Don’t weigh child talents down with excess and misplaced ‘baggage’ | Inquirer Entertainment

Don’t weigh child talents down with excess and misplaced ‘baggage’

/ 12:02 AM October 03, 2016

FROM LEFT: Simon Pineda, Coco Martin, McNeal Briguela

FROM LEFT: Simon Pineda, Coco Martin, McNeal Briguela

Child talents have become major players and draws in local show business. On “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” Simon Pineda and McNeal Briguela are regularly highlighted, to “balance” the action-drama series’ “heavy” scenes.

Young segment hosts and actors are now featured on some morning shows, as well as comedy, variety and drama series.


In addition, kiddie talent tilts have intensified the viewing and “voting” public’s fascination and delight in performing kids, and transforming some of them, from paupers to instant millionaires.


In the midst of all this razzle and dazzle, however, some TV people have been unfortunately and unfairly weighing child talents down with excess and misplaced “baggage” that shouldn’t be placed on their small shoulders.

Some child performers who come from poor families and have jobless parents have been made to believe that it is their “duty” to pull their families out of poverty, by doing their best to succeed in show business.

Many child performers make this dutiful declaration, and they are admired for their love and selflessness.

But, should they feel that it is their obligation to say and do this? The breadwinners in a family should be the adults in it, while the children are focused on  developing their skills and potential, and playing and having fun, like kids should.

Admittedly, the harsh reality is that many performing kids’ families are poor, so they “have” to “help.” But, to burden them with the bulk of the obligation while their adult relatives lean on them isn’t right, and could be psychologically problematic, to boot.

The negative consequences don’t affect just the juvenile talents, but also their relatives, some of whom get used to not winning the family’s daily bread.


Early on, the resentments may be hidden, but they fester and later become major rifts that cause some young stars or starlets’ familial bonds to break apart.

The parents involved sometimes point out that, despite their best efforts, the money they manage to make is only a pittance compared to the earning potential of their successful performing kids. So, why not make (a lot of) hay while the show biz sun shines? It’s the “practical” thing to do!

As for the negative consequences, like working kids losing the free time to be kids, going to sleep exhausted, postponing their schooling and growing up too fast, too soon—well, the kids say they’re happy to do it for their loved ones, so what’s the problem?

After their child-star years, the precocious breadwinners can catch up with lost time, and finally enjoy the fruits of their labor, right?

Alas, it doesn’t happen that way. Many young talents can no longer make up for the childhood they’ve lost. And, as for all the millions they’ve earned, spendthrift relatives and other leeching hangers-on have already squandered them—so, what’s left to enjoy?

In the light of all these dire outcomes, the bottom line is performing kids shouldn’t be made to feel that it’s their obligation to “win the bread” for their family.

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So, TV people and parents, get rid of the excess baggage and place it on adult  shoulders—where it belongs!

TAGS: ABS-CBN, child talents, Entertainment, FPJ's "Ang Probinsyano", McNeal Briguela, Simon Pineda, Television

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