Thursday, August 8, 2013


This week’s media log is about an article by Teodoro C. Benigno entitled “Culture: the real culprit”. Please note that the article was written 11 years ago, so the views of the author might be different then to the present time now. Because of this, the author’s views at the time might also differ from that of mine in the present.

In his article, Teodoro Benigno gets straight to the point by criticizing American correspondent James Fallow when he (Fallow) suggested that the Philippines and its culture has degenerated to that of a dog-eats-dog kind of level, in short, a ‘damaged culture’. Instead of refuting this allegation, Teodoro agrees with the concept completely (since upon reading the article, I thought that Teodoro would think of this observation otherwise and that he would rebut this out of feeling from a nationalistic sense of duty). He supported this by citing examples and quotes from different social icons like Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino, Claro Recto, Ferdinand Marcos and Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore who had the same message: that the Philippines is ‘sitting on a social minefield’ meaning that if Philippine culture continues to deteriorate at such a rate, we would be left with nothing that could be considered as culture since everyone only thinks for his/herself and not for the benefit of the whole people, which is essential is if a country is to progress.

A logical fallacy that could be found throughout the article was that Teodoro Benigno tries to convince the reader that the cause of this ‘damaged culture’ in the recent years was because of Former President (and now Mayor of Manila) Joseph Estrada’s corruption that led to him being ousted from power through an impeachment case. He found Estrada the perfect example as he stole from the very people who believed in his catchy campaign slogan: “Erap para sa mahirap! (Erap for the poor!)” What is ironic is that the poor masses believed that they could be lifted from poverty if they put Erap in office, but in return Erap stole from them through sheer use of corruption. And because of this revelation, people now have this mindset that “If the President did all of these corrupt things from under our noses and got away with most of it, why can’t we also?” This leads to people having a selfish mindset/mentality, and as mentioned in the previous paragraph, this leads to the deterioration of a nation’s culture.

Fallows highlights some good things about our culture like how “
Individual Filipinos are at least as brave, kind and noble-spirited as individual Japanese…”Beyond the term individual it only extends to family then the good aspects stops there. Beyond that, if you’re not family then people don’t give crap about you. Because of this, people don’t feel inclined to help their countrymen and this results to a collapse in nationalism, and with citizens that are not nationalistic, a nation cannot progress. In the article, Fallows mostly attributes this problem at the fact that the Philippines was colonized way more times than it should. His message is that it was bad enough that we were under 400 years of Spanish rule the Americans came along and made the country their lapdogs without the country knowing about it. It’s almost as if the Philippines would rather please the Americans instead of her own people.

Culture: The real culprit | Opinion, News, The Philippine Star | (n.d.). Retrieved from

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Freedom but not really freedom (lolwhut).. XD

This week’s media log is all about media and religion. The picture above shows Former First Lady viewing an art piece by Mideo Cruz on the controversial art exhibit “Poleteismo” (polytheism, or the worship of one or more god/s in English) at the CCP 1(Cultural Center of the Philippines). The art exhibit was controversial because the Church and its supporters were disgusted on some of the works portrayed at the exhibit (one showed Jesus Christ as the Disney character Mickey Mouse while another would be the the picture above; the crucifix with a male sexual organ attached at the bottom along with condoms strung around the crucifix). the Church claims that the exhibit should be out down (which it was a few weeks later) because it was sacrilegious in a way that it defaced sacred icons of the Christian religion. Charges have been filed against the artist, the Church accusing him of violating Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code on obscene exhibitions and indecent shows. Mideo Cruz however, defended himself by stating that his works were under legal grounds and that this is enough reason to be published as it his under his right to free expression.

The media played an important role in this controversy as it allowed the people of the Philippines to give their sides on the controversy. People watched the news on TV as the media covered it. Netizens offered their opinions, support criticisms through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Those netizens who offered their support to the Church say that the artist has “gone too far” while Mideo Cruz’s supporters insist that what he was doing was within the boundaries of his right, so there is nothing really wrong about his exhibit and that people are just “over-reacting”. Personally, I am neither for nor against his work because for one, I believe that anybody has the right to display whatever is in their mind in an artistic way while my religion compels me to say that this is a perverse and sacrilegious way of presenting a form of art. To think that putting in a male sexual organ in an icon of one of the most sensitive and dominant religion in the country and not expect criticism for it still baffles me. While stating that I am neither pro nor con on this issue, I will agree to the fact that the artist has gone too far in putting some elements that are frowned upon by the Church in its religious icons.

