Saturday, October 24, 2015
ARTICLE | Convenience Approach to living as observed from local TV game shows and its audience: How do local game shows influence Filipinos approach to living?
Convenience Approach to living as observed from local TV game shows and its audience: How do local game shows influence Filipinos approach to living?
The Filipino is a race of many practical talents which allow them to live anywhere, even under the most frugal circumstances. They can be compared to a seed that has been blown off to where the wind has blown them off, or a weed that just sprung out of nowhere, and thrives efficiently amidst a strange environment.
But for a weed to live on, it has to acquire resources like water and nutrients from the earth. Sometimes, to fulfill these physiological needs of the weed, it has to employ certain techniques that even cross as underhanded ones with obvious self-centered undertones, similar to how Charles Darwin’s phrased it in his Theory of Evolution that the “fittest” are the ones who survive.
A Filipino might fake documents and acquire a passport to fly to a foreign land where he can earn more than enough to feed his family left behind in the undeveloped rural community. A father, in his anxiety to arrive home to see his children after an arduous Makati traffic, might speed across traffic regulations and take shortcuts. A student, in order to uplift her family status, perseveres in a degree which she believes would lead to lucrative career. An office employee might stop by at a Lotto booth across his jeepney station to bet on a bunch of numbers he wishes could earn him a million pesos so he does not have to “sell his soul” working at an office he never even liked. Are these Filipinos and their purposeful ways of reaching a lifetime goals actually immoral and sleazy citizens or are they the real “heroes” by the end of the day?
People have needs that need to be fulfilled so they can live as they ought to be living, as revealed through psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (in Kagan, 1972). Humans need to tend to their physiological needs first, usually even before even caring about whether how they have accomplished it was “proper” and “dignified” as the world wants it to be or not. Because of this, the actions of some beings who base their procedures on their “survival” instincts might be excusable, but what about those who just act based on what they have been accustomed to?
A discussion of game shows and their types follows with further analysis of games shows in the Philippines and what it reflects about the Filipino’s approach to living. Also, there are also literatures that discuss the types of audience game shows have, with further implications on the life that they have.
Finally, the literature moves on with the discussion of quality of life and what its indicators are. It captures the quality of life Filipinos have over the years, which provided an outlook about the possible reasons why Filipinos want a convenient way of approaching their lives.
Filipino Communicative Behavior; Convenience Approach to Living
A local article published by Manila Bulletin 11 years ago scrutinized its citizens as guilty of this act (Fernandez 1986). Entitled aptly as “Lakad, Lakas, Lagay”, the article revealed of the habitual shifty practices of Filipinos that supposedly made their lives more convenient, but more likely to the expense of something or someone else. It said that Filipinos could have done their usual tasks in the official, well-known, systematic way, but instead they do it the “easier” way for them but in fact more taxing for others.
As the title enumerated it, the lakad system gets anything done in the most convenient possible way, also as described in Andres’ book Understanding Filipino Values (1981). Lakas is the use of power and connections used to obtain favors, while lagay is commonly exemplified as under-the-table tipping or gift-giving to acquire another party’s trust and favor. Although these techniques accomplish things, they also cause nuances and delay, and sometimes to the point of loss of money, reputation, and time for others. Filipinos have been known to exercise all three effortlessly, and most of the time they do not even realize that the accumulation of these small actions may cause grave consequences in the future.
A combination of these three, along with similar historical accounts is what results to what this study is about: the behavior called “Convenience Approach to Living”.
What the local academe field might call the “Convenience Approach to Living” among Filipinos is actually already a popularly-used phrase in the Philippines, only disguised in a variety of words: Newspaper people might have created a print jargons like the “Rags-to-Riches” scheme or the “Cinderella story” for it. Psychologists might have identified the behavior as “Instant Gratification to Needs”. Pragmatics might have strategized it in the past as “Needs’ satisfaction using the least amount of effort and resources” as the general public might have dreamt of it simply as the “easy living”. In studies conducted in the past about Filipino Values, professionals like Talisayon (1990) shared in establishing this otherwise elusive term in layman, thus calling this behavior the countryman’s “fondness of shortcuts”.
