Bringing in celebrities

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez - The Freeman

One of the exercises that I have been doing to tame down my media consumption is to write it down in a diary. This means I have to log in what I do in a day and write how many hours I spend on it. For example, in the morning I watch the daily English newscast for an hour and so on. One thing that seemed to have been my staple is spending an hour or two on social media platform Instagram stalking my favorite artists.

I'd not be shy to name them all: I always follow Ellen Adarna, that Cebuana beauty who married co-celebrity Derek Ramsay; Kaye Abad, who also married a Cebuano; Kryz Uy, and husband Slater Young; and recently, Heart Evangelista. Heart seems to be different from them all as she is married to a politician who is always trying to make a comeback in the Senate. She was recently spotted in Cebu, making rounds at the public market and endorsing the love of her life. Wife duties, they say and she is fulfilling them with all of her heart.

Last week, we also saw national bands come to Cebu for a free concert where a slate campaigned in the middle of the performances. Similar events are also happening in different areas. A lot of celebrities, bands, and those with a lot of social influence have been speaking their minds and convincing people to vote for their bets. Although celebrity influence is welcome and is a powerful tool for campaigns, we must also reevaluate if we are only worth a few waves and smiles. Does it mean we vote for a specific candidate because of the celebrities that endorse them? What kind of a citizenry are we?

Theorist Roland Barthes talked about myths and how they are used in media studies to shift the narrative from good to bad. We are so engrossed with the shine and glamour being presented to us, not just in the form of celebrities but even in government projects and programs that we forget the means how they are made. The mind can only do so much just as much as the eyes can see but we can choose to navigate our thinking into the right path.

Other celebrities have taken advantage of their previous career to launch a new one in politics. The advantage that they have is probably less effort to campaign and just work on the skills they need for governance. Yet again should we settle for somebody who takes time to study only after he is elected into position? Or do we go for those who already have the track record and experience? Again, all votes are personal, but we should consider the public good.

There is about a month and a few days to go before the elections. Campaign sorties are happening left and right and who knows if money might just come to your doorstep. With the help of the internet and social media, we know who deserves the seat.


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