Author’s note: According to this article from GMA News, the government defines ‘Filipino’ middle class by these characteristics: “Those with an annual family income of from P282,000 to P2.296 million; families whose heads have a college degree; those who own a house and lot, though this is arguable; those whose homes have strong roofing materials; and those who own an oven, an air-conditioning unit, and a vehicle.”
This country has got to stop glorifying the poor by making exploitative movies about them. These people don’t work. These people don’t pay taxes. Some even cheat, steal and kill. And yet they’re the ones who get free housing, free education, free healthcare, all financed by money paid by us, the people in the middle, the very drivers of this country and its society.
We, the people in the middle, got the most interesting stories to tell. We’re your burdened taxpayers who have to take two jobs just to make ends meet. We’re the orphaned sons and daughters of soldiers who are killed each day fighting for this country. We’re your unappreciated teachers and your pressured students whose dreams keep the soul of this country alive. We’re your gang-raped OFWs and your contractual workers at SM malls whose future looms dim because the state is too reluctant to secure it for us. And for whose sake? Henry Sy’s! We’re the commuters who are sardined in buses and trains and jeepneys every single fucking day just to make it to work on time. We’re the ones who are murdered on a daily basis by the parasites for a motherfucking iPhone!
You can fool Cannes and the world but you cannot fool me, filmmaker. Your exploitation doesn’t mean real. Making long, panned shots of the Payatas garbage doesn’t reflect the actual cinematography of poverty and inequality in this country. It is the plight of those who are in the middle that really represents the country’s plight. Our struggles represent the country’s struggles. Our woes are the country’s woes.
The rich gets richer; the poor got nothing to lose. Meanwhile, everyday is a make-or-break situation for us. Yet we’re overlooked. Ignored. Deserted. How do you like it if we just stop working? How do you like it if we just disappear? How do you like it if one day your motor stops and the world goes on a stand still? Will you finally take notice?