This concept of “convenience approach to living” has a list of names that trails as lengthy as its trait manifestations. Instead of encapsulating the behavior in a single statement, descriptions about its similar manifestations in the following paragraph explain it more comprehensively:
Based one of Andres’s studies on Filipino values (1981; 2002) and Talisayon’s paper (1990), the manifestations of this Filipino communicative behavior may include similar character traits like:
• over-dependence on authority - relying on the superiors to bail one out of trouble in exchange for service,
• docility - the individual do not critically assess what is being asked for him to do by scheming superiors, usually elites and landlords,
• bayanihan - relying on neighbors and family to help the individual out in anything,
• fatalism - if not the superiors, then relying on the heavens to provide daily miracles for him,
• the “bahala-na” attitude - nonchalance regarding uncertainty towards the future,
• fondness of fiestas and similar celebrations - would rather excuse and enjoy themselves now than to work and save up for the future,
• the “mañana” habit – Filipino saying “mamaya na”; putting responsibilities off for a later period time, and
• ningas cogon – work attitude that shows short-lived enthusiasm in most endeavors.
A majority of these traits illustrate the languid type of worker and person a Filipino was, and probably still is now. However, there is justification to how to Filipino developed like this.
Tracing the Philippines’ history tells of a country that has always been under a colonial rule—the Spaniards, the Americans, and then the Japanese (Andres, 1981; 1989). Under the longest colonization under the Spaniards, for 300 years the Filipinos were kept under a lowly peasant society where “respectable” elites dominated and controlled their every action. The Filipinos were taught to consider themselves as indios or underdogs, and that they were "poorly born on the top of the mountain” in contrast to the seemingly sophisticated race of the Spaniards. Thus being used to this feudalism for centuries, the Filipinos continued to regard themselves incapable of anything grand, and they followed any other elite with little question in the colonizer’s attempt to take over them (Andres, 1989).
This Peasant syndrome encouraged what the country’s idealist hero Jose Rizal labeled “Indolence” as the possible demise of our race (Andres, 2002). This indolence was also brought about by the warm “siesta” climate, the country’s vast natural resources, and the steady back-up of close family ties and landlords. Although not rich with monetary wealth, the Filipino in those colonization periods was mostly confident that he could never go hungry because the people around him were always there to help out, whether they liked it or not, and he would let his work efficiency subside, and maybe even fool off.
Situating this very Filipino character trait of indolence in life in the 2000 era easily portray what we now know of as “convenience approach to living”.
Then comes the American colonization which even worsened the countrymen’s colonized state (Andres, 1989). The Americans fostered Capitalism among the people who were “too eager to gain their trust”, and even more Feudalism where the locals continued looking up to the foreigners as superior bosses (also called colonial mentality). These Americans who although gave the country freedom later, did not properly leave the Filipinos the necessary skills to run the country on their own, and in the end, the country remained dependent towards the foreigners in many aspects like patterns of education, economics, or politics (Andres, 1989).
Filipinos opt for the convenient way of living not only because of their history, but also due to the psychological implications these events has brought ever since to its people.
Today, the media plays the role of the powerful elite known to Filipinos centuries ago. The media with its trends of television content through game shows offering instant riches appears to bring hope to the majority of the audience or masses (Jorge, 2006) who portray similar indio-like underdog characteristics. With poverty rates high in the country, the medium of TV and its trend of game shows in particular lure this audience to think that the shows will save them from their needy statuses (Sonza, 2006). Filipinos have always shown the negative trait of over-dependence over authority time and time again (Talisayon, 1990) and as long as a lack of their physiological needs exist, this trait of dependence and indolence will cycle over and over again.
The extent of the Filipino’s dependence on their superiors, in this case the media, is seen through the state of TV game shows in the country. Last February 2006, a tragedy occurred where 60 people died because of a human stampede in order to be part of a game show that claims to “want to help” the lives of these people through games, talent showdowns, and sheer luck (Sonza, 2006).
Often, the Filipinos who participate in these shows are those in hopeless life cases, most likely being part of a family from the rural provinces with hardly any income (Sonza, 2006). These Filipino audience-participants, when viewed from a psychological view, fall under what the Deviancy theory calls “deviants”.
The Deviancy theory states that certain societies have members who fall under two categories: the “average” people who control the order of the society, and the “deviants” who are deprived of it (Jung, 1978). Often, deviants TV game show participants exhibit polar, and sometimes extreme, actions that the normal people do not socially approve of, mainly because "(they) are people who have little or nothing to lose by their deviancy, because they are already powerless and have nothing else to lose" (Jung, 1978). These people are more prone to commit extreme actions in order to get to a goal they have always aimed for, like joining in game shows no matter what it takes, including their lives if it calls for it as seen in the previously mentioned incident.
