Malilong: That’s entertainment

Frank Malilong
·3 min read

Because we could no longer meet as freely and as frequently as we used to, my Walk and Talk friends have taken to the internet to keep in touch with each other. We have five Viber and Messenger chat rooms which are usually busy even on ordinary days because we have time to spend exchanging jokes, gossip and even fake news, aside from the usual hello, how are you.

They became busier on the days leading to the US elections. No, that’s an understatement. A more appropriate description would be that our chat rooms exploded with taunts and trolling flying thick and quickly. We plucked memes and caricatures from Twitter, Facebook and from other websites, including and most preferably the most obnoxious ones. It was all in good nature, of course and we had a great time.

Now, our chat rooms are back to normal. The US elections are over except for Trump’s acceptance that he lost. We will have to look for other events that could once again liven our traffic, keep our competitive juices flowing and keep our minds off the worries caused by the pandemic.

I have tried Twitter. I follow Trump and his critics, add my comments to their tweets and get replies every now and then. But it’s different than when you’re interacting with people you know instead of just names and faces. Still I dread the day when Trump stops complaining that he has been cheated because that will take the life - and entertainment - out of Twitter.

Those who belittle Filipinos who kept and continue to keep interest in Biden versus Trump woefully miss the contest’s entertainment value.

It’s just like watching the NBA, folks. You cheer for your favorite team and, win or lose, you had at least 48 minutes of excitement.

Yes, at the end of the day life remains the same for us, regardless of who won between Biden or Trump, between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. But it’s the same as when you watched Probinsyano during that time when the government has not yet shut down ABS-CBN.

Tell me, did you think you looked or should feel silly at the end of an episode because you were still watching on a TV set that has seen better days while seated on a chair that was ready to collapse at any time?

Besides, anything significant that happens in America can in some ways affect us. We may have passed that stage where we are said to catch cold everytime America sneezes but the reality is that the US continues to have an influence on our political and personal lives.

I have a doctor friend, whose two children, also doctors, are recent immigrants to the US. He used to send me pro-Trump messages before the elections which I largely ignored except on a few occasions when I replied with a laughing emoji. It turns out that he’s worried for his children who, he said, will have no future under a Biden presidency.

There are many like him, who have relatives or family members living in the US and you cannot smirk at them for talking animatedly about America’s elections as if it were ours nor dismiss their interest as misplaced because they are not. They’re real.