Asian Treasures: The Bad Part


In an earlier post, we pointed out the good things about Asian Treasures, the GMA-7 television show which is currently topping the TV ratings for primetime programs. To recap, we said that the show is good because 1) it does seem to be quite entertaining and 2) it co-stars our kailian Marky Cielo thus giving him more exposure and more opportunity to grow as an actor.

Had Asian Treasures not attempted to include a Cordillera story arc, we would only be singing praises to the people behind this production. Unfortunately, they — probably because Marky is part of the show — decided to include a sub-plot that utilizes the Cordilleras and its peoples. Nothing wrong with that actually. What is wrong is that the producers took all the negative stereotypes they can find about Igorots and decided to use them in this show.

Thus in this episode alone, we have the following stereotypical portrayal of Igorots as:

a) A dirty, unkempt people.
b) A scary and violent savages with blank and expressionless eyes.
c) Innocent and child-like as exemplified by the man who goes about smelling Angel Locsin’s hair.
d) And the women? They are “ang gaganda” according to Robin but they are apparently there to just stand around and merely serve as props.

As in the case of the controversial Barrio Fiesta statue, I’m sure the people behind this production didn’t seek out to offend our Igorot sensibilities. I don’t think they sat together in a smoky room and said, “Sige nga, gawin natin ito para ma-offend o magalit ang mga Igorot.” (Okay, lets do this to offend those Igorots.) I am nonetheless disappointed with this program. I’m offended in fact and join Splasher in railing against it.

So what do we expect in upcoming episodes? An Igorot princess perhaps? Maybe she will fall in love with Robin? A wise native priest who will have visions? A big but brainless warrrior? Maybe some Igorots kneeling before a bulol?

The creative team behind this show must be the laziest people in GMA-7. How else can we explain all these stereotyping? Only lazy and unimaginative people are contented with reproducing stereotypes. Now, although I am ready to concede that the people behind this show are probably not mean-spirited for coming up with this crappy portrayal of Igorots, they nonetheless need some cultural sensitivity training.

Lastly, what’s the strange language that the natives are speaking? It is the GMA-7 version of the Sagada (and maybe in other towns as well) kid’s “balbaliktad”. What a way to trivialize a good thing that I enjoyed doing as a child, i.e., saying things backwards. If the GMA people actually tried “balbaliktad”, they would have exercised their brains and won’t be contented with reinforcing stereotypes.

We will be talking more about Asian Treasures and media’s portrayal of indigenous peoples in the coming posts.

RELATED POST: Asian Treasures – The Good Part. SOMEWHAT RELATED POST: GMA-7: You Need a Consultant, Hire Me. VIDEO CREDIT: GMA-7 courtesy of geerawrd111.

3 thoughts on “Asian Treasures: The Bad Part”

  1. Nakkuuh!! Ganun? Haven’t seen that show yet, kase naman walang Ch.7 sa rem. controller ko and I can’t open the utube video. I’m not invited daw. ?

    Parang nakikinikinita ko nang 3-4 wks from now eh may magbabago diyan sa Show na yan! Go Bill! Dito talaga sa net, you are the vanguard of our Igorotness! 🙂

    Fellow Igorots, makigulo tayo dito! Bilis!!!!

    FBI, get a letter from Bill (Bill, write a letter like you did dun sa Peeing Igorotman) tapos ideliver mo ng personal sa GMA. 🙂 Kapitbahay nyo naman eh!

  2. I couldn’t understand their language, talaga bang pabaliktad na mt province ang salita nila?..that’s it!here it comes the impression we all want from our fellow filipinos to know more about us but somebody is promoting backward..My point is we the cordillerans are trying to remove the impressions set upon us by our fellow filipinos as still uncivilized, mountain people wearing bahag etc. etc.. honestly my sinapak ako na taga manila dahil tinanong nya ako kung my COKE daw sa Kalinga!my mistake to behave that way but i was insulted in some ways..so i tried to apologized by telling him that Kalinga too is the same as metro manila but manila is too congested…kuno ha, pero atleast i told him you can’t find a single beggar in Kalinga..that’s during my high school days when we are invited to perform a cultural show at the CCP..kaso sobrang puyatan ang practice tapos puro pagmumura ang natikman namin k baklang bernardo bernardo who is our performing director then..I remember nagalit si bakla kinuha nya ang gong (gangsa) sa akin tapos sabay sabi “Ganito!”..then silence can’t be heard sabay tawanan, kala nya madali ang mag play ng gong..hehehe..LOLS back to topic, i might conclude kasi na baka dahil k robin na lumaki sa baguio or k cielo na cordillera ang dahilan kung bakit ginamit ang cordillera.hindi kasi me mahilig manood ng teleserye…ok lang sa akin pero ang indi ok yung nilagay pa ang CORDILLERA dun as letterings sa beggining..

  3. Hi Ferri,
    All of a sudden naging private ang video. I also tried to watch it but hindi na puwede. Very very strange. I hope someone else will upload upcoming episodes of the show.

    Oy, Ferri lahat tayo ang vanguard dito. Ikaw naman ang gawa ng sulat ngayon para di nila sabihin na wala yatang akong ginawa sa buhay kundi magcomplain.

    Hi Nats,
    They are actually speaking Tagalog but saying it backwards. For instance, “asawa” is “awasa”. You made a good observation about this use of language as an example of the show pushing us backwards. There are other examples but I can’t watch the video anymore dahil , unfortunately, ginawa na siyang private.

    The other videos I watched, which I was planning to upload sana but which are now private includes a scene where Angel Locsin was using a Kalinga tapis as some sort of a shawl.

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