This deviancy may be a result of what indolence has brought to the Filipino ages past. He resorts to the easier, more convenient and perhaps even deviant ways to acquire what he wants simply because he felt a little lazy, and maybe even inadequate in doing something life-changing for his own good.
People nowadays are bombarded with variety of shows presented on television. And the most common of them is what people call as game shows. Game shows usually involve answering perhaps quiz questions for points or prices, and usually attended by the public or celebrities (Wikipedia). Often, they involve prizes like goods and services, vocation trip, or a big pot of money.
Game shows are of many types; usually there are many crossovers among them (Wikepedia). The most typical would be quiz shows involving parties which compete by answering quiz questions or solving puzzles. There is also what is called panel shows where celebrity panel answers questions about different fields like music and sport, and is often played for laughs than merely gaining of points. Another type of game show involves contestants completing stunts or playing a game with an element of chance or strategy in addition to, or instead of, a test of general knowledge, like “Deal or No Deal.” Meanwhile, there are reality TV game shows becoming popular in the recent years. Such kind of game shows lasts for days or weeks and the competitor’s progress is usually based on popularity or through voting by their fellow competitors or by the public. Lastly, there are dating game shows which prize typically is a well-funded dating opportunity. Participants in this kind of show compete not for money but for the promise of an enjoyable date.
Game Shows in the Philippines
There’s no question as to how game shows earned their prominence on Philippine television, and now, with the help of technology, they are able to reach, or should we say, follow every Filipino around the globe. The fact that Filipino would rather watch television shows rather than resort to other forms of entertainment is greatly anchored on the history of Philippine media.
From soap operas to Koreanovelas; animations to fantaseryes; Kwarta o Kahon to Pera o Bayong and Laban o Bawi; Student Canteen to Eat Bulaga and Wowowee—we are a society who lives, breathes and thrives on entertainment. Again, it is no wonder why all these shows flourished, of course, they were broadcasted on television.
Come 1990’s, television dethroned radio from the seat of the most powerful medium (Coronel, 2006). By powerful medium we mean that it is widely used (or abused) by the public according to their own mass media needs such as to access information, to be entertained, etc. Obviously, the extent of the popularity of television is embedded on the premise that almost everyone has access to it—if not own one (or even more than one). Recent surveys profess that 90% of the population have access to a TV set (Coronel, 2006). Also, the exposure of Filipinos once they have accessed TV and TV programs ranges from 16-18 hours a day (Coronel, 2006).
By the time TV sets were still expensive, media agencies then formulated programs for those who have such luxury. Simply put, in the past, TV programs were formulated to cater to the interest of the elite. At present, AC Nielsen reveals that 91 percent (of the 90 percent) who have access to TV sets belong to the D and E social classes—the poorest strata in the Philippine society (Newsbreak, 2006). Therefore it is only proper to assume that the poor strata in the society are the ones who devote the most hours in watching TV programs (Coronel, 2006). With the shift of TV audience, from the elite to the poor, the response of media agencies is to reformulate their programs to cater to their new brand of audience.
But who’s shaping whom?
It has been a belief that ‘media shapes us.’ Such statement is rather obsolete as its accompanying hypodermic needle theory because it has been reaffirmed that the audience use their media to meet their own needs. The audience is no longer passive, hapless consumers of media products.
It is only just to correct such statement that ‘media shapes us, as we shape media,’ it can be the other way around ‘we shape media as media shapes us.’ Who’s shaping whom is like a chicken-and-egg conundrum, however, the more important issue that lies between such agreement is there is an apparent interaction between media and their constituents (the audience).
How the audience interact and what they use their media for, are two basic questions that lies behind the purpose of game shows in the Philippines. So what then are game shows for?
True enough, it has been established that a big majority of the population who expose themselves to TV programs comes from the D and E strata of the society. Also, the shift of the profile of the audience due to the widespread availability of the TV in the nation prompted media outlets to reformulate their programs to their (D & E classes) benefit because through these strata’s consumption, ratings (and profit influx from advertisers) will be to the media’s favor.
The poor strata’s long exposure to TV programs is due to their lack of other choices for entertainment (Coronel, 2006), as dictated by their financial instability. TV therefore owes its growing prominence from the audience from the D and E classes who resort to them as their primary source of entertainment, among other reasons.
