Donnalyn Bartolome has had *enough* of the bashing she's received over her "kanto" birthday party celebration.
ICYMI, the vlogger uploaded on August 11 moments from her 28th birthday bash, which she described as her way of honoring a time in her past when she left home to build her career.
“May mga naranasan akong sobrang hirap para payagan akong gawin 'to," Donnalyn recalled. "Kailangan ko talaga patunayan sa mga magulang ko nung time na yun na tama 'tong choice ko.”
The party, which featured roadside karaoke, street food, inuman, playing pabitin, and even a tutong birthday cake, drew mixed reactions from netizens. While many appreciated how she honored her humble beginnings, others felt she was using poverty as a theme for her content.
"Donnalyn Bartolome gets flak for her 'kanto-themed' birthday party, and rightfully so," one netizen said. "Poverty is not [a] 'theme.' It's a reality for so many Filipinos."
Another netizen pointed out, "Grabeng poverty porn ang ginawa ni Donnalyn Bartolome. Diyos ko, gawin ba namang birthday theme ang kahirapan? Yung mag-jowa, pinagtawanan kasi 'nagta-tarp pa at 'yon lang ang handa', tapos 'pag si Donnalyn, aesthetic?"
In a Facebook post on August 18, Thursday, Donnalyn issued a statement to address her critics and defend her birthday vlog.
"That kanto birthday party is my history," Donnalyn said, posting photos from that period in her life.
"I’ve always been so proud of everything I’ve been through 'cause hindi naman ako basta tumambay lang e, nagtrabaho ako," she added.
Donnalyn also clarified that the tutong cake was a prank by her friends, and stressed that street parties are a part of Filipino culture.
"'Wag niyo na din pakialaman yung cake na tutong kasi prank lang naman 'yon ng mga friends ko; wala ba kayong friends na loko-loko? Noon pang meme yung cake [na] yan na inside joke sa mga barkada, a. Asin ba at toyo pinakain ko sa guests ko para sabihin niyong poverty mockery? May mga milyonaryo na nagka-kanto birthday party because THIS IS THE FILIPINO CULTURE. Not a theme."
"Bawal na ba maging ako? Nagpapakatotoo lang ako. Sino ka para pagsabihan ako na mali bumalik sa dati kong gawi? Sino ka para husgahan pagpapakilala ko sa mga new friends ko kung saan ako nanggaling?"
As of this writing, Donnalyn's kanto vlog has earned over 6.2 million views.
MORE ON DONNALYN BARTOLOME: