“Bagani” is facing public backlash — yet again.
Last week, the Kapamilya show went viral on social media following the episode that aired on March 21. Said episode featured Gloria (Dimples Romana), a shaman from Sansinukob, tending to the wounds of Lakas (Enrique Gil) while chanting the words:
“Mekeni mekeni dug dog do re mi.“
It appears that thousands of netizens found the Babaylan chant hilarious. Even Dimples herself was thought to be on the verge of laughter after saying her line. It was ‘benta‘ indeed, the actress said it best herself.
That is, except for the Kapampangans.
After the chant made rounds on social media, it didn’t take much time before it reached Kapampangans, who were one in saying that the chant was offensive and problematic.
The grievances of the people involved were best summarized by a certain Dondy on Twitter, who wrote:
“The chant used by the Babaylan in Bagani (mekeni mekeni tugtog doremi) hmm was it supposed to be funny? I don’t find it funny; as a student of history and as a Kapampangan, I actually find it offensive. May padisclaimer pa ang ABS CBN before the show only to disrespect our culture. This show is problematic.”
A deeper perspective offered by another Kapampanan, Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) teacher Kenneth Cadiang, is also worth reading:
“ABS-CBN: The production team did intensive research…
Bagani chant: Mekeni mekeni tugtug do re mi [sic]
Qiqil niyo si acoe! Kung ginamit na lang sana ang tud-om (oral chants) ng mga Manobo na sumasalamin sa pakikibaka ng mga tribo, nakatulong pa sa awareness ng Lumad struggle.”
Watch the bit from the controversial episode here.
Meanwhile, even Facebook users soon began to join the dialogue. Take a look at what they have to say:
This wasn’t the first time that “Bagani” faced controversy for being ‘culturally insensitive’. The seemingly whitewashed cast of the show was the first to give offense to thousands of netizens, even before the show aired its pilot episode on March 5.
Local TV shows offending viewers is nothing new. There was “Impostora” and “Till I Met You,” both of which were targeted by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) for depicting impassioned and “provocative” love-making scenes. There are also noon-time shows “It’s Showtime” and “Eat Bulaga!” Both shows drew flak for the rude and insensitive remarks made by their respective hosts.
You’d think that local TV writers and producers would know better than to fall into this trap, but no.
What can you say about “Bagani” facing yet another controversy? Many think that the television series is culturally offensive — do you agree? Share your thoughts and reactions in the comments section below!