12/30/2014
And the Holy Mother's doorbell makes a sound

I am writing this from Kuala Lumpur, and all I've been watching on television is news of that AirAsia plane crashing in Indonesian waters. The rest are in Malay. And then there's that subtitled airing of Got to Believe, the KathNiel show.

So, no, I have little idea of what's happening at home. There's the indecisive storm, flipping between tropical depression and tropical storm; the rains have been a bit of a hidden character in my week-long holiday so far, being quite a presence in Singapore, and just hovering over in Malaysia, what with the floods and all. Apparently there's this police chief who disappeared on his boat, too. Oh, right, and there's a wedding.

Now, yes, I know I called that wedding, this afternoon, a "lascivious display of wealth and influence". Eight bridal showers? Closed roads? Maybe. Frankly, I don't know about that. A 26,000-seater venue reserved for a wedding reception? That apparently happened, too. One priest officiating the wedding, plus eight more bishops and seven more priests? Freaking hell.

Sure, the newlyweds in question are indeed two of the biggest stars in Philippine showbiz, and their wedding is indeed big news. And, maybe, we can allow them some leeway in doing things in an outrageous way most of us can only dream of. Yes, all brides-to-be want a fairy tale wedding, and all grooms-to-be want to make their future wives happy. But this is just outrageous, isn't it? Just, well, a lascivious display of wealth and influence.

But, well, maybe all the newlyweds wanted was a good wedding, and they just happen to be the biggest, most bankable stars of one of the country's biggest media conglomerates. They wanted a good wedding, which, sure, probably involved a live-on-television proposal and eight bridal showers, but still, a good wedding. But they happen to be the only bankable stars of one of the country's biggest media conglomerates. And those guys want to look like something really grand is happening on their side of the fence, because, let's face it, whatever they say about who has good ratings or what, they are terrible at making buzz.

So, every night, on their nightly newscast, there's an update about the newlyweds. Not an all-access thing. Just stuff gleaned on Instagram accounts, because they're a news organization too, and they have to be respectable and all that. But still, every night, or most nights, it seems, there's an update on the wedding preparations. Might as well change the segment's name to something more appropriate, like, say, Royal Wedding of the Millennium Smackdown for Eternal Love and Glory Forevermore.

I have nothing against the wedding. I have everything against the coverage leading up to it. I am glad I am not around to see that coverage get more pumped up as the wedding drew near. And why am I not complaining about William and Kate? There's the fact that he's member of a monarchy - and sure, not everybody wants that monarchy around, but tradition dating back a thousand years makes him a legitimate news subject.

Today's newlyweds? Actors doing well in their field, so well that their employers decide to elevate them to a 24-karat golden pedestal of their own making, because, well, they need to make a lot of buzz for themselves.

Well, at least they didn't do live coverage. Well, that's what I'm told. I'm also told there will be a special program next month; I assume it's two hours long. But I bet I won't see it in Malaysia, with Malay subtitles. I bet I'll see KathNiel instead.

And your responses...

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