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Dimples Romana on preventing a viral scandal and ending cycle of cyber abuse

/ 12:01 AM November 10, 2021
Dimples Romana

Dimples Romana

“Through the show, we may be able to come up with a system on how to handle netizens’ reactions to viral postings,” said Dimples Romana, one of the lead stars of the new teleserye “Viral Scandal,” on how she believes the show could impact its audience.

It tells the story of Rica (Charlie Dizon), a teenager caught in a viral video. How Rica and her mom Kakay (Dimples) deal with the scandal is the subject of the timely series.

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“This happens every single day. What also happens is that when a video comes out, we judge the people we see in it, we comment, we ‘like’ it, and, sometimes, even ‘share’ it. How do we put a stop to the abuse? We hope that through the show, people will be encouraged to find a solution to end the cycle of what for me is a very unhealthy and toxic human connection,” Dimples said during a recent virtual media gathering organized by show producer, ABS-CBN.

“There are so many things about social media and the online world that we still don’t understand. I also think that information is power because when you don’t have it, you’re either afraid to speak or are firing with blank bullets because you have no idea about what you’re saying,” she pointed out. “I think, generally, what we should focus on is creating a system or a process that we should follow as a way of handling situations like this.”

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Dimples added that it is unfortunate that victim-blaming happens as soon as a video scandal comes out. “It’s like we don’t know exactly what to do with it. Should we report it? Where do we go to report it? How do we determine whether it’s already an old video or something recent?”

She further said: “I’m hoping that through the show, we will be able to answer questions similar to these, and, in a way, help the people who are going through a similar situation to recover.”

Entire family affected

Relating to her character, Dimples, who is a mother of two, said: “Anything that’s being said about one member is also affecting the whole family. I think now, more than ever, we know and have felt the pros and cons of social media. I also think that it’s good to look and talk about the effect of whatever it is that we post, whether bad or good, especially those that go viral. In ‘Viral Scandal,’ we dig deep and show exactly how it is like to be in a family that’s affected by this issue.”

Dimples said she and husband Boyet Ahmee have made sure that their kids, especially their teenage daughter, Callie, understands that whatever she uploads on social media also has an effect on the rest of the family. “We have to be accountable for the things we post online. We have to know that it is our responsibility, whether we’re artists or not, to be truthful because our posts will have an effect on somebody else’s life.”

“With Callie, I don’t censor her posts. She’s a very responsible child,” Dimples said. “Boyet and I have unconventional parenting styles. We show no tolerance to whatever sense of entitlement people in our family think they might have. We go by the basic Filipino family values, which are respect, trust and truthfulness; and if you’ve made a mistake, you have to own it. We always tell her, it’s OK to commit a mistake while you’re still living in our house. This way, we will be able to correct and guide you. So that when you’re out there, you already know what to do.”

Romana goofing around with the other cast members of “Viral Scandal” (from left) Louise Abuel, Miko Raval, Karina Bautista and Charlie Dizon

As for Alonzo, 6, Dimples is convinced that he is still too young to be exposed to social media. “I also don’t know what my reaction would be if I read or hear something negative or erroneous being said about my children,” she declared.

Forgiveness

As to whether she would be willing to forgive those who have wronged or hurt her through social media, Dimples said: “I don’t see why not. I am a sinner, just like everybody else, and am forgiven by the Lord every single day. Whenever the topic of forgiveness comes up, I always remember the story of Ms. Cherry Pie Picache.”

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Dimples was referring to Cherry Pie’s documentary about the moment she finally forgave and visited in prison the man who killed her mother in 2014 inside her house in Quezon City. The victim’s househelp, Michael Flores, was arrested and was consequently found guilty of robbery and homicide.

“Sometimes, there are also people who do us wrong but are unaware that they’ve hurt us, and it’s up to us to forgive them,” Dimples added. “Yes, I would forgive. For me, there is gold in humility, and I think humility is equivalent to forgiving.”

“Viral Scandal,” which also features Joshua Garcia, Jake Cuenca and Miko Raval, starts streaming on Nov. 15. The series, directed Dado Lumibao and Froy Allan Leonardo, is produced by RCD Narratives. INQ

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