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When I woke up this morning, the only topic that was echoing throughout the social media universe was that Megan Young, a filipina actress who (according to Rappler.com) had been both a Pinoy Big Brother Housemate (ABS-CBN) and a Starstuck Avenger (GMA), had just been crowned Miss World 2013. So, yeah, it is a big deal because it’s the first time that a Filipina has been crowned Miss World. Previous beauty queen’s attempts had only made as far as First Runner-up. Sure, it doesn’t matter that we’ve already had a number of Miss Universe titlists, but then again…Apples and Oranges, right?
The phrase, however, that I predict will be (over)used, abused and misused is “Pinoy Pride”. Yey, Megan Young won, she is now “The Pride of the Philippines”. Have we really asked ourselves the reality-check question: “How long does this pride last?”. We’ve had a number of heroes and heroines that have been bestowed the monicker, but does it really mean anything?
I mean, yeah we’ve had iconic stars such as Lea Salonga, who has made a name for herself in the international theater scene through her roles in “Miss Saigon” and “Les Miserables”. She has also provided the singing voices for Disney heroines Jasmin and Mulan. I remember in grade school, we would sing “I am but a small voice”, a song that she popularized even before these Broadway and West End gigs. She is still doing international shows and is currently hosting the Philippines version of “The Voice”.
We also have Allan Pineda, who is better known as Apl.de.Ap . We’d have to acknowledge that he helped put the Philippines in the international Hiphop and R&B map, along with some other Fil-ams. Though unlike Lea Salonga, his fame came almost overnight, with the help of multicultural sensation The Black Eyed Peas, of which he is a member.
But the question still remains: “How long does ‘Pinoy Pride’ last?”
Seventeen years ago, a diminutive boxer by the name of Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, Jr. was labelled with this phrase as he made it to the top of the amateur boxing world during the Atlanta Olympics. He made it to the finals, besting all his previous opponents, only to lose to his Bulgarian foe. He brought home the Silver medal, and was the talk of the town for the next few months. What happened after that? I asked myself the same thing. This guy was an olympian, a silver medalist in the biggest sporting event in the world and yet he has been forgotten? Apparently not, though. Not exactly forgotten. He’s still around doing bit roles as a comedian on TV (and also a few movies). From Olympic Silver medalist to ridiculed clown. In his lifetime. Is that “Pinoy Pride”?
How about the case of Youtube discovery and Oprah protege Charice Pempengco? Sure, she’s still around. But a number of people aren’t exactly proud of her anymore. Bakit naman?(Why is that?) Eh Lumadlad eh (‘Cause she came out of the closet). Now is that really reason enough to stop supporting someone who you previously labelled as the “Pride of the Nation”? Until she cut her hair short or colored it Spongebob Yellow, the whole country was proud. The whole country was talking about her as if she was a superhero or champion gladiator. Then when she showed her rainbow colors, well… people still talked, but just not with the same praise in their words. From Diva to Detested. In her lifetime, and she has a long life ahead. Is that “Pinoy Pride”?
Even the “People’s Champ”, Manny Pacquiao, has not been spared from waning support. Just because he lost his last two bouts and is now preparing for a non-vegas fight, it feels as if “Pacquiao Fever” dropped a few degrees Celcius. I remember when Morales and Mayweather and all his other foes were pitted against him. When he was still winning, the newspapers had an article on him almost every day. Sports Columnists would run out of words of praise to give. Sure, people were already telling him to retire while he was still fit, but this dip in temperature of support is just…well…COLD. I’m sure people will still watch his fight. People will still root for him as a nation. Crime will still be at zero percent on that day (hopefully), but compared to before, there’s no more daily fanfare. No more “Pacquiao will rule the world” feel. No more “Pinoy Pride”?
So, anyway. I hope this does not happen to Megan Young. I hope that she remains a source of pride well into her 60s just like previous Reynas Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran. I hope.
Congratulations, Megan Young.
Megan Young – (lifestyle.inquirer.net)
Manny Pacquiao – (www.examiner.com)
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