Corporate Social Responsibility: Of Igorots and GMA-7

Corporate Social Responsibility Defined

Corporate Social Responsibility goes beyond charity and requires that a responsible company take into full account its impact on all stakeholders and on the environment when making decisions. This requires the company to balance the needs of all stakeholders with its need to make a profit and reward shareholders adequately…. This holistic approach to business regards organizations as (for example) being full partners in their communities, rather than seeing them more narrowly as being primarily in business to make profits and serve the needs of their shareholders. [source]

And more: Corporations that create the appearance of acting responsibly just for its public relations value are said to be “greenwashing.”

The Issue at Hand
Did GMA-7 calculate the risk and by finding the clause any resemblance to real persons or groups in fiction is purely coincidental as a sufficient safety net, proceeded to shoot and show a script depicting an ‘undocumented Cordilleran tribe’ as an object of ridicule? Did they consider that the Igorot market is negligible when it comes to affecting the bottom line so it was OK to make fun of them?

Let us put this into context. I will speak of Marky Cielo and StarStruck, Asian Treasures and stereotypes or TV representations.

Marky Cielo and StarStruck:
The Quest for New Markets and Cheap Talent

StarStruck 3 was a reality show that got its contestants from around the country. Reality shows have become vogue because they are comparatively cheap to produce and some of the contestants become instant celebrities. Since these raw talents cannot command a high talent fee at the start, they are a bargain. Marky Cielo became the Ultimate Survivor of this reality show and part of the prize that he got was a contract with GMA-7 stipulating that he will be part of some of the network’s shows. Cielo is now part of the currently showing Asian Treasures.

Since each StarStruck 3 contender represented a region of the Philippines, the show was an opportunity to attract new viewers from these identified markets. Viewers were encouraged to support the contenders that represent there respective hometowns. Cielo represented Mountain Province and was vocal about his being an Igorot.

So after the show, GMA-7 was able to capture a small percentage of Igorot viewers who would understandably be watching shows where Marky Cielo would be part of the cast.

Asian Treasures:
Problematizing History

Asian Treasures is a TV show that pretends to be historical. It is a localized version of National Treasure and the Da Vinci Code. The mythical treasure amulets of the equally mythical 10 datus were scattered everywhere and the lead characters were tasked to find these treasures. According to the story, the KKK, Rizal and Bonifacio were involved in hiding these treasures.

One of the amulets were entrusted to an undocumented Cordilleran tribe. See screen capture by Jeffer.

Asian Treasures undocumented Cordilleran tribe

This episode was the same one where the character played by Marky Cielo was introduced.

Asian Treasures Marky Cielo

So the small group of viewers who were eager to watch Marky Cielo got to watch the ax- and spear-wielding war- and soot-painted warriors, too.

Fact, Fiction and Stereotypes


7 thoughts on “Corporate Social Responsibility: Of Igorots and GMA-7

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  4. Juan Cruz

    Never did I imagine that I will be a victim of slavery in my own country.. I was just a normal Filipino that after schooling would go to find a professional job..I am on my lowest point right now.. I was an employee of a bread botiques run by a singaporean that tell barbaric comments about our country and about Filipinos… It’s just hard to imagine that I am a Filipino but I could’nt do anything to fight for my right in our own country.. Most of us work from 8:00 am and lasted upto 12:00 mn and if your unlucky upto 2:00 am without geeting paid an overtime pay.. It is also sad to see some people that was forced to resign with no vakid reason at all or sometimes suspended for a long time without any due process. It was also a disgusting thing that some of the employee resigned because they could’nt get the salary that they work for..there are also times that we receive such words like fu** you, bu** sh**t, pu** ina with our own superior who happens to be a Filipino… I did ask some help with the department of Labor, but nothing happens with my complain, now I am experiencing the usual teleserye’s or movie themes where I could not do something to fight for my right as a Filipino.. I wanted to speak out not only for myself but for all the people who was afraid to fight a huge wall that is trying to abused us. I hope I can make some changes by going into media just like this so that If anybody could read this most of my fellow members would come out and fight for their rights…

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