The Piolo predicament

has gone viral.  posted just two days ago by gma news online, the link has been shared 44,500 times!  the charice challenge, that made it to the list of Best Music Writing 2011’s honorable mentions, was shared some 2 to 3,000 times, and we thought that was a lot.


  1. Dina Sumulong

    Excellent article and very moving. Read “The Charice Challenge” for the first time, too, and it is just as good. Thanks for sharing. What is missing from the Charice story of course is Freddie Aguilar’s “unggoy” comment (circa July 2009, the Charice article is circa late 2010). Would have been an interesting comparison, too: before Lea, after all, and way before Arnel and Charice, there was Freddie.

    There is ugliness everywhere: in the comments of our chattering classes and in what quickly passes for nationalism (or whatever) in some of our national discussions.

    • the unggoy comment :) that deserves an entire piece, i think, that startes with his “anak” and how it was snubbed at that song competition but became a global hit… quiet siya lately. still recovering maybe from his sister’s bad press.

      ugly. and unthinking chatter. nationalism is beyond us.

  2. Dina Sumulong

    Apir, Tita!

    Reminds me of another recent unggoy comment — the NCAA brawl between a volleyball team and a basketball team (huh?) over racials slurs hurled at a Nigerian student-player, i.e., unggoy, and Frankie Lim’s “I told them, you’re not supposed to do that to foreigners” (huh? again). I’m sure that came across as enlightened, among certain circles. Yes, sir, we’ll save our racial epithet of choice for our kababayans, thank you very much.

    Maybe someday I’ll reclaim unggoy. Unggoy and Unashamed or some other (less lame) battle cry. But that’s for later, or at least until after I get my next Chuvaness fix.

  3. Dina Sumulong

    Oh, PS, in case you are wondering about my name (I noticed you dropped the ‘tibak’ hirit doon sa ating Phnoy and Kris exchange), di po ito itchapeyk. Yessir, kamag-anak ko si Dina Umasenso at si Roy Literal.

  4. anonymous

    Thought the article was badly written with too many run-on sentences. The girl should learn to use some periods or semicolons in the very least! Plus it came off really preachy and pretentious. KC never explicitly said anything about Piolo being gay so why is he being suggested to not come out of a hypothetical(with weak evidence) closet?

    • Dina Sumulong


      “What is relevant is what the middle- to upper-class inhabitants of social media sites decided to do with what KC did not say…”

      Go away. Learn to read. Come back when you’re ready. Okay?

  5. anonymous

    “we decided to read between the lines and bully Piolo into coming out of the closet. But why would he? For us?”

    its also funny how she went on to say that certain celebrities shouldnt be dragged into the whole situation while dropping her name to the long hits this piolo-kc thing has gotten on google.

    Seriously, grow up and learn to take a contrasting opinion dina. I have just as every right to say my piece about this situation as katrina did. By the way, i grew up with a then closeted gay brother and i personally saw his struggle to let my parents and the rest of the world come to terms with this fact for years. According to him, he felt caged up. In no way is pretending to be something or someone youre not, liberating.

      • anonymous

        i think the author has rashly concluded gossiping for bullying. they’re not pushing piolo out of the closet (i think this is even premature in itself because other than hearsay, there is no solid evidence or piolo’s admission to this- but lets just say so for context’ sake) because they’re homophobic, i think its simply because it’s juicy. piolo is a huge celebrity and for something as dramatic as his purported homosexuality to come out, people would love to feed off of that drama. actually it could be a myriad of other reasons why people are talking about it. i’m simply saying just because a is b doesnt make it automatically c.

        if our society was truly homophobic, then why is it that a lot of homosexuals hold esteemed positions in the philippine arts, fashion and beauty industry?

        i also dont understand how the author criticizes bullying but condones indifference, as demonstrated by this paragraph:

        “And seriously, what is our problem with anyone being in the closet? Many have lived and died within it, and that is their own cross to bear. And when we can’t promise freedom from oppression outside of that closet, staying within it could be pretty liberating, too.”

        well actually, i have a lot of problems with the article. this would come out as an anti-thesis if i plan to tackle every single thing hehe.

        • actually, IF out and proud homosexuals are predominantly in only one, or few field, thats evidence of homophobia (homophobia by segregation).

          if there is no gay stigma, there would be gay people everywhere, they’d be out, and no one would care.

          • Dina Sumulong

            Agreed. And even in that one field where gays seem to thrive — the entertainment industry — how many “serious” gay actors can one think of? They are predominantly comedians, and their comedy material draws in large part from their sexual orientation. It is a laughing matter, it seems.

          • Dina Sumulong

            And this, by the way, is IO 101 (Ind Org). That is, anytime you see a concentration of anything in the private sector, something is off, very likely. Think occupational segregation, sexual discrimination, dual markets, monopsonies, monopolies, cartels. Very likely (not always), there is no free entry and exit. “Why is it that a lot of homosexuals hold esteemed positions in the philippine arts, fashion and beauty industry?” Outside those industries, and outside the narrow roles they play WITHIN those industries, their careers die. And THAT is not even the most appaling kind of death in this tragedy.

