For veteran actress Tetchie Agbayani, it is important for show biz celebrities to be vocal about their opinions and sentiments on social issues.
“They say that if you’re an actor, you should just stick to acting and stay apolitical; but artists are citizens of this country as well. They have a voice and have a unique position in society. Because of their popularity, people listen to them,” she began.
“Whether you’re a celebrity or a normal individual, if you see some injustice being committed—something that violates human rights or contradicts your moral values—it’s your obligation to speak up. If you remain quiet, it means you are tolerating the wrongdoing,” she explained.
“This isn’t so different from being a parent. If you see your child doing something wrong, of course, you will reprimand him. You can’t just choose to keep quiet because you don’t want to feel stressed, or because you don’t want to trouble yourself. It’s your obligation to participate in shaping your child into becoming a good person,” Tetchie pointed out.
She added that choosing to speak up on important matters is a reflection of an individual’s character. “It’s really up to you if you want to express your views publicly or not. For me, it’s hard to just remain quiet when I see people getting sick or dying, and when I see that very little is being done to prevent this,” said Tetchie. “How can you not react? I just can’t pretend to be blind, deaf and mute. Now is not the time for that.”
Meanwhile, Tetchie, who started acting on film and television in the 1980s, observed that a lot has changed since then, especially in terms of how actors are treated and nurtured in this industry.
“Actors today are very lucky because they receive a lot of support,” Tetchie said in a recent media gathering. “Those handled by their home network are able to train and polish their craft. This is why when I work with these young talents today, I notice that they really know and understand what they are supposed to do in relation to their craft. At a young age, they’re already good at it.”
She continued: “They also look well, dress well, and are all well-mannered. The support of their network is really extensive. This is so unlike what happened during my time. Back then, you will get contracted only for a certain number of films, and then you are allowed to leave once your last movie with them is done. Overall, there was no one to watch over you, guide you, and bring you to acting or speech classes.” INQ
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