The first time Bianca Gonzalez found herself airing her political opinion on national TV was in 2003 when she was hosting Studio 23’s flagship show Y-Speak. Televised every Saturday, the youth-oriented debate show tackled the latest matters on the Philippines’ political landscape, giving a platform to the youth to express their views on issues relevant to them.
“Noon, ‘yun na ‘yung training ko, to be vocal, or to share my opinion on social issues. Nung nagsimula yung social media, parang it just migrated and changed form,” says the 38-year-old television host and content creator in a guesting at Kryz Uy and Slater Young’s Skypodcast.
While there’s plenty of precedents for social discussions, social media evolution has changed everything. “Kasi when it started, it wasn’t as it is now. Now it’s so different. I can imagine it’s so much more difficult for the generation next to us to be vocal, kasi anything they say, you’re right, it’s so polarized agad,” she further shares, agreeing to Slater’s initial remarks on how volatile it can be to state your political thoughts online these days.
“It’s easy to feel helpless talaga, now, they say naman, start the discussion in your own circles, in your home, in your chat group, kasi the battle on social media is so difficult, something we can’t give up. That’s why I'm so happy din to see other people who are vocal, kasi kaya ng energy nila. Tayo mag-aalaga pa tayo ng bata,” Bianca, who is also a mother of two, muses.
Her advice to those who want to speak up but couldn’t find the courage to be more publicly engaged? “You can always start in your home, in your circle of friends, your family.”
With the local elections coming up, it’s no surprise that a slew of celebrities and influencers are being tapped for candidate endorsements. Case in point: Slater reveals that an unnamed politician’s team approached him and Kryz.
He shares, “It’s really scary though, right now, we get approached by mga political leaders and their team, na parang 'ah, sige we’ll pay you this much, we’ll double the pay, promote our candidate.' And then I said no na, [but] they really insisted. They met with me pa here in Cebu through a mutual friend.” Kryz chimed in and said the meeting was set up without Slater knowing that it’s for a political agenda.
Bianca applauded the celebrity couple, saying, “I can imagine how many people have approached you lalo na with the reach that you two get. You’re awesome that you are being vocal about it, that though you were offered, you will stand by what you decide.”
For Bianca, this is a matter that should be taken seriously by celebrities who find themselves in similar situations.
“Everyone who would get into that space, it’s not just a post, eh. It has a massive ripple effect, especially those with a lot of followers, kasi a lot of people look up all of these people, so ano eh, make or break ‘diba.”
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