After the ULTRA Tragedy of February 2006, where a total of 71 Filipinos, mostly elderly and children died as they were ‘lured to the stadium by the prospect of winning P1 million, (Coronel, 2006) that was supposed to grace the joyous celebrations of Wowowee’s first year anniversary, came the doubt behind the game shows. After the said event, various media outlets and even citizens raised the question of how game shows are (mal) treating and (ab) using their audiences.
What is the formula of a game show? According to Malou Fagar, the executive vice-president and assistant general manager of Tape Inc, in an interview done by Newsbreak entitled: The Religion of Noontime Shows, she said that the format of game shows are just a rendering of what has been done in the past, “…an adaptation of new trends but the format never changed” (Fagar in Newsbreak, 2006). An interesting issue is how trends are used to adapt, to cope with time. In the same articles, Fagar disclosed that when their rival station managed to succeed them in the ratings, they thought of giving away the first one million Peso prize on Philippine television in 2001. “It was our way to get audience interest back (Fagar in Newsbreak, 2006).
Since Eat Bulaga decided to take the plunge, they never lost to their competitor since. At this point it can be assumed that what captured the interest of the audience was and is the simple fact that such noon time game show is willing to give away their P1 million. In a way it is a form of abusing the ‘psychosocial consequences of poverty’ (Newsbreak, 2006). The audience is entertained and if they are lucky enough, they will win under the condition that they should stay in tune to one noon time game show. The comfort of their own homes while watching is more convenient for them rather than preparing resumes and scouting for minimum waged jobs. As opposed to a minimum wage, P1 million is surely attractive.
In an unpublished study entitled “Pila sa Anda,” Dimabuyo and Hernandez (2002) examined three local game shows namely, “Pera O Bayong,” “Laban O Bawi,” and “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”—pioneers for the proliferation of game show trend in the Philippines. Their findings say that people join the game show for entertainment, while the people behind the production say that people join because of the big pot of money involved (Dimabuyo and Hernandez, 2002). But the effect of this, as the researchers point out, is that television is adding a new role beside from providing visual information—that is providing for the financial needs of the Filipinos.
Besides, what the people behind the production want is patronage. That is the golden egg that noon time game shows would like to protect. With the loyalty of a massive audience, their ratings are assured and so is the profit that they’ll gain from the advertisers who find their programs worth investing in.
Articles from newspapers and journals characterized those who queued-up for the event days before the grand celebration, and those who died during the tragedy itself as ‘desperate poor Filipinos’ (Coronel, 2006), ‘beggars,’ (Newsbreak, 2006), ‘exploited, manipulated, and treated like animals,’ (Newsbreak,2006), where the problem of limited tickets was synonymous to ‘throwing a small slice of meat to an angry pack of wolves, (Newsbreak, 2006).
But then who could blame them? Just as it has been established in the aforementioned statements that ‘we shape media as it shapes us and media shapes us, as we shape it,’ entertainment in the noon time game shows is also an effort of the contestants themselves and the program format. Such that ‘entertainment factor was provided by the people themselves’ (Jimenez-David in Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2006) pertaining to how the host of Wowowee, Willie Revillame seem to ‘single out lolas…requiring them to sing and dance, twirl or smile toothless grins before he would hand out a cash prize (Jimenez-David in Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2006). To others this is embarrassing but to those who are depressed over desperate times would laugh over such scene and dismiss it as a form of escapism.
Beyond entertainment and perhaps embarrassment for some, noon time game shows have argued as a form of salvation and Willie Revilliame is the messiah who ‘promise salvation’ for the poverty-stricken (Coronel, 2006). Noon time game shows are formulated to help the poor escape from poverty by urging them to participate in exchange of prizes, thus it entices more Filipinos to resort to this opportunity rather than find other ways to uplift their financial instability. That by ‘joining a show, they would be (instantaneously) freed from poverty’ (Oro in Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2006) because its essence flourished from the Cinderella, rags-to-riches stories of happy ever after.
Just by stating the obvious, one can conclude that it is much easier for the masses, belonging to the D and E strata in society to play their chances rather than seek jobs or find a living. Although a minimum wage is no competition with a million Pesos, the question now is what happens to the winners after they have consumed the jackpot?
