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Entertainment brainwashing

3rd place
On-the-spot Editorial Writing (English)
75th National Student Press Convention (NSPC)
Benguet State University, La Trinidad, Benguet

Forevermore is a week to its finale, and La Presa became an ideal setting where true love flourishes ala Agnes-Xander tandem. Unknown to many television viewers, La Presa is a fictional place brought to life from Sitio Pungayan. ABS-CBN’s portrayal of the place has both positive and negative implications to Sitio Pungayan’s residents and the Filipino people as a whole.

The hopeless romantic side of the viewers is awakened with a seemingly love-conquers-all perspective in a very inviting scenery. In truth, Sitio Pungayan is but a normal and wondrous landscape with farmers like any other farm has. While the idea of romantic love is a ‘breath of fresh air’ from every problem a person may have, it deviates the Filipino people from the situation of the majority. It filters the reality majority of Filipinos are farmers fighting for their right to ownership especially of the land they till.

Sitio Pungayan has turned into a tourist spot and the residents are gaining more as they are now selling potatoes, broccoli, and carrots in the area instead of waiting for their products to be delivered downtown. However, residents have been used to the silence and peace that Sitio Pungayan has before Forevermore’s association with it. Now they need to get used to the noise and excitement of tourists. While their livelihood has improved in terms of their products’ reach to people, the downside to it is that they also have to endure the litter that comes with having more tourists. The P25 per head environmental fee cannot buy the responsibility with their own pieces of garbage. Not to mention for the people expected to clean the area.

The problem with entertainment is that it does not consider the plight of the people. It focuses on what’s easy to do. It brainwashes minds of what is more important and what is not. It influences perspectives. It dictates what should be seen and what shouldn’t be.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying sights and sites reminding one of love. Yet, if that love is tainted by romantic love that is more selfish instead of a universal love, people become isolated to their fellows even if they see them physically. People become concerned only of their own concerns instead of being responsible of their actions towards their environment and the Filipino people which they are a part of. People, simply put, become passive in handling the nation’s problems. This continues to be a dilemma as the entertainment industry continues to prosper.

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