Why so serious? Online Backlash Against Janine Tugonon
Let’s begin with saying I don’t care about Janine Tugonon. Or BB. Pilipinas, for that matter. If it wasn’t for recent controversies regarding her statements and attitudes on Kris Aquino‘s TV Show, I would have no idea who she was. I saw a clip of that incident, I read people’s statements, and, hey, I still don’t care. What is more fascinating, however, is to see how people have reacted towards that incident and what this means for us as a nation.
For those who are unaware, Ms. Tugonon is Miss Universe-Philippines 2012 and first runner-up to Miss Universe. That’s not really important. I’m sure it is to some people. On a television program by Kris Aquino, both Ms. Tugonon and her then-boyfriend were cooking with Kris. (As expected, Kris Aquino was, of course, non-participatory in the cooking itself.) Okay, you’re runner-up for Miss Universe, you’re being ordered around in the kitchen by Kris Aquino, your boyfriend’s beside you, and you’re being annoyed by an excessively flamboyant gay man.
Then you mention that you’ve been casually texting and tweeting with someone from The Script (which I presume is a pretty popular band. I don’t listen to them.) You also mention how you and your boyfriend have been having problems.
Now, people, look: Because of that mere incident, you have been branded as an online slut, as a whore of Babylon, as malandi. Suddenly, you’re the butt of jokes and the victim of hatred. Sure, fine.
Can we look at the facts:
(1) She’s a human being. Sure, we love it when our “icons” fall down. It’s schadenfreude (Isn’t it interesting that the Germans have a term for happines at the misfortune of others?). We can laugh at it, we can mock it, sure, if it’s all done in jest. But it’s interesting how some of the people commenting on the issue seem so involved, it’s unbelievable. Note the difference:
—-> OMG, pare, have you heard about Janine? She’s so malandi! Hahaha. Okay, so yung basketball game…
—> OMG, pare, have you heard about Janine? She’s so malandi! I’m so naiirita. Bakit ba ganyan siya? Bakit ba ganyan lahat ng babae malalandi?
See the difference?
(2) She’s really no worse than you. Sabi nga ni Jesus Christ, let who among us without sin be the first to condem. Oh wait, that was from Rent. Well, I’m sure Jesus also said something to that extent. Anyway, was what she did really that bad? She talked about her personal life on TV — which IS what mass culture wants, the parading and fetishizing of the personal lives of icons. So she had an affair. So fucking what?
If we start measuring people by that standard, then I would be more than willing to stand and take equal blame. I’ve done worse things than that. And I’m sure you have. Please, let’s stop with the hypocrisy, let’s stop pretending that no one cheats around, no one sleeps around, that everyone’s nice and virginal. Take a look at your life. I’m sure there’s something there that if shown on TV could become a meme.
(3) We really shouldn’t call women sluts. Sometimes we joke about it, sometimes we’re earnest about it, but allow me to be politically anal about this but I really don’t like tossing words such as “slut” and “malandi” into the air. Sometimes I do if only to rob the word of its power, but people fail to understand that being labelled as a slut goes a long way into demonizing female sexuality.
OMG! She’s a woman who has two guys! OMG! She’s malandi!
Women are women, women are people, people have sexuality. I’ll be honest and say I’m not the best person to talk about it, I don’t understand female sexuality as much, what I do know is that they have it and we have to respect that and not demean it by labelling it in derogatory words.
Oh, and you want further proof of this point? Remember, she was “cheating” on the lead singer of The Script.
Has anyone ever called the lead singer of The Script a slut? Remember, he is “breaking up” a “relationship.”
(4) We can be mean, but we have to choose how and why. It’s fun to be mean and the online media is of course the best way to put this. But we have to be careful how and when and why we choose to be critical of issues.
In this case, perhaps, I wouldn’t call her a slut. Because I don’t want to make this a case of sexuality. I could, perhaps, call her immature. But then again that does speak more about the industry than it does about me. The best way, of course, is to call it none of my business and move on with my wonderful life.
Let’s quote Elle Woods though from Legally Blonde: The Musical:
Some girls fight hard, some face the trial, some girls were just meant to smile.
Maybe she’s just the last one. Nothing wrong with that, of course.
Remember, what Pedro says about Steve says more about Pedro than it does about Steve.
(5) Why the hell are you so affected? This is the part that I don’t get. As a society are we conservative enough not to understand female expression — whether it be traditional or devious? We’re actually all deviants deep inside, but we have this whole notion that we have to cover-up our perceived indecendy with a Maria Clara blanket. Be malaswa, just do it inside the bedroom. Outside, we will stone you because you are a whore. We are all whores and we will all pick up the biggest stones and throw it at you! It’s a domestic situation about a boyfriend-girlfriend break-up and infidelity that has escalated into ridiculously large proportions.
Guys, people are fucking starving all over the country. People are being murdered, blown-up, stabbed, raped, kidnapped, forced into slavery, beaten, bullied, massacred, and really all totally evil acts done all over the country.