After the Ultra Tragedy, the immediate recommencement of Wowowee was their response to the ‘public demand’ (Jimenez-David in The Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2006). ABS-CBN considers their noon time show as a form of ‘public service’ (Jimenez-David in The Philippine Daily Inquirer,2006). According to Maloli K. Espinos, the vice president for government corporate affairs and PR of the said station in an article entitled: “Wowowee Reopens to Mixed Views” (published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2006), the show managed to incorporate ‘micro-financing’ as part of improving their show. The objective is to screen and approve contestants that have a vocation or a field of expertise as opposed to the previous criteria (San Diego and Uy in PDI, 2006) of having no other criteria at all aside from being destitute in life. By educating their winners with micro-financing they can motivate their winners to spend their money or their so-called kabuhayan package into something that will guarantee them a long term, magandang buhay.
Game Show Audiences: An Understanding
One of the most common topics of study in the field of mass communication is the audience. That being said, the audience has been very essential to television networks because of the great profit these TV networks earn everyday from numerous commercial spots they sell to advertisers. Lontoc (2007) explained that ratings help TV networks decide on how much they would charge their sponsors or the advertising companies for their commercial spots. This is because advertising firms look into ratings of TV networks for demographics, audience preferences and decide if their investments in advertisements for the specific network would be worth it. That said, according to the Northallerton College website, audiences seem to be like products that TV networks sell to advertising companies (http://www.northallertoncoll.org.uk/media/audience.htm).
As we can see, the two leading and competing networks (GMA and ABS-CBN) here in the Philippines always fight their way to the top of the ratings. Lontoc (2007) even furthered that this “quest for number one” is all about the class D and E which he said comprises 74 per cent of the Philippine population. An audience this big means a big catch for the advertisers for these people are possible consumers of their products. In response, TV networks do their best to attract the people by creating programs and TV shows that would certainly hold their audiences on their seats. Thus, the popularity nowadays of game shows.
GMA has its all-time favorite “Eat Bulaga” while ABS-CBN challenged the rival network with “Wowowee” and “Game Ka Na Ba?” It’s for the people to choose what channel to tune in to and what program to watch. Indeed, one thing is common – these game shows do attract a real large number of audiences.
Curious why TV networks have reformatted from drama shows to game shows? Laurel (2001) said that it first started with IBC-13’s Who Wants to be A Millionaire? This garnered an audience share of 38 per cent outflanking GMA and ABS-CBN. With that big audience share, ABS-CBN came up with Game Ka Na Ba? hosted by Kris Aquino and now Wowowee hosted by Willie Revilllame. Game Ka Na Ba? is said to be 100% Pinoy and was patterned after what the Filipino audience wants from their interactive quiz / game shows. According to Laurel (2001), this new Filipino taste signifies Filipinos’ liking for “more exciting and mind-challenging educational programs. How about Wowowee? What has it got to say to the Filipino audience?
Belen (n.d.), noted that Wowowee was said to cut through the Filipino family by offering them a good show with much more fun. Selected audiences have a chance to participate as challengers of the winning game contestant. If that studio audience wins, he takes home the prize money of the particular question that he was able to answer. Easy way to get money isn’t it?
In a different light, an article indicated that 71 out of 74 who died in the stampede that happened during the first year anniversary celebration of Wowowee on February 4, 2006 at the Ultra Stadium were women (Game Show Brings Death in the Philippines: Media corporate responsibility questioned in the “Wowowee,” n.d.) Furthermore, it was also mentioned that “the show has a huge following among women, including housewives and the elderly, who are at home at noon, when the show is aired.” Thus, the article is reiterating that indeed, the target audiences of this game show are women. The article also said that these women watch the show because it gives them the chance of helping their family’s earnings by being studio contestants or home partners.
This claim is parallel to Comstock’s, et al. (1978) comprehensive review of television research (as cited in Bower, 1985). From the Nielsen Company where Comstock got his data, indeed, women are said to watch more television than men. However, Morley (1986) argued that when it comes to “attentive” viewing, men are leading. He explained that though women are mostly at home and very available to watch television, they are “inattentive” in watching television shows because of their domestic obligations.
Still agreeing in what the previous article has mentioned that the audiences of Wowowee were mostly the elderly, Comstock et al. (1978) affirmed this in his television research that “people who are over 50 years, especially women, watch more than others” (as cited in Bower, 1985).
