Learning Culture Through Pop Media – A Horrible Mixture

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Wowowee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently came across some blogs that have got me thinking, “hey that is true”. Many of my friends who are Filipino who live in America, but have never been to the Philippines mostly get their “insight” on Filipino culture through their parents and media. When I say media, this covers all majors forms including the internet, television, and print. I believe the most easily accessible is information through TV in the home. I know most of my friends’ parents have The Filipino Channel blaring hours on end at their home. For some expats of the Philippines who now live in America, this is their only source of connection back home besides the occasional use of Skype to call home to avoid those ginormous phone bills. But, is TFC really giving the Philippines the coverage it deserves?

WordPress blogger @shayneonshuffle mentioned this on a recent post, “For example, why is Thanksgiving, something undeniably rooted in America, celebrated on Filipino variety shows based in Philippines and broadcasted worldwide on The Filipino Channel? What the hell does that have to do with being Filipino? Well, it signifies nothing for Filipinos unless you’re Filipino-American.”

This got me thinking. She’s right. What IS it doing on TFC? Let me get this straight, I don’t find the variety shows on TFC any entertaining really, but they sure as heck promote the hell out of them on-air. Let’s compare a bit.

I’m also a fan of Korean culture and watch the occasional Kdrama, but what I find really interesting is that on one of their TV networks “Arirang TV”, a network dedicated to foreigners and expats who speak English, but their content focus on Korean entertainment and news. You look at their content and it covers everything from Korean culture, customs, entertainment, news, and events. Here is an example:

In a nutshell, they promote the culture in all forms and nothing but.

I hope TFC can take a look at their international content and promote more content like this to viewers worldwide. Especially for the Fil-Ams. One of the local Asian content channels here in California, LA18, has only one show dedicated to Filipinos, Kababayan LA. I’m a fan of Jannelle So, a Filipina, who covers the news, pop culture, and events for the Filipino community and she does a great job catering to news topics for Filipino-Americans. TFC,  should be doing this on all fronts when possible. TFC shows like Adobo Nation need to be expanded.

Yes, show those Filipino teleseries’, the aunties will love them. But, please, focus on more Filipno centric content and don’t swoop down and start adding Westernized customs and ideals into a channel for Filipinos. There are ideals. There are customs. As a melting pot as it is, they do exist. As a group in-large we should be trying our best to preserve them – and spread awareness so that the Filipino community worldwide can be reminded of them.

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