By RUDY D. LIPORADA
In a recent statement, President Rodrigo ‘Digong’ Duterte said that he used to be gay, but he cured himself. By implication, he said that being gay is being sick, being gay is a disease. I would like to ask Vice Ganda, our iconic star of the prime time show, Its Showtime, what he or she thinks about Digong’s outing of his past deviancy.
I can’t help but put Vice Ganda on the spot but if there is anyone in the Philippines who should comment on this, it must be him or her. Of all the gays, who are sick according to Digong, Vice Ganda is the most spotlighted personality in the Philippines today. As host, he or she is dynamic, often overshadowing his or her co-hosts. He or she even has his or her own talk-show. He or she is quick to respond with his or her witty remarks.
Are you tired of me referring to Vice Ganda as he or she or him or her? Sorry I can’t help it, but I can’t refer to him or her as an it. He or she is not, definitely, a neuter. I don’t want to also call him or her sick Vice Ganda. That is not in my vocabulary. It is in Digong’s.
Nonetheless, for the rest of this column, let me just refer to Vice Ganda as VG or Viceral which is his or her last name.
Endearingly called “Tutoy” before coming out, VG’s complete name is Jose Marie Borja Viceral and is the youngest of five children. Born on March 31, 1976, in Tondo, Manila, his father, a barangay captain, was murdered. Forced to be the sole provider, VG’s mother, from San Juan, La Union, became an OFW caregiver.
With the circumstances in Viceral’s life, including the confusion on VG’s sexuality, VG entered into a state of depression. Here, VG was actually sick. This, VG was able to overcome and got cured. Inspired by a teacher who had encouraging words: “always follow your dreams no matter how big or wild they are,” got cured out of depression with a vengeance. Starting as a stand-up comedian, Tutoy evolved to be Vice Ganda, an icon in the entertainment world. With sarcasm as the mode of VG’s jokes, VG has a fan base so huge even in the United States and other foreign lands.
Based on VG’s stature, I now beg the question: what is VG’s stand on Digong, technically, proclaiming VG and VG’s kind being sick, with a disease that must be cured?
I won’t blame VG if VG does not make a stand against Digong. With Digong’s propensity for lashing against those who are against him, imprisoning them, tagging them as terrorists or communists – giving his minions the license to kill them, it would be understandable for VG to just keep quiet – not that VG shares Digong’s propensity to enjoy rape jokes where VG earned the ire of Jessica Soho, a respected news reporter, and Soho’s followers. On an angle where VG said that the reporter will never be raped because, technically, she is not attractive because of her physique, the Gabriela women organization took offense.
I won’t blame VG, curt and offensive on other subjects, if VG does not make a stand against Digong because, in the first place, this article actually is not about VG. This is about the climate of fear engendered under the regime of Digong. It is about the climate where Digong’s followers tolerate his unpresidential foul mouth (which a Japanese audience did not tolerate) to the extent of mocking the ‘stupid’ God of the Catholics. It is about the climate that in his speeches, Digong would ramble on about his penis, shooting women in the vagina, and lately, his being gay once upon a time – instead of true programs that would really uplift the lives of the Filipino people like true ENDO, land reform, industrialization, etc.
This is about Digong throwing curve balls of stories like his being a former gay and curing himself so people, like me, could talk more about the subject and be diverted from the issues of his selling patrimonial resources of the Philippines to the Chinese, his being part of the drug problem which he said he would contain but freeing the drugs lords and killing over 20,000 ‘addicts’ in his Operation Tokhang, and recycling government officials whom he has fired for corruption but reassigned, even promoted to other government posts.
No, I won’t blame VG. After all, VG has to protect his stature as part of the superstructure that diverts the attention of the people to the real situations in the Philippines. I can’t blame VG for what VG is all about – entertainment.
After all, sick or not, VG is just Petrang Kabayo with blinkers – unless Tutoy gets ‘cured’.
If Tutoy takes a stand, however, that would really be a Showtime. # nordis.net