            Getz moH PoH, Anonymous? No, not you, Anonymous, the first one, there, yes. :)

  6. Dina Sumulong

    So you had a closeted brother but apparently didn’t learn a thing. Tsk-tsk, sad. Guess who really needs to grow up, sweetie. And if you stop posting as anonymous maybe that would be liberating, too. Just sayin’. Don’t tase me bro.

    • anonymous

      my name is arbitrary. would you be happier if i changed it to mickey mouse? i dont see you giving angela or bert a hard time about this when they didnt even provide their last names. and would you know if it were their real names if they did provide a surname? i didnt know a birth certificate was needed now before one can post comments online. perfect case of the ad hominem fallacy. if you plan to throw something back at me, at least try to make it objective. we’re having a healthy discourse here not a grade school backyard fight.

      • anonymous

        E kung “anonymouse” para anonymous + mickey mouse?

        You throw a punch then claim higher ground. You said, “The girl should learn to use some periods or semicolons in the very least!” YOU learn to use apostrophes before your criticize a piece for being “badly written with too many run on sentences”.

        Tapos ad hominem ad hominem ka jan. E narinig mo lang naman iyong ad hominem kay Orlando. Aminin! You want it both ways. Which, you know…is like being in a kind of closet, too.

        This then brings us back to…

        • anonymous

          re: names

          i think dina’s comment (re: posting as anonymous) must have been a joke. a failed joke, it’s clear now, but a joke — because “dina sumulong” is obviously a fake name.

          i am the real anonymous. the other two are fake.

          the first ps was a joke.

          • Dina Sumulong

            Just to clarify: My name is real and so is my email address, both of which I provide at login.

            So on fake names, speak for yourself, “Anonymous”, if that is indeed, your real name. Hahaha! (Getit?)

            I don’t do anonymous smears, and I prefer to do my smearing in the light of day.

  7. I’d be more inclined to participate in logical conversation than showbis talks and so I’d rather agree with Anonymous on this. Reading between the lines is speculation and it seem others treat that as fact.

  8. @Dina S. Not sure that the IO 101 lesson is correct. IO focused on “concentration” because of bigness, which violated the usual perfectly competitive model. IO as a sub-field grew out of studies of whether antitrust was a good thing. (In the beginning, the studies said it was; later on, they flopped to saying it was not.)

    There is an alternative way of looking at why certain people tend to be in one industry and not another. For example, Filipinos are well represented in seafaring, nursing, DH work. In the first two, it is likely a matter of Ricardo’s comparative advantage. As to DH work, it’s likely a unique set of circumstances in HK and Singapore, relative to the local labor market in PH.

    So, if homosexuals are in entertainment but not elsewhere, it can be a combination of comparative advantage and the fact that, for some reason, the Filipino audience wants them. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good thing, but it’s also the industry honchos who call the shots. Are they then responsible for this particular state of affairs?

    • Dina Sumulong

      @Orland R

      Thanks, Orlando, for the thoughtful comments. In fact, I happen to be in an IO class now (surprise surprise!) and I wouldn’t write off the antitrust literature just yet. One of our major texts is Kwoka, J. and L. White, eds. (2009), The Antitrust Revolution, 5th edition, New York:
      Oxford University Press. Hereafter, “Kwoka and White.”

      I was careful (I think) not to generalize and so of course there are alternative explanations. As for DH work, and even Seafaring, I would think that networks have a lot to do with it, which is a kind of market failure in the absence of perfect information (about job opportunities).

      I would hesitate also to say that gays have a comparative advantage in being comedians (or being the butt of jokes, if I put it more cruelly), as much as I would certainly hesitate to say that women have a comparative advantage in the kitchen (just because I seem to see more of them in the kitchen.)

      • ok, but cooking is a nurturing thing, even if there are more male than female chefs. obviously, it’s not just comparative advantage. cultural and environmental factors also affect both supply and demand in particular labor markets.

        as to “cruelty,” the best comedians (e.g. chaplin) are naturally maudlin, so it’s partly self-imposed. either that or they assume the risk that people will laugh at and not with them.

        • Dina Sumulong

          I am sorry, what does “cooking is a nurturing thing” mean? (I am going to raise my baby bok choy to be a well adjusted adult bok choy. Haha! Joke! Relax, readers, lower your weapons.)

          Seriously – what does it mean? And how does it help your claim that gays have a comparative advantage in show business? Is this it – Women are nurturing, cooking is a nurturing thing, ergo there are more women in the kitchen?

          • Dina Sumulong

            @Orlando R

            I think you mean Gertrude Stein. “Gertrude” makes people think of a tragic queen. Sigh.

            The use of the term “in-between” — that, alone, probably deserves a separate piece. Think about it.

            As for the rest of the comment (on women in the kitchen and gays in showbiz) — you don’t need my help. Your doing pretty well on your own digging that hole.

            I’m tired. You’re on your own. Adios.