Furthermore, Comstock et al. (1978) added that people of lower socio-economic status (SES) watch more than those of higher SES (as cited in Bower, 1985) which we find very similar to the audiences of game shows here in the Philippines. The audiences’ statuses in the society are evident when the host of the show, for example Willie Revillame of Wowowee, interviews or asks a person in the audience if he or she has a job. Most of them would reply that they have no work or is earning too little to suffice the family’s needs. In return, the host would give them money which comes from the donations given to the show by wealthy TFC (The Filipino Channel) subscribers. In this way, more people, especially the poor ones will be very eager to go in the set of game shows to be participants or home partners.
Perhaps, these were just few of the reasons why Wowowee is still aired up to now and acquiring more and more viewers although a tragedy in connection with the show has caused many lives to be lost. Still according to the article Game Show Brings Death in the Philippines: Media Corporate Responsibility Questioned in the “Wowowee,” the organizers said that they only wished to give hope to the poor and help the government in their own little way. In response to this, “media critics claimed that the show promotes mendicancy, offering quick-fixes, and promises of fortune.”
Maybe there are some explanations why the Filipino audience is behaving this way. Blumler and Katz (1974) enumerated four needs of the television audience that is satisfied by television shows. These were: diversion ( a form of escape from everyday distress), personal identity (where the person identifies himself or herself with the character being presented in television shows), personal relationship (where the person acquires companionship by talking with others about a television show), and surveillance ( wherein media fulfills its role by informing people of the latest happenings) (as cited from http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Students/pph9701.html).
Quality Life: Indicators of a Good Life
Now that all has been put forth, it is important to consider what really constitutes a good life. The subject is important to determining what makes people join the game shows as reflected to the life that they have. The concept of quality of life has become so popular to the politicians that they once spoke of it as the welfare of the masses; now they speak of it as the quality of life of the people (Mukherjee, 1989).
In the individual level, quality of life can be looked at through housing, food, education, clothing, transportation, and employment opportunities. That is also to say having the physical circumstances in which people live, the goods and services they are able to consume, and the economic resources they have access to (The Social Report, par. 2, 2006).
Over the decades, there are several approaches to defining and measuring quality of life such as social indicators (like health, levels of crimes, and subjective well-being measures) and economic indices (Diener and Suh, 1997). Such measures are also important to evaluate the society, so as to add to the economic indicators given attention by policy makers (Diener and Suh, 1997).
One of the basic premise when people speak of quality of life is the fulfillment of needs. Simply put forth as revealed by psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (in Kagan, 1972), people have needs that need to be fulfilled so they can live as they ought to be living.
Mukherjee (1989), in his book, examines the social indicators research, a perspective for the quality of life which examines the elite’s assessment of what the people need to attain a better quality of life. He also looks at the conventional quality of life research which is meant to determine what the people want to improve their quality of life (Mukherjee, 1989). Mukherjee points that the want-based quality of life is considered subsidiary over the need-based perspective on quality of life that assumes uniform valuation of social reality.
Fundamental to well being are basic necessities like adequate food, clothing and housing, as well as being able to participate well in the society (The Social Report, par 3, 2006). Such are also reflected to the framework, provided by the Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (2001), in order for the family to sustain life. These include health, food and nutrition, and being able to drink safe water and to have good sanitation (APIS, par. 3, 2001). The family also needs to be sheltered in a peaceful and orderly environment and should have livelihood that can support its members (APIS, par. 4, 2001). Further, family members should be educated and be functionally literate in order to participate actively in any community development and be able to take care of their psycho-social needs (APIS, par. 5, 2001). Such aspects are mostly attributes of prosperous countries like the New Zealand which people have access to adequate income, decent housing, and that people are able to participate fully in the society (The Social Report, par. 1, 2006).
In the Philippines, quality of life can be considered good in the Arroyo administration as compared with other past administration (Aquino, Ramos, Estrada)—but judging based on the movement of the misery index, from the previous year’s 15 to 13.5 in 2006 (Ventanilla, 2006).
However, the Social Weather Survey for the first quarter of 2007 reveals that fifty-three percent of the families rated themselves as poor (SWS Media Release, par. 1, 2007). At the national level, such result remains virtually unchanged being 52% on November 2006 and 53% on February 2007 (par.4). Meanwhile, another of SWS’ media release on March 2007 says that families experiencing involuntary hunger remains at the record high, and that it worsened out in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon but it declined in the Visayas and barely changed in Mindanao.
The country could have been facing moderate growth in the past few years but it is still insufficient to provide enough jobs for the expanding workforce, and unemployment remains high (Asian Development Bank, 2004). Having such conditions in mind, this may lead to Filipinos testing the water of their chances to join game shows.
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