Saturday, 21 April 2012

Growing TREND...or growing THREAT?

Growing TREND...or growing THREAT?

A writeup concerning  foreign cultures
and its effect on today's contemporary culture in the Philippines

Today, we have seen a culture that is gone popular nowadays.

From Apl de Ap and Charice Pempengco for music to television shows like Showtime or Wiltime Bigtime, these examples are rather became a showcase of Filipino contemporary culture that others may think of as a legacy of looking over foreign cultures as modern and pleasing to the Filipino psyche, that uses Filipino artists and using Filipino language and setting-that somehow this writer also think that it carries a showcase of pride at the same time seeing a culture gone  too far: inorganic and escapist in character as everyone comes contented in canned, imported, repeated and usual.

How come? In fact, everyone is for sure thinking that most Filipinos, especially the youth are mainly listening to RnB and Rap, dancing to the tune of "Teach me How to Dougie" and other related stuff, thinking entirely as a never ending trend all over the year that led to everyone's ire about repetition of what goes on in TV and Radio.

However, few would think of it quite strange that it sees a society in need of rebirth by breaking the flow produced by the influx of imported goods in the archipelago. That, as noticed that the present generation seemed to be looking really toward whether to the Afro-American and Latino west or Koreo-Japanese east as their examples of contemporary culture in the Philippines due to rampant flow of imported stuff without sorting which is good or bad in it-and as expected, Filipino contemporary culture, all ranging from music, fashion, dance, even cinema and television shows such strain of influences had gone greater than ever before especially from the Afro-Americans nowadays instead of the White, Anglo-Saxon that the Filipino lean upon as its inspiration in the past. A shift so to speak.

Sorry to say so as this writer would say upon, but in analyzing such these also somehow made others quite concerned about Filipino contemporary culture tha is in need of innovation that is organic and advancing. For sure they are thinking there is a need for another Ryan Cayabyab in Music, Manuel Conde for Cinema, Locsin for Architecture, Tolentino for Sculpture, Amorsolo for Visual art, and others that genuinely showcase Filipino pride without overtly imitating from East and West and instead creating something that is modern yet Filipino without basing much entirely on the Nipa Hut and Barong Tagalog.

This writer, to think that Filipino culture rather limits its own in Nipa Hut, Barong Tagalog, Bahay na Bato, Old Churches and Rice Terraces, how about its contemporary heritage such as Escolta and the old standalone theaters that most end up threatened or demolished in pursuit of building box-type edifices with mere "elegance" and "modernity" as its pretext? Same goes in other spheres that dew tries to revisit and innovate further.

Indeed, few may dare to follow this idea, as most rather cling instead to the usual imitation of all things foreign and subjectively modern regardless of meaningless significance all for the sake of trend and perhaps, profit. This writer, also working in a cooperative that specialize in the making of Varsity Jackets, rather putting emphasis that since the cooperative is making Varsity Jackets, also let the customer ought to design it for themselves, -that in every form they write which kind of cloth, size, colour, letter to be written in it, even other add-ons to add in order to show that they are also involved in designing with the cooperative as its guide  in order to realize those Jackets for days or a week; yet most of the customers rather wanted those jackets out of trend, yet how come they ought to express creativity that undermines trend as its main cause of buying it? Obviously the want quality as they wanted customized Jackets as this writer would say, instead of buying a ready made yet questioning about the cloth if worn after bought in a stall situated in malls somewhere in Makati or in EDSA.

Same goes in the need for a modern Filipino culture. For sure this writeup would make a negative reaction out of it, thinking rather as a slur or anything that is clearly subjective without any recommendation at all; yet not thinking that since they themselves are contented in imports, how come neighbors such as Japan, Korea, even Indonesia and Malaysia had its cultures modern yet organic in character? That the Batik and the Wayang Kulit coexist with the use of machinery and modern visuals? Quite thinking that their patriotism, deeply rooted as noticed made modern culture indigenized and fitting for the setting. Yet how come most Filipino merely reduce patriotic sentiment into "Three Stars and a Sun" or the tricolor, national heroes acting as "Stickers" for tshirts and jerseys yet most lean upon to the Afro-American example that predominantly plays in everyone's lives nowadays?

No offense as this writer would think upon in this writeup. But, as realistically speaking, being contented in imports meant neglecting its roots. To think that Filipino culture is rather focused about Nipa Hut and Barong Tagalog, Three Stars and a Sun and the tricolor, Jose Rizal and Heroes that students usually memorize for a long time, how come few dare to modernize it? Is Filipino symbols acting as stickers enough as modern patriotic sentiment? It's like reducing into a mere aesthetic that carries little or no significance at all except for invoking escapism. To think that most imitate without innovate, of sorting what is productive and what is not, it rather negates the idea of building a modern Filipino culture the way Teodoro Locsin and Victorio Edades dealt upon in the past.

That made this writer think are those foreign imports being a growing trend and inspiration for others also a growing threat as it negates Filipino culture at the same time? In fact, there are more artists that can make something better than the ones they based and took upon; yet most dared to act unnatural, from the way singers tend to impose themselves singing in high decibels to acting like Afro-Americans in everyday life, why not break the flow and start thinking about "themselves?" Does everyone accept the Philippines as a Ghetto what African-Americans tried to get out of it? 

After all, that's the problem of having a contented culture as experienced nowadays. Less chances of renaissance would be unless a need for a Patriotic, Progressive and genuinely Popular culture is to be encouraged thoroughly and widely accepted-the way the customers design their Jackets and the cooperative assist in their creativities. 

That somehow this writer, like Eduard Limonov or Egor Letov,  in seeing the usual setting that is full of craps, made him compel to write criticisms and reflections concerning what goes on in his surrounding-including poetry and other related matter that is, "popped up" from his barren mindset.