Thursday, July 16, 2009

Freddie Aguilar vs. The World = The Worst in the Filipino

I wanted to post here the speech of Alex Lacson, author of the book “12 Little Things Filipinos Can Do To Help Our Country”, at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government during the GK Global Summit in Boston on June 12-14, 2009. It is about what he believes to be the core values that could serve as the foundations of the culture of greatness we wish to build for the Filipino. But I will post that tomorrow. Instead, let's take a look at the current word war between Freddie Aguilar and some Filipino singers, and its aftermath. The situation is a good example of what Alex Lacson is talking about.

Background: In an interview Freddie Aguilar made unfortunate remarks against Arnel Pineda and Charice Pempengco, the current toasts of the local music industry for their recent success in the American music scene. Ka Freddie lashed at Arnel and Charice. He boldly said that the two proved what Mariah Carey once said about Filipinos being like monkeys for aping others' styles. That was uncalled for since the Mariah Carey remark was just an Internet hoax, in the first place. Then Ka Freddie also dragged Gary Valenciano into the word war by saying Gary would be more popular if he does not imitate Michael Jackson and Al Jarreau. Needless to say, the singers responded (1, 2). Other columnists joined the fray, and a full word war erupted.

Freddie's beef was primarily the choice of songs by Charice, Arnel, and Gary. Somehow he equates nationalism with singing Tagalog (not Filipino). Just for that, he may yet enter into another word war with Cebuanos and those who speak other dialects. I believe his is a narrow-minded mindset in view of the globalization trend. Arnel and Charice catered to specific markets, just as Freddie captured the folk market before. Their styles, however American oriented, don't undo their being Filipinos. In fact they are billed as coming from the Philippines. In the light of the many influences in our culture, what is a real Filipino anyway?

I will not venture an answer to that this time.

Let us reflect on what Ka Freddie's thoughtless thoughts led to. For all those remarks, many now call Freddie Aguilar names like unggoy, crab, talangka. He is accused of having crab mentality. Those who got angry with Freddie jeer him as the proverbial Filipino talangka that tries to pull down anyone who attains success. The Wikipedia article about him was altered . The defaced article described him as crabby and the worst song writer in the region. His contribution to the anti-Marcos movement was changed from "Bayan Ko" to "Talangka Ako". A screenshot appears below.

Initially, I found it amusing. Since the interview came out last July 6, the Wikipedia page was repeatedly edited to disgrace him. All attempts to correct it was countered by another defacement. This is a link to the revision history of the article. But on second thought, those who defame Ka Freddie this way is not only doing the Filipino legend a great disservice. By their vandalism, they abuse the wiki concept, and they who maliciously edit the page are being mga talangka themselves.

This is not productive at all. I hope they get to read Alex Lacson's speech. I will post that tomorrow.


  1. freddie is growing up to be one old grumpy man. you can only sing "anak' so much. as an artist, hasn't it he heard of the word "mainstream"....bayan ko is not mainstream. it is beautiful song who will always have its venue for playing....i think tatang freddie has dug his own grave! he needs to chill! or he can put his effort to ressurect his song "anak" and see if he can make into a worldwide hit and maybe one day will hear Josh Groban sing it at the Grammy's

  2. Anonymous5:51 PM


  3. well for this way all we are going some day, and for that reason I understand his position, maybe if you put in his shoes, you can understand the point.



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