A fallacy that I saw in those who defended the artist and his exhibit was the age old “it is fine because it’s under the freedom of speech, and if it’s under freedom of free speech, he can post what he wants”. This type of thinking is wrong. This is textbook example of Stage One thinking wherein an idea is considered correct only because there are others who are more experienced on the subject say so. Another thing that makes the statement into a fallacy (and I learned this in my RVLC class) is that just because it is freedom of speech does not make it total freedom. Freedom in this case is not total because it is still has limitations and governed by constitutional law. This freedom is limited to prevent others from using it as just as an excuse (like in this case where the otherwise sacrilegious and otherwise offending artworks are being defended under the guise if this ‘freedom).

Friday, July 26, 2013

I think I should also get a llama (’-’*)

                                                 (Lyrics located in the comments section)

Last week’s Media Log is evidently about consumerism and its role in media. The video above is a musical entitled Consumerism! The Musical. I came across this video upon the advice of my Economics teacher. This video is satirical, meaning that it pokes fun about how Americans (being the most consumerist of all the capitalist countries) have this philosophy or idea that they happiness achieved through excessive purchases of material goods. The musical implies that with how consumerism works, they could buy whatever they want and as many as they want, use/consume these goods now and pay later. This would sound very appealing to people who want something immediately and that they could pay for it later on (or “utang” as it’s known in the Filipino language).

 This is evident throughout the lyrics like when the singer sings  “my credit cards, they never fail” and “... which means I don’t own a thing and I buy even more” supports this mentality. This could be because of how credit cards work, where they say to pay a small amount of the full price at the time of purchase then pay the rest over the period of (usually) a month. An example would be like if I buy the new Xbox One gaming console. The console would cost approximately $4000. If I pay with my credit card, I could pay $200 for now (this is called the downpayment) then pay the remaining $3800 in installments over the course of one month. This method is a fallacy in a sense because it would lull people to believe that they it would be better to postpone paying the full amount so that they could save money at that moment. However, credit card companies anticipate this since they believe that the customer would either pay the money that they owe at the last minute or if the customer can’t pay at the allotted time, the bank would allow payments made after the due date but these would come with an ‘interest rate’ or a penalty fee so that they could make a little more income.

Another fallacy that we could incorporate in this musical video is an appeal for Ad Populum (a fallacy wherein when something that is popular then is is immediately true). If we look throughout the duration of the video and the lyrics there is a message there where the singer is saying “It’s a wonderful life because you can buy all of these things you want and pay it back later so that you could enjoy the thing that you bought NOW instead of worrying on how to pay for it later on. In this type of modern world that we live in today, through technology, we have this luxury on convenience: where the things we want are attainable instantly and with no restrictions in terms of quantity (unlimited), These two factors of consumerism were very hard to obtain in the past years.

My theory is that, because of these two factors that lead to consumerism, people that don’t practice capitalism, consumerists are looked down upon because they consume goods excessively (as stated in the lyrics “I’m the king of success”) and therefore waste goods that should have been appropriated equally. This discrimination is a fallacy because the focus only on consumers who buy goods on credit and forget to pay the loan later on. Effective consumerism is achieved only if the person controls his credit spending proportional to that of his income, so that he can easily pay his credit loan safely, knowing that he has enough money to do so.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Eyes on that motherboard.. XD

This week’s Media Log theme is Media and Gender. For this theme, we will focus more on the Female aspect of Gender (as seen on the video above). The video is a tutorial made by MSi, a Taipei-based gaming company. It shows how to assemble a MSi Z87-GD64 Gaming PC. From what I learned from the video, apparently, all you need on how to assemble a gaming PC is a bikini-clad female model with a Philips screwdriver and a bad English language dub, all the while a cheesy pop music blares in the background. If we look at this advertisement through a gamer’s point of view, we would see some factors that would make us ("us" term used since I  myself am a gamer) cringe at some segments of the video like the way she handled some of the parts oh-so-not-gently and touching some of the wires/components that are not meant to be touched at all since it would affect the computer’s performance. But we aren’t here to criticise the video itself but rather the model used in the video. To keep the logical flow in order, I have decide to divide my criticisms into these simple questions : 1) Why was a woman model used in the video? and 2) Why is she dressed like that?