Nakakahiya naman sa rants niyo ‘di ba?
- Janine Tugonon and Danny O’Donoghue of ‘The Script’ love affair (examiner.com)
- Disappointed with Kris TV and Janine Tugonon… (adventuresofabeautyqueen.com)
- The Re-Imagining of Janine Tugonon (normannorman.com)
- The real score between Janine Tugonon and ‘The Script’ vocalist Danny O’Donoghue (filipinocelebrity.wordpress.com)
- Janine Tugonon and Danny O’Donoghue deserve a fruitful affair (filipinoloveteam.wordpress.com)
Loved this piece…
Hi Johnny! Thanks for dropping by 🙂
Where’s the infidelity in the situation?!.. As what I heard, Janine and her X boyfriend got together when she was already Binibining Pilipinas 2011-1st runner up and it was him who was intimidated by the beauty queen. Obviously, it’s hard not to be territorial when you have a beauty queen girlfriend to the point that he get’s pissed off with anything that would make himself jealous. Kris Aquino should keep her thoughts to herself. They were already having problems, she was tweeting, he got really jealous and so they broke up.. Big deal?! Kris acted as if she perpetrated to make Janine seem like the same careless woman that she is.
Thanks for enlightening us with that information. There is of course so much more to the story, I’m sure Janine isn’t as “evil” as people would want to think, nor her boyfriend as “kawawa”. It’s a relationship and it is complicated, ika nga ng Facebook. My point perhaps is that why a lot of people seem to care so much about the issue, which seems too personal.
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Ulol! Ang OA ng reaction m to defend Janine! Sino kaya ang affected a lot dito?! Haha
Oo nga, to spend do much effort and time to “script” together ( pun intended) a defense for that gud for nothing girl! 🙂
Wow, such a clever pun. Again, not a defense for her. Pwede ba, basahin niyo punto ko bago kayo tumalon at mag-comment.
I’m not defending her. I’m questioning kung anong klaseng kultura/lipunan tayo na may ganitong pananaw. As I said, I don’t care about her, ang punto ko ay may pinanggagalingan ang pang-ba-bash sa kanya.
People have their own personal views on the matter. Unfortunately double standards are still very much alive in a conservative Filipino society which is slowly easing its way through the complications of a liberal, modern society.
I noticed that the author failed to mention an important aspect: one of which became my prime motive as to following this incessant hate parade for Miss Tugonon. That of which being that she is an arrogant, selfish, immature girl (sorry, what she did on National TV was anything but ladylike/Beauty Queen material save for her made-up face) who humiliated a relatively private citizen (her ex) on National TV. If anyone had noticed that there was anticipated questions regarding her involvement with DO, then she should have been at least a friend to Jaypee and asked him not to join her on that show so neither of them would look like fools. Unfortunately, Janine did not do so. I understand that she released her inner fan girl and no one can fault her on that, pero konting sensitivty naman, utang na loob. This man standing beside her and taking the brunt of humiliation was there for her before she was a Runner Up for Miss Universe. And even to this very day, admist the overflowing hatred, he still defends her even though they are now ‘just friends’.
And of course, what Filipino couldn’t resist an underdog, hence the whole Team Jaypee fan craze was born.
As for her and the Script guy, clearly I am not going to touch this subject. If she wants to go ahead and fall for a man who is a reputable flirt who obviously has no time to be involved in a serious relationship, then so be it. In fact, WHOM she chose Jaypee for is moot point. If she clearly has no mutual love for her ex, then maybe it is time to end the relationship. But I agree with the author that THAT particular issue should have just been kept private. If Janine could not keep Jaypee away from that show, sana man lang she just kept mum about the whole Danny issue knowing that it was upsetting Jaypee. Tao din yon, Janine. Humihinga, kumakain, dumurugo ang puso at may dinaramdam. You should have known better.
And lastly, has anyone noticed that Janine has kept mum on this issue and people are still flailing her with b*tchforks (pitchforks with a kick, hahaha) and hurtful comments. Hindi ba si Janine nakunsyensya man lang for the public who has been hurt/disappointed for what she has done? Instead she goes on the defense and tweets: “stop jumping into conclusions, nothing’s going on.” Una sa lahat, Janine dearie: it’s stop jumping TO conclusions. Matuto kang magproof read ha, iha. Kasi you’ve just given yourself another window of opportunity to make yourself uet again look like an idiot. Never has she released a public statement apologizing for her behavior and how she had let down a nation who was heartbroken when Olivia Culpo took home the crown. Ngayon, we now all know why it has been done so. Hindi ka pa ba natuto sa mga pagkakamali mo, Janine. If ever you are reading this, since you’ve tried to deviate issue on your FB page by posting something about God, money and generosity, try for once and be AN ADULT and give the public that apology para mawala na tong issue na ito. Your fans are now divided, people are disliking your page, even foreigners are saying ‘shame on you’ and we all couldn’t disagree more. I challenge you, Janine magpakatutoo ka for real and learn some humility.
