Dear Ate Charo

TAWAGIN MO na lang ako sa pangalang Herdy, dalawampu’t walong taong gulang, mula sa Laoag City.  Bunso ako sa limang magkakapatid at buhay na buhay pa ang aking mga magulang, pero hindi ito tungkol sa buhay ko.

My life is rather dull, uninteresting.  I do not starve, I am not adopted (and would not care if I was), and neither am I a hermaphrodite.  You see, my story is neither bizarre nor a tearjerker, not the type that would make it to  Maalaala Mo Kaya.  No, this is not about me, it’s about you.

I am pretty concerned that you would allow your good self to be bullied by the rude, arrogant, know-all, aesthetically challenged animal that is Willie Revillame who recently pressured ABS-CBN, a media giant under your leadership, into firing Jobert Sucaldito.  He threatened to resign if this was not done.

Jobert, in his radio program, criticized Willie for ridiculing the contestants on Wowowee.  Case in point, the show recently invited students who barely passed (pasang-awa) in school.

Why that he could have discussed this with you in private but that he chose to air his childish concerns on live, worldwide TV?  It’s not, of course, because he was too busy campaigning for Manny Villar,  who also exploits the poor for personal gain, that he can’t find time to talk to you personally, it was simply because he is Willy.

And Willy is a man whose vocabulary does not include respect.  He can disrespect an icon of democracy as the whole country mourns her death, he can disrespect you as he disrespects his contestants, as he does his co-hosts (he sacked one simply because she had a boyfriend), as he does his viewers, as he did his battered wife.  That is his uncanny talent.

“Why did they invite those who had low grades, why not those who excelled?,” Jobert asked, rhetorically I suspect as you and I already know the answer: Willie needs people he can laugh at, ridicule, toy with the way he laughs at, ridicules, and toys with Pokwang, Bentong, and his scantily-dressed dancers.

Willie, borrowing the term Joey Salceda used to describe GMA, is one lucky son of a *^#$@.  By promoting a culture of mendicancy, Wowowee caused the death of 70 impoverished Filipinos who lined up for an entrance ticket to the show’s first anniversary at the Ultra in February 2006.  Willie, who, in act of extreme callousness, insisted that the show must go on that day despite the tragic deaths, was the target of public outrage.  But the wrath against Willie only lasted as long as the Filipino memory could go, which is very short, and so Willie survived, and so the show went on.

In August 2007, he reportedly rigged Wilyonaryo, one of those games that psychologically torture poor contestants.  He survived the fiasco, but only after shedding, yet again, his patent crocodile tears.  The 49-year-old host may have been manipulating the show for years, we suspected.  But to jail he did not go. He, on the contrary, went on to build his palaces.

Just last year, he challenged ABS-CBN, as he did lately, on air, to choose between him and Cory Aquino, whose funeral cortège was shown in a live feed in a small box within the Wowowee frame.  ABS-CBN removed the live feed, and Willie was happy.  The public was outraged.  The public forgot.  Willie survived.

Willie says he is not afraid to get fired because he is good and he‘s sure other networks will quickly get him anyway.  “Bakit, iisa lang ba ang channel?”, he snorted in an interview.  He is confident that ABS-CBN would not dare axe his show because it has been bringing in a lot of dough.  That is a very dangerous mentality, Ate Charo, as Papi now sees himself as sort of god, untouchable and without fault.  You do not want to want to continue to breed such a monster, not under your nose, er, not under your prominent mole.

Or he could be thinking that the vast riches he has accumulated over years of ridiculing and insulting the poor are enough to let him live a life of comfort.  But he maintains this frame of mind, his wealth will vanish as fast as fast as his wives and girlfriends do.  Morally bankrupt, he can end up economically destitute too because last time I checked, Karma is still law.

Yes, Willie has, so far, remained invincible, but his continued success is our prolonged tragedy.  Now he makes you choose between him and Jobert.  The good choice is clear, albeit difficult.

Willie glorifies his show as “programa ng bawat Pilipino,” but this only means one thing.  Either he is delusional or I am not Filipino.  Hallucination is more like it as Willie claims that the top Philippine destination for TFC subscribers and foreign tourists now is neither Boracay, Ilocos, nor Palawan,  not any of nature’s wonders, not any of our historical sites, not anything else but Wowowee.

Please please, Ate Charo, do the country a favor.  Sack Willie.  Willie sucks.

And while at it, you might as well ban in your network Lito Camo, author of trashy songs like Otso-otso, Dododo Dadada, and Boom-tarat-tarat, less he continue to make others believe, as he made Willie believe, that the main tool of a singer is not good voice but thick face.

If you must do the right thing, Ate Charo, please do it now, less we forget again, less Willie Revillame survive, again.

In advance, I say: Congratulations!