In my opinion, a female model was used to obviously attract and target the male population of the gaming community. As of now, the male/female gamer ratio is around the 60/40 criteria. By using a female model, MSi aims to target that 60% male part of the gaming community and chooses to completely ignore the other 40% female part (unless they are lesbians or bisexuals). Of course, let us not forget that MSi is a gaming COMPANY, and companies need to attract buyers to get sales. And what better way to lure male gamers into buying a gaming PC than a female model in a bikini assembling one? This brings us to the answer of the next question.

One of the things that seemed strange was about the model’s apparel throughout the video. It was bearable at the start when she was clothed decently until the cheesy pop music started playing and she was suddenly transformed to that of a “gamer girl in a bright orange bikini”. I mean, she could’ve stayed clothed in that jacket and miniskirt throughout the course of the video, but why did they suddenly dress her in a bikini that is sexually provocative? Obviously this is a textbook case of sexism. This style of marketing wherein companies lure male buyers by sexualising women into buying their products is a very old marketing strategy. However, this is very effective as it produces the desired result. To be honest, most of the male gamers in the comments section of the video’s responses could be summarised as “ I don’t think any of us (the male gamers who have viewed the tutorial) here came for the tutorial” (referring to the fact that they are more interested in the scantily-clad model rather than the tutorial itself). In short: Sexualising women to attract male buyers: an age-old but very effective marketing strategy.

A fallacy that could evidently be seen in this video is an Appeal to Ignorance. The definition for an Appeal to Ignorance is that since something (in this case the video) has not been proven false, it is therefore true. This fallacy can be applied by saying that the way the model assembled the PC is correct, therefore the tutorial’s instructions are also correct. However some people who have had experience in assembling PCs are chastising the video. Commented by Youtube use Dawi Fourie:
"First of all you don't hold the CPU like that, and you don't touch the gold plates on the memory,"  Numerous other YouTube users pointed out that this was no way to hold a CPU.

This just shows that not every product marketed should involve women being sexualised just for the benefit and assurance that there will be male buyers.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Read first react later... :3

                                                    (Click to see larger version)

For this week’s Media Log theme is Media and Body Image. The picture posted above is a Kraft advertisement for their Zesty Italian dressing product. It shows actor, athlete and model Anderson Davis (in this case, now dubbed as ‘The Zesty Guy’) lying down on a red striped picnic cloth, naked, with a basket containing wine, a cluster of grapes, what appears to be small miniature pizzas served on a chopping block and a bottle of Kraft Zesty Italian dressing next to it. For censorship and decency reasons, his private parts are covered within a portion of the picnic cloth. The picture’s caption ‘Silverware optional’ and the advertisement campaign’s slogan ‘Let’s Get Zesty’ along with the Kraft Foods Incorporated logo can be seen in the upper right corner of the advertisement. I appreciate the style where the logo and the slogans are minimized in the corner so that the viewer would focus more on the model and what he is implying/the product he’s endorsing.

Personally, I find nothing wrong in this advertisement because as I learned in a few business-related seminars that I have attended because it has the factors that make it into a good advertisement picture: it is colorful, eye-catching, and it targets a specific group of people, or gender, in this case the female. Other audiences however, find the advertisement the advertisement as quoted by a conservative group "One Million Moms" to call the advertisement ‘disgusting’ and calling out to Kraft Foods Incorporated that ‘it has gone too far’. Other people (mostly females, from what I’ve read on the comments) however, feel a little scandalized and awkward because well, it’s not everyday that you see a well-muscled man almost nude with only a part of a cloth covering his private parts, and what is ludicrous is that no one would ever think that this was for an Italian Dressing.

