My good friend and fellow oldie, noringai, wrote a column about Kris Aquino the other day, and how, like Kris Aquino, she also likes to be the center of attention when it comes to chitchatting with her amigas and palanggas, even if it means divulging nasty details about oneself that no one really cares to hear.At the same time, I have noticed, to some dismay, that Kris has become the opposite of Mikee Cojuangco (who is, oddly enough, her cousin): no one wants to be her.

I happened to have the misfortune of catching the househelp watching The Buzz while on my way to the neighborhood sari-sari store for a soda. She was grilling one guest – I forget who, it’s not important – over something equally unimportant, and the guest looked like she was on the verge of tears.

It is clear her interviewing style borrows heavily from Boy Abunda’s: badger your guest needlessly while spouting obviously fake sympathy (don’t bother hiding it from the discerning viewer, the camera does not lie!). It’s become so bad that Boy doesn’t interrupt that much anymore.

Sometimes, it’s just too painful to watch. But people DO watch, and watch with fascination as the cherished daughter of a national hero disgraces herself on national television every single day.

How does she disgrace herself? Her lack of tact, among her other flaws, is legendary. Television could be the worst industry she could have picked, because it magnifies your flaws like no other. There’s nothing like television to pick your flaws apart and make it seem like the worst possible things to have in the world.

I personally believe that people watch Kris day in and day out because there’s nothing more entertaining than watching a person self-destruct. Don’t believe me? Watch Kris in action. She’s a stunning spectacle: a phoenix dying in a final blaze of glory.

You’ll get hooked, and I’ll bet you my lunch you’ll watch her next week, and all for the wrong reasons.

I am led to believe this guilty pleasure is called schadenfreude, which is what you get out of enjoying someone else’s pain. Personally, I don’t get any pleasure out of watching her, because I feel more for the pain she (un)consciously inflicts on those who may really care about her.

That doesn’t mean I like her. I admit I watched Pido Dida 8 times, but that was when I was a mean little child with a lot less empathy than I do have now.

I personally would like to believe that it’s all an act, that this is the only way that Kris Aquino can stay relevant in this rough-and-tumble world of show business.

Once upon a time, I heard that that’s the way women feel better about themselves: when they hear about someone who’s having it worse than them. Perhaps this is just her way of being of service to the Filipino: in no way will your life be sh*ttier than mine, so smile. This I want to believe.

But then, I think about how Kris Aquino will always be Kris Aquino, the baby of my hero, and how she’ll never have to resort to such crassness, no matter what she ever does in life, to call attention to herself, just because she is Kris Aquino, and it really makes me think.

I just made you lait, Kris. I hope you understand. I hope you realize that more people care about you than you know, you flawed, tragic, human being.

I have girl friends who pick on other girls in the law school, and have become quite notorious for their antics. No one is safe from their broadsides, so I guess it all evens out. Equal opportunity offenders and all that.

Now, I’m not sure what their tirades mean, but I’m not in a hurry to find out.

This is for Ming, who insists I keep on writing till it hurts.


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