Sunday, September 26, 2004


(Note: My apologies to those who may not be able to relate to this, as these are mostly commercials from the Philippines. Thanks.)

It's been ten years since you last saw your high school classmates! Ten LONG years! And tonight you'll finally get to see them again. Because tonight is your reunion! You're very excited to see your classmates again after so many years. You went to the reunion, full of expectations. As you enter the place of the party, you saw your former classmates, and as you approached them, even before the hi's and hello's, even before the beso-beso and kumustahan, the first thing that they asked you is, "San ka nagparebond? " What?!!! Honestly, is that the way to greet someone whom you haven't seen for quite a long time? I think a simple "hi" would suffice.

I grew up seeing all types of TV commercial; some are good but mostly are bad. Some are irritating and some are outright insulting. I know I'm not alone, there are a number of people out there, who like me, have been forced to watch these commercials which leaves us no other recourse but to scrutinize, dissect and criticize them. For the record, nothing still beats the famous sandals commercial then. Who could forget Criselda and her line, "Marupok ka!" That one is a classic! Now, they come in all shapes and sizes, forms and colors, with known personalities and some respectable even. Some tried to be serious and sensible, others really outrageous. The bottom line is, one way or another, they will catch your attention.

I liked the commercial of Karen and her Lolo the first time I saw it, I thought that was touching. But the more I see of it, the more I find flaws and the more I got irritated. If you noticed, Lolo never raised his head even once to look at Karen, maybe that's why he didn't know it was Karen. Who was he with in the first place? How did he get there without even knowing who was with him? Hamburgers are not served with a knife on that fastfood store, so how was he able to cut his hamburger with a knife?

I know commercials are necessary; they are the lifeblood of the TV shows. But when you see three youngster getting inside a taxi stuck in traffic and making hand gestures to the driver and finally getting off without even going anywhere and leaving their chewing gum in the taxi dahil wala lang! It makes you think that, companies pay big amounts of money to advertising agencies for these kinds of commercials?! SUCKERS!!! Really now, you deserved more! And definitely, us viewers and consumers at that, deserved better!

And I wonder why the MTRCB allows the airing of some commercials who show or even promote negative values. A vitamin commercial shows children teasing one child and calling him lampayatot! Which encourages children to call any skinny­ looking classmate, friend or anybody that word. And when you reached eighteen years of age, kaya mo na tol! You are licensed to get drunk! MTRCB allowed that?! And what about the health center doctor who prescribed detergent powder to her patients? No wonder there are no medicines in the health centers, because they use the budget to buy detergent powder instead of medicines.
The shampoo commercial did not end with the reunion though, again we'll see the girl meeting her would-be in-laws for the first time, and her fiancĂ©e’s sisters’ first words to her were, again, "San ka nagparebond?" Was that a good sign or a bad sign? Hey wait! Don't they look like her classmates from the reunion? Next, we'll see a man buying medicines from a drugstore. At first worrying that the medicines might be expensive but he has no choice because he needs it. Then, we'll see him realizing that the medicines aren't really expensive and that he can still buy pasalubong for his family. And what did he imagined to buy, CRISPY PATA?! Well, we don't really know for what illness does he needs the medicines for, but to match it with a crispy pata? How ironic, maybe we'll see him again going back to the drugstore buying medicines, because he will never learn.

The list would go on and on. And it will go on, because everyday a new commercial is born. Suckers..., I mean companies, would burn a hole in their advertising budget to pay advertising agencies who will conceptualize their commercials for them. No matter how BAD they are. And we, viewers, would have to bear with them because, as it is, we really have no choice. So just lay back, relax, and get yourself isang platitong mani. We just have to grin it and bear it, otherwise, magapatuka ka na lang sa ahas.

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