I don’t see what the fuss is all about. Judging from the positive comments and feedbacks from the other advertisements on YouTube and Kraft Foods’ website, people actually LIKE The Zesty Guy. There have been comments like ‘I would buy every single bottle if it came with one of those guys‘ and ‘He can dress me that way any day’. Even males are reacting positively to this kind of approach to advertising. As once said during the numerous business seminars that I attended: “If it works, it works.” So what if some people are getting offended by the advertisement? If it makes Kraft Foods money then I see no need for them to change their marketing strategy.

My theory is that some people today react negatively to men being sexualized in media is because it is so rare and unusual unlike in the past where women are constantly sexualized in media so many times (some examples would be magazine publications such as For Him Magazine [FHM] and Playboy magazine) that it becomes common. When I presented the advertisement and the negative responses of women to it to my female friend, she was a little miffed because
“it's sexually provocative and uses men as an object of desire for a marketing strategy which is fine by me since it seems effective, but the bullshit thing about that statement is, that it's being done with women for years.”

I end this blog by saying that yes, to some, this advertisement might offend some people but a majority of those who buy the product advertised enjoy the change where a man is used to advertise in a sexy a product instead of the age-old woman so I suggest to Kraft Foods to continue making these types of advertisements so that people would appreciate more of a ‘change in the scenery’ because in the end, it is just another salad dressing advertisement.

Some The Zesty Guy TV commercials (courtesy of

The Zesty Guy Gets Steamy - KRAFT Dressing Commercial

The Zesty Guy Shows a Little Leg - KRAFT Dressing Commercial

The Zesty Guy Says Hey - KRAFT Dressing Commercial

Friday, June 14, 2013

VOCALOID music brings races together.. :D

Hatsune Miku is a voice synthesizing program developed by Crypton Future Media. Her name comes from the Japanese words ‘hatsu’ meaning first, ‘ne’ meaning sound and ‘miku’ meaning future (literal meaning: sound of the future). She is part of Yamaha’s VOCALOID2 (vocal + android) synthesizing program. But to some, she’s more than a voice program that can create songs electronically. In some countries she is considered a diva, where she is idolized by millions of fans. She even has concerts not just in her home country of Japan but even as far as Los Angeles, USA. You may be asking, how can something created digitally achieve the same popularity as that of famous singers like Rihanna, Taylor Swift and other real life singers? How can one explain this phenomena? The answer is in her fan community (or ‘fandom’ for short). Let me emphasize that she has MILLIONS of fans worldwide. These fans show their devotion to her through covers of her songs, fan-arts, CG, cosplaying in anime events, using her voice program to make even more songs of her and watching her live concerts just to name a few. Of course, some would argue that she’s not a ‘real‘ singer because her voice comes from a program and her concerts are just a hologram of her performing with a live band so therefore she could not be deemed as a ‘real‘ singer. Her fans, however, would of course defend against this accusation fiercely.

Based on Google Chrome Japan’s advertisement featuring Hatsune Miku and her song Tell Your World, we get glimpses on how the program is used to make songs, from synthesizing Hatsune Miku’s voice, making the instrumentals, and artists illustrating the cover art. Once the song is finished and uploaded into the internet, fans would start to interpret the song in their own way. Some do instrumental and vocal covers of the song, others would cosplay Miku and dance along to it. When VOCALOID songs are made, one person does not do everything for the song is a collaboration of everyone. Think of the concept of a band. We have the band members playing different instruments, but these people don’t have to be of the same nationality. We could have an American singer, an Asian drummer and a European vocalist. When making a VOCALOID song, many of the international community are involved. For example, a song could have a  composer from Japan make the lyrics, a Filipino musician arrange the instrumentals and an American programmer who can integrate dance models into the song and bloggers who can help promote the song through the internet. A VOCALOID song is an international collaboration and is thus a product of others worldwide.

Basically, the advertisement features a song by the VOCALOID community for the community. The song was composed to showcase that there are numerous stories to tell within the VOCALOID community/fandom. As the last line of the advertisement flashed; that everyone is their own creator. The song and the advertisement tells us that no matter who you are, VOCALOID music will help connect us all and thus empower and strengthen the community and everyone worldwide through music.

Google Chrome commercial:

Original Tell Your World video:

(Please feel free to comment and leave suggestions).. :DD