The Bad Values We Learn from Telenovelas: Revenge

I once wrote on Facebook, kapag may kaaway ang isang contrabida sa telenovela, ang unang naiisip niya ay ipapatay ang kanyang kaaway. Hindi puwede mag-usap? Hindi puwede mag-move on? Kailangan talagang ipapatay?

I thought those telenovela scenarios were too far fetched to happen in real life up until I watched a news report. It talked about how this girl who got angry at her friend, so she asked her boyfriend to “teach her friend a lesson”. The whole situation went awry because the friend’s blindfold fell off, and she saw who was abducting her. In panic, the guy kills her. The angry girl is apprehended. She is crying now, her face behind a handkerchief. She said she didn’t want her friend dead. She said that wasn’t her intention. Where did that girl get the idea of abducting her friend? How could she even think that it was ok to do that? Assuming that she is an average Filipino who watches telenovelas, is it possible that those shows gave her permission to be that vengeful?

Revenge is a theme in telenovelas, and it’s not just the contrabida who does it. When the nice little bida, changes her identity and becomes rich, she suddenly has power over the contrabida and proceeds to make the contrabida’s life miserable. The bida’s vengeful ways is even glorified. Karma, buti nga, kumain ka ng putik! 

I have experienced this feeling–hating someone so bad that you want to destroy that person’s life, yet we know this isn’t right. Even if you’re a nice person, doing something bad against your enemy is wrong. If you do a bad thing, it’s still a bad thing. In real life, you can’t assume that you’re the bida. In real life, no one is the clear cut bida or contrabida. We’re all trying to make sense of our lives.

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