Why all the fuss over the Hayden Kho sex scandals? It’s not like this is anything new in the Philippine entertainment scene. I can still recall the Ethel Booba sex scandal’s some years back and although the current sex scandal is of a different angle, it is still somewhat on the same level or caliber.
I agree with what Philippine Star columnist Wilson Lee Flores said that such a scandal had merely deterred our attention from the more scandalous events happening in our country – and by that he was referring to the more hilarious albeit graver circus we call politics. He claims that the current scandal had distracted our minds from the more important issues surrounding the national elections next year such as the fact that at this point in time, we still don’t have any clear-cut idea how the automated elections will take effect. This scandal had also deterred our minds from the more serious facts like our country decreasing in its global competitiveness as determined by the Institute for Management Development, a Swiss business school or the fact that our country might face an “educational crisis” as predicted by the UN Development Program. The scandal has also served to deter our consciousness from the glaring fact that our government offices are overstaffed with workers paid to do basically nothing! No wonder when I visit our local municipal hall, I see more people – government employees – passing the time away chatting with each other or watching the t.v. or getting a pedicure. And I am not alone in the experience, I have friends who can attest to similar experiences. The sex scandal had also served to obscure from public knowledge the UN Committee Against Torture’s “grave concern” over the apparent violation of human rights committed by the Philippine’s own police and military personnel.
Mr. Flores had indeed candidly summarized in his article dated May 24, 2009 (The Philippine Star Sunday Lifestyle Section I-1) what the fuss over the Hayden Kho sex video scandals had screened from public knowledge. Not that the above-mentioned knowledge were really kept secret, it’s just that who would really take time to dwell on these things when there are juicier and racier news to read about or when there are more sensationalized videos to look for and download. Indeed who would care about the sordid affairs or state of the country when the sordid affairs of several private individuals are more appealing.
What, indeed, does this reflect in us as a nation? Or perhaps as individuals? Yet in defense, one might say that scandals such as these are mere diversions from the more serious and graver issues of our society. Yet I admit that I am at a crossroads on this one – whether to condone such diversions as necessary or as a liability to the nation during this critical times.
Then again, the fixation over this videos, reveal that we as Filipiinos have become liberated from our more conservative views on sex and what it should really be. Added to the fact that birth control methods are widely disseminated and might even be included in mainstream education, our society and culture had indeed been heavily influenced by the West more than we could imagine. It started with the foods we ate, then became the clothes we wore, followed by the music we listened to and the movies and shows we watched. Now, the influence had spread to how we view a supposedly sacred act.
I believe time will come when more and more young people would be openly promiscuous – I say openly because it is a hidden albeit known fact that there are a lot of sexually active individuals now. It’s just that they are not that open or expressive about it. The number of magazines in the country with sex-based themes – magazines like FHM, Cosmo and Playboy – all attest the the openness of the Filipino society to this once taboo topic. Even the rampant love scenes in local movies and soaps show how sex – as something that should be openly discussed – has been generally accepted into society.
Indeed our country is changing – it is evolving. Towards a better end or a bitter end, only time will tell.