A few weeks ago, I was thinking about writing a piece about the state of Filipino-American celebrityhood in 2007. Being on Filipino time, though, exactly what I should write didn’t come to me until last night while I was watching “Celebrity Apprentice” and e-mailing with my internet pal Jen W. (who you all should know as half of the genius team behind Disgrasian™). Ignoring coverage of Britney Spears being rushed off to Cedars-Sinai, and keeping tabs on returns in the Iowa Caucus (Go Barack!), I drafted the memo below. Enjoy.
From: Jasmine, part-time blogger/full-time mack
To: Allan Pineda Lindo, musician (aka apl.de.ap, Black Eyed Peas)
CC: Sharon Leal, actress
Cassie Ventura, singer (aka Cassie)
Melissa Howard, actress/comedian
Lou Diamond Phillips, actor
Kirk Hammett, musician
Lynda Barry, author
Re: 2 Vanessas, 1 Cup
Kumusta ka? I hope this message finds you well. It was hard finding addresses for you all, as messages addressed to “The Filipino-American Celebrity Super Kumadres” came back to me stamped “Return to Sender”. Did you move the Nipa Hut of Katipunan closer to the Hall of Justice? If so, awesome — anything to get away from the Legion of Doom, di ba?
The reason I write is that when I look back on 2007, I am filled with concern over the emergence of Filipino-American celebrities and personalities in the US. While I am proud of Vanessa Hudgens for her starring turn in not one but two highly rated (and highly profitable) “High School Musical” tv movies for
ABC The Disney Channel, I had to cringe when nude pictures of the young starlet were circulated throughout the tabloid press. Vanessa Minillo was a chipper (if somewhat blandly pretty) presence on MTV as a VJ, but her post-MTV career of perpetual vacations with ex-boy band paramour Nick Lachey, and certain hot tub indiscretions caught on film, have dimmed her star.
I know it’s not the job of you or me or anybody else to regulate the activity of Filipino-Americans, but could you maybe invite these ladies over for some merienda and maybe talk a little sense into them? I wouldn’t know where to start — how about “Don’t have naked pictures taken of you!” or “Beware of boybanders bearing hot tubs!”?Also, maybe check in with ABC to see if they have any more Filipino medical school diploma jokes to crack? Here’s hoping that 2008 is a better year for the Pinoy, celebrity and non-celebrity alike.
Salamat, at mabuhay!