There ought to be a make-believe world of x-million of people patronizing of Willie Revillame – followers across the social spectrum who believe in his cause – social welfare beyond entertainment. And I, in defense of the TV host, strongly believe that the many quarters in society who criticized him, pinned him down, singled him out – might just have barked on the wrong tree. They should have no axe to grind against the host-entertainer cum singer-musician. Unless otherwise, people just have to begrudge people their own kind. For Willie is an emerging icon of the poor, the working class, and the ‘marginalized’ in every sense of the word. And Willie has to be defended before it turns out that he has himself betrayed, duped, abandoned and wasted. Nope, Willie will rise like water seeks its own level. TV is nothing without its audience and the man had a good ‘share in the market’, matter-of-factly.
Altruistically, Willie hit nail on head when he warned the DSWD to focus energy instead on the plight of the OFWs or the ‘street urchins’ who need compassion of State and the CHR to attend to matters proper to its mandate. Indeed, why should the secretary or the commissioner be the first to cry wolf on a issue not exactly within its cognizance? Why must DSWD play MTRCB and CHR play censor? Their positions, nay institutional idiosyncrasy, merely call attention to themselves. Everyone else joins the fray, politicians saying this or that and some lawyers give unsolicited advice. But what the heck for Willie who is even more determined to confront the issue – alone, unaided, straight to the face? Negative externality from government pressures applied results in major if not all sponsors withdrawing or pulling out. And finally Willie and the station he keeps must operate even without help – no ‘commercials’, no ‘advertisers’. TV 5 has to do without – its own survival kit – for as long as it can last.
We are a TV generation and most everyone are glued on their TV sets or boob tube mindlessly spending time to view many TV shows they like. And TV 5 is one of them. In fairness to Willie, he, quite explicitly, did not mind having to give his salary to keep the show going. Is there anyone else who can do that for the love of the show? And precisely, what has the DSWD done directly that as much as approximate the things that Willie does? Did the good secretary as much as spend her own money to help? And couldn’t the good CHR chairman be out of the handle in all these in the end? Here we are introduced to a kind of ‘morality’ pretending to teach us on how to think right, what to think right, and why. But is morality a mere ‘groupthink’? Certainly not, I think. Point is, on-screen or off-screen, Willie is case of ‘what you see is what you get’, doesn’t he?
Isn’t it said, “In the busy bustle of life, TV can bring families and communities together”? In short, when public officials call attention to themselves as to unduly disadvantaged a private individual, their actions are meant to be a disservice – it divides a wedge amongst us. Their actions disunite us. They prescribe and in fact, they prescribe wrongly. TV provides a lot more relief than mere entertainment. Predictably, as unseen social forces keep on pestering Willie and his TV show, its future might keep getting better despite.
From where I stand, the strong pro-poor format and therefore strong moral foundation upon which the TV show Willing Willie is built just can’t crumble to the ground by any pressure – public or private – applied. The poor in our Social Divide will continue to like, to love, and to tune in to where Willie may be found, which TV show he will emerge in. Nothing changes on TV in the end and nothing can chance the moral and social moorings upon which liking a TV show depends. For to my mind, Willie is TV and TV is Willie. (09164985265)