disasters.

Then too you wanted to say:
Forget the natural disasters,
mind only the human one.

Or forget the supertyphoons,
mind only Typhoon Gloria.

My unhappiness over the new PCSO ad was soon dispelled,
by the realization that it does serve an eminently useful purpose.

Which is that it draws attention to the one thing
the administration candidates would rather have the world forget,
who is Arroyo.

Arroyo is not a candidate in these elections,
but she might as well be so.

She is the issue in them in the same way
that Marcos was the issue in the 1971 elections
and George W. Bush was the issue in last year’s American elections.

The latter two were also senatorial elections
but they became a referendum on the two presidents.
Arroyo’s burden is by far the heavier in this respect
because her unpopularity comes not just from
a widespread perception of misrule
but from a widespread perception of having no right to rule.

Except for Mike Defensor who has tried to brave or brazen it out,
admitting freely he is an Arroyo protégé,
but trying to score points with Joseph Estrada’s hordes as well
by calling for his release,
nobody else in the Team Unity ticket
wants to be associated too closely with their boss.

Or, heaven forbid,
to remind the voters with such ardent passion they are her alter ego.

Comes now this ad that does exactly that,
an ad that not only grossly intrudes on the Filipino male’s
(and probably female’s as well) favorite pastime,
if not secret pleasure,
but shows him exactly where his taxes,
much expanded by the expanded value-added tax,
are going.

It is not to charitable works,
such as portrayed in the ad,
it is to indulgences like the ad itself,
which is nothing more or less than (costly) electioneering.

The ad’s intention is clearly to convince the public
their president cares for them.

Its effect is unwittingly to tell the voters:
You want more of this,
vote for Arroyo’s minions.
You want a respite, reject them.

Justice, like the Lord,
has been known to work in mysterious ways.


Anonymous Jose V. said...

Be real. How has GMA made YOUR life difficult? Forget the cheesiness and focus on concrete things please.

It has just become fashionable to hate her just because.

February 28, 2007 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger spanx said...

just because?

please complete your thought.

and i HATE the commercial,
not GMA.

i don't hate the President,
i just can't stand her.

February 28, 2007 at 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like GMA.

March 5, 2007 at 12:59 AM  

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