Sorry, nadala ako sa pagsusulat:
I meant to say was: that her fans are now divided, people have disliked her page and even foreigners who have read the news are now saying ‘shame on you, Janine’ and we couldn’t AGREE more. Hahaha! At least I can laugh at the errors of my mistakes. Ikaw ba, Janine. Kaya mo? Laking kahihiyan dinala mo sa University department mo. It was bad enough with Hayden Kho, dinagdagan mo pa. Jeez.
First of all, thank you so much. 🙂 I’ve lost faith in the internet for sensible arguments and you restored my hope for humanity. I disagree with you but I do respect that you’ve responded to this article in an intelligent manner.
Perhaps, and matter of perspective na lang siguro ‘to, whether she’s a good person or not is actually quite irrelevant in this article. My commentary is more on how people flamed against her. Even if we assume na malandi siya, as a society masyado ba tayong pa-virgin that konting kyeme lang, we’re all at arms na? Kasi even if she were malandi, immature, tactless, insensitive, kyeme-kyeme, so what? Our country is run by murderous politicians and the brunt of national hatred is on her. She acted horribly, but in terms of what is “evil” in this country, she’s so far off.
Perhaps din what I’ve realized with thinking and researching about this article is how we Filipinos tend to always sympathize with the victim (that’s not necessarily bad, we are a culture of oppressed people). It’s always black and white, we lose track of what’s in between, we lose track of the big picture. We want to root for the underdog so bad, we want to beleive in our icons so much, that if they fall, they fall, and we get mad they never fought, that they never carried our ideals. And people are starving in Mindanao, are dying in Sabah, our elections run by monkeys, rapists run free, yet we fixate on this?
And, if I were to just stoop to that level as well, I fail to get it. Why does she owe anyone anything? I don’t think she owes her “fans” an apology nor an explanation. She is entitled to whatever she wants to do. Kasi, kebs ‘di ba? Ako, I am more than willing to stand up and say I have done things much worse and much much much MUCH more malandi than she did. And I’m unapologetic of it.
Thank you. I am quite chuffed.
However, I still beg to differ with your opinion. But again, everyone is entitled to one so let’s leave it at that.
My point is that Janine owes not just her fans an apology (I admit I do not follow the Miss Universe pageantry as much as I used to when i was younger) but to everyone who was distressed over the turn of events of this roller coaster week. I never delve into the inteicacies of local showbiz as often, bit this one hit home. Maybe because this is a story of a girl na nagpakatutoo nga pero in effect, people have become divided and are calling her names, etc. Hindi ba sya nahiya sa magulang nya whom I’m betting are hurt and pained to hear that they’ve raised a ‘whore/puta/gold digger’ by a bunch of stranger who know nothing of their daughter? As much as I want to believe that Janine Tugonon is a ‘good girl’, it is hard to ignore the things she did to her ex that i felt were unnecessary. We can argue about the semantics of cultural impressions and the expectations if philippine society all day, pero ang point ko is this: maraming nasaktan sa ginawa nya, regardless kung may pakialam tayo o wala, maraming nadala, maraming nagagalit. As a representative of a woman who is tagged to always end the word ‘….and world peace’ to her speeches, Janine should do exactly that. PUT AN END TO THE MADNESS. Whether may fault sya or wala is irrelevant. She isn’t just a person prone to mistakes, she is a crowned queen with expectations. Why do you think people revere the Virgin Mary or have expressions such as “God save the Queen”? She is one of the chosen few who have earned this privilege and unfortunately that also comes with a price. She should bear the weight of that responsibilty if she should still want to have some ounce of respect from anyone. My two cents.
Where’s the edit button when you need one?
****as a representative of women, hindi po ba ang infamous tagline ng Miss Congeniality ends with the words: “…..and World Peace.” As a woman crowned and tagged with that honor of representing our country who in spite of society’s injustices, political transgression (hell, give me a country that doesn’t have its own freaking problems) is also Asia’s largest Catholic populous, she should understand the meaning of ‘consideration’ and put a stop to the madness. Ika nga, bring magdala kahit papaano ng piranggot ng ‘world peace’ as this topic is getting out of hand witn its chaos.
I’m saying is that Ms Tugonon should stip being so selfish and think that she is the victim of this story. Nobody is a victim. She brought this mess on herself and as an ADULT (24 years old na sya, uy. Lagpas na po sa menor de edad) it is her duty to at least ‘set the record straight’ by apologizing to those na nasaktan/nanginsulto sa kanyan. Hell, she even quote all the verses off the bible for all I care. Basta Janine (i seriously hope you are reading this) learn some humility, GROW UP and get off that high horse and wear that crown of 1st Runner Up/Bb. Pilipinas 2012 and show the world why you f*cking deserve it.
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