Saturday, September 22, 2007

Filipino Love Teams

Angel Locsin es una actriz filipina.

I just wanted to take this time to talk about how amazing of an actress Angel Locsin is.

I was first introduced to her in the movie Kuya, and I just immediately was drawn to her charisma and beauty. And the character she played, it just felt so real to me. The girl who dates guys for attention, seems on top of everything, but is hiding up deep insecurities. That was such a unique character, and I couldn't see any other actress out there that could've played that role convincingly, because Angel has this sassy spicy kikay quality about her that adds realism to that role, but is also down to earth, so you see the heart behind the role.

Most Filipinos give credit to the lloronas, the crying actresses - Claudine, Judy Ann, the harder they cry, the more "awww how sweet" it seems to Filipino audiences, but me being a former drama major/ theatre actor, I learned something from personal experience that the Filipino masses might not necessarily know - it's extremely easy to play a sad, crying role, but it's much harder to play a comedic role, or a role like the one Angel Locsin played in Kuya in which you have to subtly show the insecurities of a person without being teledramatically obvious about it. Most Filipino movies are overly simple, so if it's not presented in an extremely simply way sometimes, the masses, especially the C-D classes who aren't exposed to too much foreign cinema (which seems to be more subtle in the drama) won't understand it, but, roles like that like the ones she played are the hardest for actors to portray, and she always did it well.

The way I see it, Claudine and Judy Ann and the "leading actresses" always seem to get the easiest roles - the heroin, the super sweet simple poor tortured girl that you root for. It's the same Filipino female character that is played in every single movie and every single new teleserye - it's the same young girl dreaming of love, has her heart broken, and cries like a baby in the end. For leading Filipino actors, it's the same role, just a change of gender, and add a little "mahirap ng buhay" (life is hard) and poverty or nagging rich parents to it. Claudine and Judy Ann aren't that great actresses (neither is Piolo Pascual and especially not Sam Milby), many times, it's easy to see where Judy Ann could've improved the lines here and there and how sometimes Piolo could have, but the roles that they're given are the ones that Filipinos want to see, and they have the looks to qualify for it (which overrides all other qualities sometimes), so they end up being the leads and end up getting all the popularity.

And in Filipino culture, quality or workmanship or character or merit is not that important in being popular sometimes, sadly enough.

But real acting, REAL acting, comes in the form of being able to convey complexity. The best actors and actresses, believe it or not, are those who can do comedy, because all actors know that it's easier to make people cry as long as there's a good script, but it's even HARDER to make people laugh.

Assunta de Rossi is an amazing actress. Jericho Rosales is an amazing actor. Kristine Hermosa is an amazing actress. Ai Ai de Las Alas is an amazing actress. Diether Ocampo is an amazing actor. Cogie Domingo is an amazing actor. Sarita Perez de Tagle is an amazing actress. Rufa Mae Quinto is an amazing actress, although most Filipinos view her as boba, the fact that she plays comedy and drama equally well, that takes a lot of skill, but many (not all) Filipinos are so shallow, they don't even know that. Rosanna Roces is an amazing actress. Vic Sotto is an amazing actor. Vhong Navarro is an amazing actor. Jolina Magdangal is an amazing actress. Just because they're comedy, Filipinos think more lowly of them, which is not right in the first place, because if they knew how much harder it is to make people laugh than it is to make them cry, they wouldn't. And if you think about it, do you ever remember seeing an actor in a movie TRY to be funny but it is not, for example, Mark Herras or Jennylyn Mercado. There were so many movies where they TRIED to be funny, but they failed, because it just looked lame. That's proof that it's harder to make people laugh, and harder to do a comedic role than it is to play a dramatic role.

The thing about Filipino television and Filipino telenovelas (and movies) is that the scripts aren't always very good, out of every 10 scripts, only 1 ends up being of quality.

But the thing about Angel Locsin is that she's such a good actress that even the worst dramas in the past, she's managed to make even watchable.

