AS A teenage prankster with a high voice, I once called up an earnest classmate and pretended I was a girl, a sweetly flirtatious chick (yes, we still used that word back then) our class had just met at one of the dimly lit soirees we used to have with girls’ schools. It was not a great mimicry but it worked, my friend’s gullibility enhanced by roused testosterone. We spoke for over an hour, trading gossip and shy compliments.
“PHILIPPINE IDOL” semifinalist Ira Marasigan is not your typical reality-television contestant. She is, after all, a fresh graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University who is living an upperclass lifestyle. That alone makes her an oddity in a television genre notorious for attracting all sorts of desperate characters who compete over cash and careers in show business.
Then again, Marasigan says she saw joining the Philippine franchise of the global TV hit “American Idol” as just having fun: “No one convinced me, I thought it would be quite an accomplishment to make it to Philippine Idol.” It was — considering how many Idol-wannabes auditioned for the show.
The above is part of the title of a popular ‘80s tune, but it may well be the anthem for this age. Back then, the notion that someone was out there observing us had malevolent undertones, and the proper reaction was wariness, if not outright fear. Nowadays, however, a great many of us seem to welcome being watched — and we’re not talking only of those who join shows like “Pinoy Big Brother” or “Pinoy Dream Academy.” As our opening piece in this month’s series on voyeurs and exhibitionists points out, the Internet and the proliferation of nifty cybertools like MySpace and YouTube have made it possible for practically anyone to take to the stage and perform whatever tricks he has mastered in the hope of catching some attention. In other words, we are now ourselves in constant search of an audience.
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