Proposal to Regulate Foreign Artists: A Moratorium on our Taste!

  • NOTE: This article was first posted on my old site on Jan. 17, 2011.

Some hypocrites and ignoramuses in the entertainment industry propose to put a moratorium on people’s entertainment tastes by

Lady Gaga. Photo Credit: Inquirer.net

Lady Gaga. Photo Credit: Inquirer.net

calling for government regulation of foreign artists’s concerts in the Philippines. They believe that forcible limitation on or regulation of foreign artists’ gainful activities in the country would give them the opportunity to shine and to attract more local supporters. Their main contention is that the country’s lawmakers have the duty to protect the interests of our very own Filipino artists who are being outshone and outperformed by international singing celebrities such as Bruno Mars, Tailor Swift, and Justin Beiber who are all scheduled to hold major concerts in the country this year.

In an outrageous news report, Filipino singer Kuh Ledesma is concerned about the upcoming concerts of Mars, Swift and Beiber during the traditional “concert seasons” in the country such as Valentine’s Day and Summer.

Ledesma has the very reason to feel threatened. Now it appears that she is simply trying to protect her own interest, as she is scheduled to hold a major concert on February 12 and 13 at the PICC with other local celebrities. Why not? Reports say that tickets for the Swift concert sold like hot cakes. A radio commentator who supports Ledesma’s statist call said that even Swift’s complimentary tickets sell at P5,000. Advanced sales of Justin Beiber’s concert at SM Mall of Asia are also picking up.

Well, it’s not our fault if we want to patronize foreign artists instead of our own local celebrities. Does that make us anti-pinoy or un-Filipino? The answer is NO! There’s no accounting for taste. Entertainment tastes rely on our personal value-judgment. It’s never about who performs what! This is because the object of appreciation is not merely the artist himself/herself, but his/her ability to satisfy people’s tastes. It’s not merely the performer, but most especially the quality of his/her performance. So please stop making this an issue of being an anti-pinoy or un-Filipino.

Let me say then that Ledesma’s HIGHLY IGNORANT, STUPID call is an insult to my personal entertainment taste. Who the hell is she to call on our government to regulate the activities of foreign performers when it is the people or consumers who make personal decisions whose concert to support or patronize. If she and her ilk believed that the government has to protect their respective interests, then we the consumers have also the very right to our personal choices and entertainment tastes!

To support this regulative proposal, some people in the entertainment and media industry point to the “minimal amount” of tax that foreign artists pay to the government. This stupid contention/justification is plain hogwash!

Let me explain why.

  • These foreign concert artists, who are considered non-resident aliens not engaged in trade or business, are taxed 25 percent of gross income from sources within the Philippines if their stay within the country does not exceed 180 days in the calendar year. This simply means that if Justin Beiber or Taylor Swift or Bruno Mars earned a gross income of P50 million, they would pay a total tax of P12,500,000 that would go to the payment of the school fees of UP students and other welfare expenses of the government.
  • These foreign artists generate jobs for Filipinos, such as local producers, concert or event organizers, and production assistants, among others.
  • These foreign artists serve as a challenge to our local artists to improve their craft instead of calling on our lawmakers to use the power of force.

This morning I listened to a radio program that simply ruined my day. A male radio announcer said the government must protect our artists and entertainers. I do not exactly recall what this radio announcer said, but here’s what I remember: “Tama si Kuh Ledesma sa kanyang panawagan sa ating mga mambabatas dahil talaga naming nasasapawan na an gating local artists.”

Yes, the word he used is “nasasapawan” (translation: being outperformed). Is it the fault of these foreign artists if they’re so good at what they do? Is it our fault as local consumers that we root for foreign artists rather than our local singing stars?

These ignoramuses should remember that Charice Pempengco, a Filipino artist, has become an international singing sensation not because she’s a Filipina but because of her sheer ability.

How would these ignoramuses react if western countries like the United States, Canada and Great Britain adopted the same proposal? These hypocrites and ignoramuses, who are mostly liberal/leftists/statists, would be howling “Racists! Racists!”

The only solution to their highly irritating sentiment is: IMPROVE YOUR CRAFT! Their call simply shows their inability to compete with international singing sensations who’re being punished and made to feel guilty for being so good and so popular.

In regard to Kris Aquino’s plan to produce the concert of Bruno Mars! SHE’S A HEROINE! And don’t forget: BOYCOTT KUH LEDESMA and HER ILK!!!

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