The main problem I have with Filipino actresses is that they play up to Marianismo - the image of the Virgin Mary. Filipino actresses are always expected to be so sugary super sweet that it just makes you feel a little uneasy sometimes, because it's so unrealistic. There is no Filipino girl that exists in this world that is that sweet all the time. But you see it all the time, that is the ideal Filipino woman, super sweet, super demure, super nice and happy all the time - it's a fake image. It's not real. But it's what's expected out of Filipino actresses - and in the grand scale, what's expected out of Filipino women.

I really like the work of many Filipino actresses, but my favorite ones have been those who play against the Marianismo type - the more sassy types, because they seem more real to me than the sugary manufactured "love team" types. Love teams are a fallacy that the Filipino masses - especially the C-D socioeconomic classes - eat up. Of course, they're not real, the two actors play together, and pretend to flirt with each other to appease their fans, only sometimes does that ever lead to true love, but either way, it always started out of a social pressure to flirt with each other, in other words, they were forced to flirt with each other because this is your love team, this is what's required, this is how you should play it, flirt with him and maybe you'll find love, but you should do what's expected out of you as an actor/actress, because your career is on the line. Every Filipino actor/actress from Piolo to Judy to Aga down to even the youngest littlest newest ones knows that those are the rules, but they're unspoken rules.

But they both know that it's just show business, the actors have their own lives and own private love lives - but the masses, especially the uneducated, don't know that, and it's helpful to their own lives to escape the harsh reality of poverty and delve themselves into a made up world of a current Angel Locsin-Piolo Pascual, Dingdong Dantes-Marian Rivera, New Actor-New Actress love team. It's not real, it's completely fabricated by the TV networks in the Philippines to make money, but the Filipino masses due to their lack of education believe that it's real, they believe that Piolo Pascual has a secret crush on Toni Gonzaga, they believe that their favorite love team is just hiding their true love for each other and will end up together in the end, they believe in the love they see when their two favorite love team actors sing on live tv to each other, they believe in the fabricated world of Filipino showbiz in front of them because they don't know any better, and don't realize that in the end, the love team system is a fool-proof Filipino invention of genius and a money making system for Filipino TV networks and sponsors that will never go away as long as the Filipino public continues to remain uneducated about it, and they will for a long time in the future to come, and in the end, it benefits everybody.

It benefits everybody.

It benefits the masses as their kilig (Tagalog for sentimental) escape from harsh poverty and reality into a made up fantasy world of love and romance. It benefits the actors, who make money from that illusion, that they themselves participate in. And it benefits the TV networks of course who rake in the pesos and overseas dollars from the many times poorly-scripted, poorly directed (but not always) movies that they put out there, many times not for artistic expression but for the sole purpose to make money.

New Actor/Sam Milby/New Filipino-American with an American accent is hot right now. Quick! Pair him up with some actress, publicize and start a buzz on their supposed "flirtations" to the gullible Filipino public, if New Actor/Sam Milby/New Fil-Am is in the closet, follow the rules with all of our contract actors and be sure to keep him in the closet and make sure he's seen with a lot of high profile lead actresses and flirts with them on national television so no one suspects even if it's at the expense of the actors being able to live their lives with honesty and dignity, write up a quick movie script, it doesn't have to be a quality story, it can be about anything because it's the star power that counts that will help us make money, put out the movie, put out the album, strike while the iron is hot, and boom! Beautiful, sweet money. And there's Filipino show business. Everybody benefits in the end, so what's the problem?

To be continued...
and is continuing in the daily lives of millions of Filipinos...

P.S. This is just a personal opinion and is not meant to do any harm to anybody's career. This is a personal blog, please take these entries as loving and constructive criticism as to how we can improve our beautiful Filipino society and helpful ideas as to how to promote equality for all of the people of the Philippines. I just want to say that there have been very good movies from all of the television networks over the years: Kuya, So Happy Together, Ngayong Nandito Ka, Eternity, Bcuz of U, Crying Ladies. I'm not saying that all Filipino movies aren't good, there are many fantastic ones that we as Filipinos are extremely proud of.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this post i super agree :)nice blog :)