Something for everyone

- Marra PL. Lanot -
First, it was food delivery to your home. Next, it was TV shopping, where you can dial a number and have the goods brought to your doorstep. No need to go out, especially in the heat or in the rain. Everything is so convenient for today’s consumerist.

Sometimes, however, suckers buy a pack of lies.

"Beauty products," for instance, such as skin whiteners and fat-breakers sell false promises. In just one or two weeks, they say, you can look as white as Michael Jackson. Or in just three weeks, you’ll be Barbie doll. Then, just wear a girdle and in a matter of seconds, you’ll lose all the bulges you’re ashamed of and you can now fit into clothes three sizes smaller. Never mind if getting out and getting into the girdle will take hours before you can pee, and forget the side effects on pores, normal breathing and digestive system.

And now, there’s Venta5, dubbed as the Philippines’ first live and interactive home TV shopping show. It’s one of the newest programs on ABC 5, which airs Mondays to Saturdays at 10 a.m. Venta5, though, differs from other TV shopping programs in that, its hosts look like the people in your neighborhood – burgis but real. Boots Anson-Roa assists the anchor persons and summarizes information about the featured products and spices up the show with personal touches like telling us she herself buys things from Venta5 for her son.

Alternating as hosts are actress Chal Lontoc, sports anchor Magoo Marjon, TV anchor Claudine Trillo-Webb, singer Adrienne Sarmiento, DJ Raffy Ruiz, former Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Karen Agustin, news reporter Heidi Santos and sports anchor Patricia Bermudez-Hizon. They all look youthful and energetic.

Perhaps the products they promote for home décor and home use, for health and beauty, make them enthusiastic. Maybe their enthusiasm is also because the items are so utilitarian, well-crafted and reasonably priced, and fit for the modern lifestyle filled with pollution, time constraint and stress. Appearing to be always on the go, the hosts seem to be convinced that it’s not just creating unnecessary wants, it’s fulfilling a need where one can hardly bend and sniff a flower or flex a taut muscle.

The program addresses not only harassed moms out there but the male bachelors, too. Thus, the stressed-out homemakers and office workers can save on labanderas or on time going to the laundromat and even on space in a small apartment or condo by using the mini spin washing machine which comes with a dryer. The multi-hanger is also a space-saving, practical organizer for clothes.

There’s the QB stove, which can grill and cook any dish with the use of charcoal, and the McGrill for, what else, grilling and broiling. Both Philippine inventions save on gas and are environmental friendly because they can be used in an air-conditioned room without too much clutter and dirt and without emitting smoke. There’s also a unique way of cooking pasta quick – the Fasta Pasta. Juice and sauce can be done with no hassle with the turbo blender.

Other Philippine inventions are the honey coco products, gadgets and car accessories that help lessen consumption of gasoline. Another energy saver, also invented by a Filipino, is the iron mate. This is an iron pad which stops electric consumption when the flat iron is rested on it. Use of electricity resumes only when the iron is placed on the clothes for ironing.

For exercisers, there are the massage belt, the personal masseuse seat, and the handy massager with infra-red. All of these are for the busybodies who may want to relax and unwind, bust fat and cholesterol without having to go to the gym or spa and spend on expensive exercise gadgets and matching sports wear.

The aquarium hung on the wall looks pretty and also the China treasures of mahjong set, opium pillow and jewelry box. The intricately hand-painted leather cases are presented with a background on the history and the uses of the China treasures such as the opium pillow, on the ban on the use of ivory for mahjong and jewelry, and others.

Most interesting is the personal ionizers. Imagine, you can use a compact air purifier in your house, in your car, and even hang it around your neck while you brave the polluted streets. The negative ionizer fights off the positive ions coming from smoke and carbon monoxide.

The presentations may be improved by being less sexist, by not stereotyping females and males by functions. Electronic devices, for instance, are not meant only for men, and kitchen wares are not supposed to be only for women or male bachelors but also for fathers and husbands and for sons who still live with their parents. Well, the hosts try not to be sexist, but kulang pa.

True, most of the time-saving equipment are fit for multi-tasking superwomen. We must remember, though, that they should also help lessen women’s chores and not enable them to perform more and more work with the time they save. Extra time off a task must be spent for a favorite pastime alone or with friends, and for a self-fulfilling creativity.

Furthermore, the elderly must also feel they belong to the fast world as beneficiaries of the wonderful items cited. More time to speak may also be given to the callers and to the guests on cam. More scientific explanations may also be added to the health products.

On the whole, Venta5 is for the quick as well as for the slothful, the old and the young, female and male, the unpaid and paid worker. Something useful for half the price is always a good buy. For those who do not enjoy shopping, Venta5 provides a bargain find, and they do not have to plough and haggle through all the dizzying shops. Above all, we get to know on Venta5 some of our brightest minds – the Filipino inventors.











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