Losing the adulation

    1394

    ‘Celebrities and movie stars despise the thought of fading away, the loss of popularity and public appeal leading many to drugs and alcohol that ruined or killed them.’

    THE popular personalities of ABS-CBN have more to lose than the ordinary employees with the forced closure of the huge network. Aside from their large professional fees, their highly-touted public visibility that spanned decades suddenly vanished, which is a huge blow to their professional and personal pride.

    Celebrities and movie stars despise the thought of fading away, the loss of popularity and public appeal leading many to drugs and alcohol that ruined or killed them. Even in their graying years many had not been prepared for the slipping fame and glory.

    Dozens of entertainment stars and news and public affairs celebrities from ABS-CBN now struggle with the deep pain of suddenly losing the adulation and applause of millions of televiewers and radio listeners. Realistically, absence from the public eye for a year or two reduces their value as their popularity plunges. The experience of the bubble suddenly bursting could be extremely traumatizing.

    I was then the anchor of the late evening newscast on Channel 9, the major broadcast network then which had the largest reach and had, humility aside, become quite popular. It was a heady episode when government officials and prominent politicians regarded me as an esteemed public figure and they would show it. There was also no shortage of attractive, amorous women for me.

    But for some unexplained reason, I was suddenly removed from the job that so incensed me. I nearly challenged my boss to a gun duel. And one drunken night, I tried waiting for him outside his favorite restaurant in QC armed with a .45 pistol; he had dozed off inside after a dozen beers and failed to come out.

    If Vice Ganda decides to leave the network, he cannot command the same stellar stature and financial benefits like before, but the continued and regular exposure will be immensely helpful to his ego. One of the most incisive teleradyo commentators of his generation, the multi-awarded Ted Failon has resigned and will likely join a major competing network. Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja of the famed “Dos Por Dos” have also left to join DZRH, the flagship station of the Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC) while Vic Lima has moved to DWIZ of the Aliw Broadcasting Company.

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    People are aghast over photos that went viral showing an alleged impostor disguised as President Duterte when he supposedly visited the site of the two bombing incidents in Jolo.

    It was a heavier and fair-complexioned Duterte without the “Guardians” tattoo on his right hand. It is not clear under what particular conditions can a sitting president in our country call on a look-alike to double for him at a public event. Certainly, his security and safety are major factors. But the President’s close advisers should have been more deferential to the tragedy and grief to abandon the emotionally-contrived public relations stunt.

    The President kissing the ground has invited a storm of ridicule. If indeed it was a “double,” the physically-unfit President at that time should have sent Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte or Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to the area. In fairness to the President, his daughter or Lorenzana can equally express his unquestionably sincere sympathies to the bereaved families of the victims, along with his kind tribute to the soldiers who freely gave their lives. In the US, where presidents are assassinated, the Secret Service frequently resorts to decoys when the Chief Executive travels by land or when attending brief public events.