It’s back to business among showbiz personalities who ran and won in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections last Oct. 30.
After all is said and done, quo vadis, poll winners who are now barangay captains, youth chairs, and council members? What are we expecting in terms of better lives for ourselves or in behalf of their constituents from these winning movie, television, music, live entertainment and multimedia stars?
Of course, a lot.
It’s not enough that they work on the most common community concerns, such as widening and fixing roads or building pathways, settling feuds among residents, holding Binibini and Ginoong Barangay or Ms Gay contests, providing for burial needs (sponsored or discounted prices or rental of caskets), and procuring medicines and other benefits from municipal or city health centers or directly from the Department of Health, and distributing these to recipients.
It’s not enough that they hold regular meetings on these concerns, as well as special sessions on emergency matters.
It’s not enough that they properly account for expenses, deal with budget provisions and constraints, and monitor the funds allocated to projects (priority and otherwise).
It’s not enough that they maintain peace and order, ensure cleanliness and orderliness as well as segregation of waste materials and proper disposal of garbage, and other environment-friendly activities and issues.
Duty and responsibility
It is also their duty and responsibility to teach their constituents the fundamentals of human rights and civil liberties.
The films, TV shows, musicals, stage performances, and multimedia events that they do, especially initiated by progressive and freedom-loving directors, writers and producers, mostly express important human values. It is imperative that they echo these values to their constituents.
I am referring to some of the winners in various categories of the past and the nominees in the forthcoming 46th Gawad Urian of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the 13 editions of the Philstage Awards for the Performing Arts also known as Gawad Buhay, the Cultural Center of the Philippines catalogue of award-winning music of all genres, AnakTV, etc.
One of the most effective ways of orienting and reorienting the residents of a barangay and youth sector on movies, TV programs, music, theater and the like is through consultation with advocates of justice and equality, brave and bold storytellers, and independent-minded artists.
Since the arts can interpret—especially if done in the right perspective—all aspects of human experience, they can articulate on what farming, homelife, workplace, science, technology, romance, poverty, power and fortune are all about to inspire members of the barangay or youth population to reflect on and analyze these narratives, and ultimately act on the issues that affect them directly or indirectly.
Teaching barangay residents and young people about critical thinking based on logic, principles, and common sense is one approach to developing independent and assertive individuals.
Movies are popular entertainment products that can serve as a launching pad of meaningful discussions among community residents.
The films of Kathryn Bernardo with Daniel Padilla or Alden Richards, for instance, can illuminate such issues as teenage love, migration, or working abroad, as in “Hello, Love, Goodbye” (starring Kathryn and Alden), human relationships, etc.
If the barangays or SK chapters can’t easily organize film showings because of budget limitations and other obstacles, they can coordinate with movie outfits like Star Cinema and GMA Films for arrangements. Also, certain productions are available for free on YouTube and other apps.
Encouraging analytical skills or talkback on pop culture can help enlighten minds.
Why not screen advocacy or nonformulaic films like Lav Diaz’s “Kapag Wala Nang Mga Alon,” Carl Manatad’s “Kung Maupay Man It Panahon (Whether the Weather is Fine),” Karl Malakunos’ “Delikado,” She Andes’ “Maria,” Keith Sicat’s “Alimuom,” Alyx Arumpac’s “Aswang,” etc.? These films were exhibited at the recent Active Vista Human Rights Festival (AVHRF) organized by Dakila, a group of socially committed individuals whose objectives in leadership are—come to think of it in all idealism—akin to the vision of barangays and the SK.
Barangays and SK command centers in both rural and urban areas can avail themselves of free satellite festivals with AVHRF annually. They can start coordinating with Dakila and other organizations’ arts platforms for outreach programs.
Political patronage, etc.
Perhaps the new chair of Barangay Bayang Luma II in Imus, Cavite, Reuben Bautista Revilla, can lecture on political patronage in seminars. He was proclaimed winner by his half-brother, Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
Reuben Revilla is one of the nine children of the late actor and senator Ramon Revilla Sr. with former young star Genelyn Magsaysay, the daughter of veteran actress Lynn Madrigal with the late senator Genaro Magsaysay. Bong Revilla is one of the sons of Ramon Revilla Sr. with Azucena Mortel.
The actress Alma Moreno won a council seat in Barangay Tambo in Paranaque City, while her daughter-in-law, Jenny Quizon, the wife of Dolphy’s son Vandolph Quizon, is one of the councilors of the city’s Sangguniang Panlungsod. They can lecture on political dynasties.
Santolan (Pasig City) chair Gab Bayan, a PTV Channel 4 newscaster who wants to implement change in his barangay, can do it by foreswearing traditional politics. If he is true to his word, Gab should not be trapped in indebtedness to trapos.
Jeremy and Paolo Marquez, chair and councilman, respectively, of Barangay BF Homes in Paranaque City, can lecture on volatile brotherhood in politics. They are actor and comedian Joey Marquez’s sons.
Asia’s Sentimental Songstress Imelda Papin and her winning kagawad brother Bobby Papin of Barangay North Fairview can share their loyalists’ strategies with a twist.
Indeed, there are many topics that showbiz people in barangays and the SK can tackle in public talks on various occasions.
They will be good examples of education in the grassroots.