Don’t forget to vote

The Filipino Channel has an interesting election going on. They want to know who is Balitang America’s Newsmaker of the Year.

Balitang America, if you don’t know, is a Filipino English-language newspaper. So, technically, the name of the newspaper is America News. Anyway, they have 15 candidates, some of whom are not known to most American bloggers. Here’s the list:

TONY MELOTO – Gawad Kalinga founder who builds homes for the homeless in the Philippines via volunteerism and donations from Filipinos in North America.

LEA SALONGA – This tony-award winning star’s return to broadway revived “Les Miserables.”

GABNET 3 – Filipino Americans who were on RP government watchlist called attention to human rights violations in the Philippines.

HAPPY SLIP – Gained online stardom through her satires of her Filipino immigrant mom. She is one of the most watched on Youtube.

SENTOSA 27 – Filipino health professionals who sued and were sued by New York’s largest health care chain for protesting alleged breach of contract by Sentosa.

TERI HATCHER – For being the face that delivered the line that mocked Philippine-educated doctors on “Desperate Housewives”.

SEN. KIKO PANGILINAN – North America’s number one choice in this year’s overseas elections.

MANNY PACQUIAO – For bringing glory to the Philippines in the world of sports, for trying and failing to convert his popularity to votes.

RET. GENERAL ANTONIO TAGUBA – For exposing the truth about prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib, for admitting that he was ousted from his position for his report, for taking up the cause of Filipino veterans.

CESAR BORJA SR. – 9/11 First reposnder who died this year possibly due to lung disease contracted during 9/11, His family was honored with a vist by Bush, Hillary Clinton used him as the poster boy for all 9/11 heroes who suffer health problems to this day.

WILLIE REVILLAME – He links Filipinos in America to those still in homeland through his wildly popular show “Wowowee.”

NICOLE KEA – Former member of hit pop group “Pussycat Dolls’ who went solo this year.

GLORIA ARROYO – For her controversial leadership of the Philippines, which now has the worst human rights records since the Marcos regime.

VANESSA HUDGENS – The highest paid star in her age bracket who gained popularity through “High School Musical,” and later notoriety because of her breast baring photo on the Internet. Disney ahs not renewed her contract after the scandal.

SHARON LEAL – Played second lead on “Dream Girls” and former star of “Boston Public”.

First off, I’m a little chagrined that I didn’t know who Tony Meloto, Gabnet 3, or Cesar Borja Sr. were in the first place. Second, I’m even more chagrined that more than half of that list (8 out of 15) are entertainers/sports figures (sorry Happy Slip, I still love ya.) Third, I’m all the more chagrined that one of the so-called newsmakers is an actress who became all the more famous thanks to a sex scandal — good job, Vanessa Hudgens! But I think I’m more chagrined that Teri Hatcher made the list, considering she didn’t write the line and this silly Filipino outrage over the silly line from Desperate Housewives made the list as a so-called Newsmaker. Oy.

So. I am unashamed to say that I am endorsing Happy Slip for president…er, Newsmaker of the Year. Whatever that’s worth.

P.S. May I also add, why the only voting options are via a text message or sending an email with the candidate’s name in the subject line? Criminy.

One thought on “Don’t forget to vote

  1. Sam

    What’s surprising about this list isn’t the inclusion of Hudgens and Kea, but the omission of Vanessa Minillo. ;)

    In all seriousness: I know there’s not enough blurb room to describe how and why some of these folks are so newsworthy. But I’m scratching my head over the placid description provided for Willie Revillame and his show. Revillame weathered some negative buzz over alleged spousal abuse and his extramarital dalliances\, and the show actually turned deadly in a 2006 stampede\.

    On a personal note, there is also something so discomfiting about watching Revillame coax contestants into sharing personal tragedies — only to have dancers hip-thrust their way into the camera a few seconds later while the contestant is still openly crying. It just seems so cheap.

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