Role models and bad examples in show biz

Jodi Sta. Maria

Show biz luminaries are in the public eye and consciousness so much that they’ve become more “important” than they should be—such major societal “influencers,” in fact, that they’ve emerged as prime “role models” for young and impressionable people to emulate.

On the other hand, when they do something flagrantly wrong, they end up as bad examples held up high (or, more properly, low) for criticism and ridicule!

This show biz season, the admired role models from the biz include stars like Jodi Sta. Maria, who’ve made the time to go back to school, despite their hectic performance and public-appearance schedules.

Other luminaries who’ve given importance to their studies include Tetchie Agbayani, who’s even gotten an MA and teaches some subjects in college.

Others may pooh-pooh such “achievements,” because millions of Filipinos go to school as a matter of course.

In show business, however, hectic work schedules and the “make hay while the sun shines” mentality make many young talents drop out of school to earn a lot of money.

So, the few stars who buck the tide and doggedly pursue an education are rightly extolled for bucking the “practical” tide.

Other current stellar role models are popular performers who have turned out to be gifted visual artists, as well.

Their artistic versatility encourages other stars and starlets to be more than just pretty performers, and similarly strive to express themselves in many other ways.

Why do just one thing well when you can be good at three or five other modes of artistic expression?

Stars who’ve become notable visual artists include Heart Evangelista, Kuh Ledesma, Ian Veneracion, Al Quinn, Cesar Montano, Romnick Sarmenta, Maria Isabel Lopez, Peque Gallaga, Dranreb Belleza and the late Johnny Delgado.

Also praiseworthy are our senior stars who have determinedly kept performing through the years despite the wear and tear of age, changes in viewer preferences, etc.

Even better, some of them come up with memorable performances in “retirable” maturity that enrich our artistic patrimony, thanks to their vast experience and time-honed insights into life, love and living.

Standout seniors whose performances continue to enhance current TV-film productions include Ronaldo Valdez, Gloria Romero, Eddie Garcia, Boots Anson-Rodrigo, Tommy Abuel, Robert Arevalo, Al Tantay, Dante Rivero, Jaime Fabregas, Joel Torre, Joonee Gamboa, Leo Martinez, Lou Veloso, Nonie Buencamino, Rico J. Puno and Bembol Roco.

Finally, some stars inspire others to be altruistic when they share part of their stellar income with a wide range of charities.

More stars should do the same, of course, because show biz luminaries are among the country’s biggest earners, as their top slots in the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) annual list of taxpayers show.

However, stellar charity can be a double-edged sword, with some donors using their charitable acts for publicity, promotional and “image” purposes.

This is particularly evident when a star celebrates his birthday with some orphans or otherwise disadvantaged people, spending perhaps P20,000 for one group meal, but reaping many times that in image-boosting publicity.

That’s why we advise charitable birthday celebrants to feed the needy absolutely with no cameras and reporters in tow, so they don’t go from admired role models to nixed negative examples—in one, fell swoop!


Bubu Burger, October 17, 2017