Forget YouTube for a while if you’re tired of watching AlDub replays. Chances are, you can watch Eat Bulaga at home for a few days. Thank the long weekend courtesy of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
But if the APEC Summit seems like an alien concept to you or if it may sound boring and unimportant, do reconsider. It’s not complicated. Those who are hooked on AlDub Nation’s favorite KalyeSerye can relate to certain aspects of this economic gathering. Let me count the ways.
1. From the Philippine Arena to PICC
Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza (Yaya Dub) left their split screens so they could perform for their dedicated AlDub fan base during the Tamang Panahon concert. Excited fans slept outside the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan the night before the event. They didn’t go home disappointed because the concert was an extravagant gathering of Dabarkads stars.
Likewise, the APEC Summit is also an all-star ensemble of VIPs at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). US President Barack Obama and China President Xi Jinping will grab their share of headlines. Some will fall head over heels for Canada’s most popular man in recent weeks, Justin
Bieber Trudeau, the new Prime Minister, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Russian President Vladimir Putin also previously confirmed his attendance; but he backed out at the last minute to attend to the bombing of a Russian plane in Egypt.
More than twenty Asia Pacific leaders will be visiting. Think of it as the Tamang Panahon concert with AlDub, Lolas Nidora, Tidora and Tinidora, Tito, Vic and Joey — and even Vice Ganda and the rest of Showtime.
Yet It remains to be seen if Filipinos will appreciate these leaders with the same passion as AlDub Nation. It’s the international community that is more excited. There will be over 2,000 journalists from all over the world who will have their sights set on the political superstars in attendance.
2. Dubsmashing the West Philippine Sea
President Xi Jinping of China will attend the APEC Summit but it appears the maritime dispute between China and the Philippines concerning the West Philippine Sea will not be discussed. Was it a condition for Xi’s attendance or a diplomatic courtesy from our government?
It can be argued that the APEC Summit is an economic forum and not a venue to discuss territorial concerns. On the other hand, some will point out that this issue has significant implications for the economies of the countries involved.
In the meantime, these leaders will talk to each other. But it may just be a political Dubsmash, with possibly pre-determined conversations and replies to avoid too much awkwardness. Well then, they better get tips from Yaya Dub. Meng eventually spoke on-air using her own voice.
3. Rogelio, Rogelio, Rogelio
Remember how effective the
goons bodyguards of Lola Nidora were in preventing Alden from leaving Broadway Centrum? Some groups have observed this same efficiency from the administration after they removed the homeless in the streets just in time for the APEC Summit. There are those that may argue that the homeless will be a sore sight for our foreign visitors. As it is, the group Human Rights Watch reported that at least 141 street children have already been taken away from the sidewalks.
On the other hand, the Department of Social Welfare and Development denied that they intentionally hid these homeless families. The agency presented their year-long program of giving them shelter, health and educational assistance. During the APEC Summit, the DSWD will facilitate their participation in various activities for the national children’s month.
For what it’s worth, Lola Nidora would always scold the Rogelios for their absent-mindedness when they blindly follow her orders. Sometimes, Lola Nidora is unsure whether the Rogelios are serving her or their selves. So who is serving whom? It’s always a valid question to ask.
4. Cuando, Cuando, Cuando
The delegates of the APEC Summit will experience wearing barong Tagalogs designed by the esteemed Paul Cabral. Many people are hoping these participants are not just men and women in nice suits. Rather, they are expected to have the interests of everyone in mind during these high-level business meetings.
Ironically, here in the Philippines, the dead also wear the same outfit, as portrayed by the caricatures of the Cuando, Cuando, Cuando — the deadweight back-ups and bodyguards of Lola Tinidora. Some activists also fear that these delegates may just be similar to a herd of Walking Dead zombies out to feast on free and open economies for profits and self interests.
5. Lola Nidora, Duhrizz and Rihanna
During the Tamang Panahon concert, Wally Bayola staged a monologue that entertained the entire arena. All throughout, he did on-the-spot costume changes to portray the matron Lola Nidora, the spoiled brat Duhrizz and the majordomo Rihanna.
As the host country, the Philippines will have to wear many hats to accommodate the requests of the participating economic heads. But there is a need to ensure these meetings will not have a give-and-give dynamic. There should be an authentic give-and-take relationship with other countries to make sure the Filipinos will not be on the wrong end of economic deals.
6. The Plywood Strategy
Activists have been breathing down the necks of the government regarding the APEC Summit for weeks. A sizeable chunk of these groups are calling for the junking of these meetings. Some are taking this opportunity to communicate their grievances and positions to these visiting world leaders.
But if the protesters are hoping to be up close and personal with these economic heads, they may just experience the pain of Alden and Maine when a plywood dropped out of nowhere to come in between them. Understandably, security measures have intensified in the wake of the tragic terror attacks in Paris, France. The administration is also trying to put its best foot forward and sadly that seems to include muting street protests as much as possible.
Thankfully, there are new communication platforms to initiate healthy exchanges of ideas and discussions. Technology has made it easier for the public to make informed (and misinformed) choices.
AlDub Nation swarmed the Philippine Arena to show their support for their favorite love team. For the APEC Summit, the people converged as well — not in the PICC but in the streets! With the closure of major arteries such as EDSA, Macapagal and Roxas Boulevard and the placement of APEC express lanes, traffic jams evolved to a higher form of inconvenience. We’re not even discussing the no-fly zone in NAIA yet.
People left their homes with clean clothes and a fresh outlook; they returned as warriors. Most had no choice but to walk, even those with luggage on their way to the airport. A pregnant woman even gave birth in the streets due to traffic!
Maybe everything would have been better if the people can just take the chewable medications of Lola Nidora for high blood pressure. Or if they can harness a surge of positive energy like Lola Tidora by summoning the spirit of Regine. Or if they can negate all bad vibes like Lola Tinidora by dancing to Mambo no. 5.
But the patience of the people has worn thin. It’s understandable for the government to do its best to be presentable to our foreign visitors. But in social media, some have questioned why it needs to come at the expense of the citizens.
8. The Right Timing
Although some initially dismissed them as petty, AlDub Nation initiated useful projects such as libraries for Lumads and blood drives for the Philippine Red Cross. It begins with caring and paying attention to the events happening around us.
The 2015 APEC Summit is a good place to start. There is a need to assess and dissect the topics they are discussing and are not discussing. At its core, the gathering aims to forge an agreement to advance a more open trade among the members of APEC. The leaders believe it will create more livelihood opportunities and better quality for products and services.
But will it really? This is the concern of activist groups. They believe this will only result in the marginalization and further exploitation of our local workers and industries just to gain an edge in the global free market.
Most AlDub fans know there is a planned Valentine concert lined up for the KalyeSerye in the future. With the fast pace of information nowadays, there are no obstacles for netizens to be engaged and to be vigilant about what’s happening around us. Take for instance, the possible effects of gatherings such as the APEC Summit to our future.
At the right time, participating and caring will be an instinct, and no longer a burden.
[Entry 107, The SubSelfie Blog]
About the Author:
Bam Alegre is the founder of SubSelfie.com and writes from time to time as a guest contributor. He is a News Reporter for GMA News (2012) and an Instructor for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the East (2015). He was also part of the team that won GMA News the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for the news coverage of super typhoon Yolanda (2013). Previously, he worked behind the scenes as a Segment Producer for State of the Nation with Jessica Soho and 24 Oras (2009-2012). He is also the vocalist, pianist and guitarist of the band No Parking (2005). BA Broadcast Communication 2007, UP Diliman. Read more of his articles here.