Home Opinion From viral to socio-political

From viral to socio-political


HAVE YOU seen Vice Ganda’s take on the “Piliin Mo ang Pilipinas” video challenge? It has gone viral for all the right reasons and has been lauded by netizens for presenting some of the socio-political issues that confront our nation today. 

This trend actually began as a make-up challenge, started by Indonesian content creator Sita Suwarnadwipa on March 29, 2024. Using the song “San Sanana” from the 2001 Bollywood film “Asoka” she created make-up transitions for a bride, who eventually ends up as a beautiful Bengali bride. This has since been named the Asoka makeup challenge. 

Riding high on the popularity of the trend, Filipino content creators made it their own as they presented makeup transformations to the tune of Angeline Quinto’s “Piliin Mo ang Pilipinas.” 

Celebrities like Ivana Alawi, Julie Ann San Jose, Ahtisa Manalo and Angeline Quinto herself, and media influencers like Leni Aycardo, Whamos Cruz, Shaha Meta, and Kapitana are among those who have posted their “entries” to the challenge. From the country’s colorful festivals to iconic tourist destinations, from our national heroes and characters straight from the literary classic “Noli Me Tangere” to the common tao and unsung modern-day Pinoy heroes, the videos have once again reminded us of the beauty of the Philippines. 

While their videos continue to gain likes, views and shares on various social media platforms, the Unkabogable Star’s version gained both the admiration and respect of many netizens for its timely message. In less than 24 hours, her TikTok video garnered 6.4 million views. When it was reposted on her Instagram, it gained another 4.4 million views. 

Sure, the same elements that made the makeup challenge a viral trend were there – seamlessly edited makeup transitions, colorful costumes, creative hand choreography and on-point lip-synching – but Vice Ganda took a risk by presenting some pressing issues that make us question if it is still worth choosing our country.

Elegant in her white Filipiniana gown, Vice is seen in the video witnessing and experiencing the heavy traffic in Manila and then going through the picket lines of drivers who are opposing the jeepney modernization program. The scene then shifts to the controversial infrastructure projects that affected two of our national landmarks – the 49-story Torre de Manila at the Rizal Park in Manila and the resorts at the Chocolate Hills in Bohol.

From there we see Meme Vice going to the West Philippine Sea and while aboard the Philippine Navy ship, she is waterbombed by the Chinese coast guards. This is Vice’s subtle way of reminding us of China’s intrusion into our territorial waters and total disregard of the July 12, 2016 ruling in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague.

At the last part of the video, Vice Ganda is seen crawling on the sand after being waterbombed; she then picks and waves the Philippine flag, and proudly declares, “Kahit mahirap kang ipaglaban, pinipili pa rin kita, Pilipinas.”

My takeaways? First, one can incorporate both humor and depth in an undertaking that some people may consider simply as a creative or entertaining endeavor. Who would have thought that a viral makeup challenge can become a powerful tool to open the eyes of many Filipinos to the harsh realities that affect us? Or remind us of how our own indifference and apathy have, to a certain extent, institutionalized corruption and inefficiency among our elected officials and public servants in the country? 

Second, people who have been given the voice and the platform can choose to be simply viral and popular until their stars fade, or opt to be influential by making a real difference in our society. You can bash Meme Vice for her wardrobe, hairstyle and make-up all you want, and poke fun at her type of comedy or the films that made her a certified box-office royalty. But we cannot deny the fact over the years, that she has firmly displayed her conviction with her stand on the socio-political issues that continue to hound our country.  

Last, let us not and never give up on our country. Let us continue to fight for our country, let us always choose our country no matter how tiring and frustrating it can be most of the time. After all, we owe it to our children and our children’s children to do everything that we can so they can live in a society that they deserve. 



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