The LRT and MRT are probably the fastest mode of transport across cities especially during the rush hours. Falling in line to get on a train takes longer than the actual transport, yet, several Filipinos opt for this instead of spending time in a 20-kilometer long parking in EDSA. Despite being squeezed sardines in a sweat-inducing train cart, it has become the daily commuting life of several of our countrymen.

I came across an article by Filipinews shared by a public artist fan page, the piece was entitled Filipino Celebrities Who Took the MRT Challenge.

I was thinking of something to do for the afternoon, and reading one of the comments on that post made me decide on writing about it.

To quote:

“you see, the frustrating thing about this is that they only see this as a challenge. it is an experience that they wanted to try when in fact, thousands of filipinos literally live this kind of “challenge” every single day.
after taking videos/photos of this, these celebrities are free to get out and return to their comforts. they are able to detach themselves from this reality because this is not their reality.”

First of all, I am saluting the person who posted this. She was actually able to deliver a sensible message that is not just a long piece of rant. It also made her garner over 100 likes in less than 24 hours from other FIlipinos who agree. It is actually a challenge faced by thousands of Filipinos every single day and these artists take this as a fun thing to do, a publicity stunt or whatever, actually. It doesn’t really matter what the actual purpose is, because whether or not what they say is actually true, Filipinos will always bat an eye and notice the littlest of things.

I do have some insights though.

These artists have their lives almost pasted on their foreheads wherever they go. Every little thing they do, good or bad, it makes or breaks their image. Truth be told, we are the ones who actually make them. Because if no one patronizes them, then it’s been long since their contracts has been held off by TV channels.

Yes, they can definitely detach themselves from the idea of this transportation reality because they have private cars and they can literally sleep with their leg up high listening to metal or even Swift music while munching on a burger and fries combo. But despite this, none of them is actually rich (or crazy) enough to buy their own Charlie Tango and travel across cities whenever they want. Despite themselves being in the comfort of their cars, they still face the traffic along EDSA just like everyone else- just like your normal Filipino.

What really made me write about this is the issue on how shallow-minded some people are. I’m sure a lot of these artists would prefer taking public transport simply because it’s cheaper than your juggling gasoline price and is actually faster most of the time. But if these artists actually decide to ride the train on a regular basis, they’ll be making their way out of your average Filipino asking for autographs, or a selfie just to boast around FB and IG on a regular basis as well. Why?  because we make them what they are. If they were regular Filipinos who made their way to be social media’s viral content, we would often read “Proud Filipino Here!” but those who show pride for their country suddenly disappear- shamed even by our own people, when an issue deeming a bad image to the country is presented.

Besides, why hate? Of course, some of these artists were born on a silver platter, but then again, at least one person took effort to serve that plate to them. It’s still someone’s hard-earned effort. And if they are not, they work as much (or even more) than a lot of us to get what they earn and to buy what they want like their private transports. I’m sure it’s unlikely your common FIlipino knows about their schedule, but as far as I know, we get more sleep than them.

The challenge has more bad implications than good, just because of the fact that these butt-hurt Filipinos cannot agree to the fact that some people can live their lives by doing commercials, showing themselves up on events or acting out on whichever telenovela plot that can sell sponsorship and whatnot. Which again, is caused by us, the majority of Filipinos, they are who we make them.

It could have been the site lost the best vocabulary to describe the experience of these artist, but then again, it can also be because Filipinos do not really understand what it means. We all know how these train rides is an actual challenge, then, just because some famous celebrities decide on taking on this so-called challenge, they are judge for looking down on public transport and calling the tough everyday commuting lives of others a challenge.

I am in no means a friend of any artist, nor am I a racist blogger who just wants to produce something to publish on her blog. But hear me out. A lot of people are selfish enough to only post their side of the story, it’s not like these artist could read them more so care about it when they are already judged just by showing up on TV. But looking at it from another party’s perspective should be done more often, not only by Filipinos, but everyone in general.