Essay / Non-Fiction

Cliché Revolution

My J 103 Non-political Column

September has already kicked in and has also kicked off our long Christmas celebration. The malls have begun playing Christmas songs and many people have started buying their gifts to avoid the late shopping rush and the sudden increase in the prices of almost all items come Christmas. But some people are being reminded instead of how cold this season is. To the SMP or the samahan ng malalamig ang pasko, this season is a reminder of either past relationships or of the fact that they’ve never had one. But don’t worry, the advent of several romantic films and teleseryes in the mainstream media teach us several things we need to know about how to find and fight for your true love.

The first rule in a relationship is: there is always a one more chance. If you have problems and your partner broke up with you, always remember that there is another chance waiting for you. According to the three-month rule, you have three months before you enter a new relationship so you can use that time to win your partner back. If you manage to do the job successfully and another problem came, just remember to tell yourself: there is always one more chance. Just keep saying it so long as you still need it.

In the event that you fail after three months, you can proceed to the next step. You can find someone else to show to your ex-partner that you are actually better off than before. But be sure to control your emotions and facial expressions. Smile at your partner as if nothing has really happened even if you actually want to rip his or her face off due to anger. Display your attention to your current partner in front of your ex hoping that it will make him or her mad. If you can’t elicit a reaction, try harder. This will satisfy your ego even if you look stupid in front of others.

If the cause of your break-up is the classic social status difference—i.e. your partner is very rich and you are just a maid or the son or daughter of a household helper, you can work hard to be rich someday. Who knows, you are actually a son or a daughter of a rich, old, dying man and you will actually inherit millions worth of property. You can use it to get revenge to your ex-partner’s family for making you suffer. You can prepare a grand party where you will invite the family of your former partner. Make sure that you have already changed your name so they will not notice that it was you who invited them. Then, make a grand entrance followed by a lengthy speech. Be sure to hire people who will clap after your speech.

If you are still not satisfied, you can interfere with the business of your former partner’s family. You can pretend to be someone else and invest in their company. Then, during one of their board meeting, you will suddenly show up and state that you have the majority share of their company. Do not forget the loud laugh with raising eyebrows. Now you can say to them, “in your face!”

Maybe the problem is not the social status, but your partner actually came from a rival family. In this case, if your affair is already discovered even if you tried your best to hide it, the only thing that you can do is to choose between your partner or your family. But be careful, most of the time, if you choose your partner than your family, a family member will suddenly have a heart attack and your siblings will put the blame on you. Then you will be treated like your rival family. And to make things worse, do not assume that your partner’s family will be as welcoming as you want them to be because they are not. You will be hated by everyone. The best thing that you can do is to show that your love is genuine and your partner’s intention is not to destroy your family. Your partner can do that by either shifting allegiance or by pretending to die for you.

If the above suggestions are still ineffective, you can try the ultimate solution: the power of amnesia. If you had an accident e.g. you slipped on the floor, you tripped on the street or you crashed in a tree while riding a bike, you can pretend to have amnesia. Voila! You do not remember anything from the past, not the name of your ex-partner, your name or anything that happened in the past. Although in reality, you should also forget how to eat, talk, and do things but never mind that. You just have to say the classic lines, sino ako? Nasaan ako? Sino kayo? (Who am I? Where am I? Who are you?)

By using this, you will be in a position to observe your ex-partner and to make him or her look like a fool, if he or she is concerned enough to even care. But let us assume that he or she will try to win you back. You can always ask him or her to do things to satisfy your need to make him or her a fool. But remember, it takes a lot of concentration to accomplish this without laughing. And you should also prepare your explanation once your partner discovered your deception. You should include something like, “ginawa ko ito kasi mahal kita.” (I did this because I love you.) That should set things straight. If it doesn’t, try the amnesia thing again. If still it doesn’t work out, maybe he or she is not the right person. Try looking for somebody else.

So the next time you watch your favorite primetime teleserye or a movie, better focus on how the people handle their relationships. You can really pick up some good techniques in making your relationship work or saving it from ending. Learn from it as if it was the first time that you discover those things. As if those things are creative and fresh. As if we are not fed up with these clichés.

The state of Philippine Entertainment Industry is suffering tremendously not because of lack of creativity by the people behind the cameras, but because of the mainstream entertainment industry’s fear to try something new. We were boxed in the cliché formula of copying what has been proven in another country. We were satisfied of taking a foreign idea and putting a little twist on it just to make it seem that we were the ones who originally conceptualized it.

We need a revolution of idea. The industry should encourage those who want to pursue something new in search for better stories and better executions. For mediocrity breeds inferiority and failure, and we are now at the point where people would rather go and watch foreign movies than patronize our own. It was a bold step for independent films to try stories that would never be tried in a mainstream company and yet still garner public approval.

We need more of those stories and lessons about life than the current stream of cliché, over-used and overly dramatic plotline.

(I just want to say sorry for my randomness, for the lurlurness)


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