Divalicious Babe Gets The Boot

For the past week the Pinoy blogword was rocking violently in response to the deprecating comments that Malu Fernandez spewed against Pinoy OFWs in her Asia Today article ” From Boracay to Greece”published in June 07 . Malu F, self-proclaimed diva, fashion and travel columnist was harshly criticized by Pinoys all over the world for her disparaging remarks on Pinoy OFW’s in the Middle East who she disdained to be associated with in the Emirates Airlines flight to Greece. Her reasons for her use of discriminatory language such as ” I wanted to slash my wrist at the thought of being trapped in a plane with all of them ” and thinking of riding with these people on the trip was like being “sent by God to my very own private hell” were attributed to her “acerbic wit” meaning trying to be brutally frank and funny at the same time. Her initial apology was tongue in cheek, at best perfunctory when she lashed back that she was just trying to be true to herself ( read : matapobre? So what..) and should not be vilified for her beliefs. The protests grew ever bigger and more vicious and rightfully so which prompted her to resign and issue a proper apology.

There is no reason to beat Malu F black and blue as the hatchets have been buried but if we were to conduct a post-mortem, here’s my thoughts on the issue :

a. We know we are not a classless society and no matter what people think such bigotry and discriminatory remarks should be kept to one’s self. More often, in our self-examination we can make deprecating remarks publicly to ourselves as Pinoys collectively. We can lambast our politicians and movie stars whose existence are owed to us but not a particular group of people who have done nothing to offend us.

b. Malu F was writing for a reputable magazine and not her personal blog. Why was this atrocious article even published? Does Asia Today have editors? Why sanction such trash to be published and viewed all over Asia ? Whatever happened to responsible journalism ?

c. OFWs aren’t a low class trapo that she portrayed them to be. They’re a hardworking and proud group of people who deserve to be respected. There are many educated and gainfully employed Pinoys who have gone to work abroad. The protests from OFW blogs that booted her out is a proof of this.


Call me old fashioned, mushy, getting older or what not but I dig real music. In this day and age, real music is rare and hard to find. One music that stands out in my mind is ” THE PRAYER” , a Grammy and Golden Globe winning song composed by topnotch composers David Foster and Carol Bayer Sager for the animated movie Quest for Camelot and sung by diva par excellence, Celine Dion and blind tenor Andrea Bocelli. The composers and singers are creme of the crop and the product speaks of itself – flawless and immaculate, one of the finest expressions of art. The song is a hybrid of ballad and opera and when watched being performed by a true diva and equally capable partner would, borrowing the lyrics of a famous Josh Groban song, ” fly you up beyond the distant stars”.

What could be a better combination than Celine Dion and Josh Groban and David Foster himself on the piano ?

Or the lovely Welsh pop and opera diva and superstar Charlotte Church and Josh Groban ?

Who do you think sang it better ? If you think they are superb and awesome, most people think that the original version of Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli would be hard to beat .


40 Responses

  1. Among the three, still the original one with Andrea. But look at that Ms Church from a child prodigy and now a woman, a very beautiful one. I still have her first album titled merely Charlotte Church, the coke’s international anthem.. ‘just wave hello’. Yet want to hear Sarah Brightman and Josh Groban doing a number of that song, she’s my favourite…

    For malu, I said my piece in just about every blog sites in the country. She was lucky, had she done it in Islamic Republic or Iran, she would not only get a well-deserved tongue lashing.

    Anyways, I been wondering why such a big publishing such as Manila Standard (a Philstar group) don’t even have their own “ombudsman” like we do here in Ontario, where journalistic ethics are being carefully adhered to. As I always said, to believe that Speech Freedom in the Philippines has no limitations is misleading, as libel and slander is still under the criminal code and it has all kind of laws infringing on that so-called freedom, yet as we do have limits in ours, we seem to be freer yet responsible.. And I got plenty of flak for these thoughts in MLQ’s and just love it..

  2. The original voice-wise with Andrea Bocelli I think is impeccable. There’s clips with Celine and Andrea with their Grammy performance but since Andrea is blind, the head and hand coordination has much to be desired.

    I know about the flak you were talking about – I was in that blog too 🙂 I wasn’t too thrilled with the analogy of Malu’s action to the quote “One’s valor is never diminished by one’s courtesy” and had strong opposition to the suggestion. I saw no valor in what she did.

    I agree that every paper needs an ombudsman to screen every article to adhere with political correctness. Asia Today had done nothing but circulate Pinoy trash all over Asia with the article that was supposed to be about travel and not bigotry 😦

  3. hmmmm…i don’t about this. sandali, you just woke me up. ha! aba, ang mahadera nagsalita. mabusisi nga, tell me which site you went. obviously, wherever she had been, dala pa rin ang ugali.

    i’ll be coming back for the videos. they are all my faves – celine, josh, andrea, charlotte.

  4. Ipanema – some of the links were closed as soon as her resignation was learned.

    Here’s one which contains the controversial article :


    You can also check out tingog.com for a bit of history on this issue.

  5. I had cd’s of Josh and Andrea even before they became very popular. Between the two, I like Andrea’s voice more. So my choice is obvious. I choose his duet with Celine.

  6. I still think that the death threat was way too much of a reaction from some quarters. What if somebody did carry out the threat or did bodily harm to the woman? Would that make everything all right for the OFWs?

    But anyways, all that is done and all will be forgotten until another sensitive issue comes up.

    As for the You Tube vids, why isn’t there one with Andrea Bocelli? And Charlotte Church sounds different now from when she was just 15 years old.

  7. I also think the firing of Malu Fernandez was uncalled for. I believe freedom of speech is still a right. She is, I won’t deny it, very elitist… but that was her opinion. I appreciate her unabashed honesty (although I don’t condone it). Many think the same way without expressing it and I think they are just as elitist. If anyone should be fired, it should be the editors and publishers… They still have the to “yes” the articles to be published.

    I love Miss Charlotte Church. It’s amazing how she acquired such expertise in opera given her youth.

  8. Abaniko – I also think that Andrea sang the song with ease and his voice was never dominated by Celine’s 🙂

  9. Sngl – there were people who posted kill, kill the bitch and litsunin si Miss Piggy out of anger because of her refusal to apologize. It might also be that MF wanted to dramatize her resignation so she cited the death threats as one reason but I don’t know if they were real 😦 It is definitely wrong but this is the kind of reception you will get when you start a war of classes – between the haves and the have nots – it has the tendency to turn ugly 😦 It’s over and done now but I think with a prompt apology she would still have her job. She looks like she’s filthy rich anyway – maybe she doesn’t need the job !

    Yes there is a vidcap with Celine and Andrea but I chose not to post it because I think the duo is much better heard than seen. 🙂

  10. Alternati – if we can’t fire a cheating president, how much more an erring reporter ? hehe 🙂 Much that we have the right to express ourselves, I think there is a fine line between responsible and irresponsible journalism that people ought to be wary about. If CBS announcer Don Imus was eventually fired for when he called a women’s basketball team a bunch of “happy headed ho’s” – which CBS had no control because it was said in a talk show, how much more an article when the editors check every single bit of item to be published ? It is sad indeed when you entertain thoughts that the publishers have the same elitist mentality when they let the article go to print 😦

  11. Dion, Bocelli, Groban and Church with David foster on the piano, George Benson on the acoustic guitar, Sting on the stand up bass guitar and Donato Martillano on the percussions…now that would be a concert of ballads and theme songs.

    But in the Pinoy movie love team tradition, I would like to hear the sintunado voice of Vilma Santos paired with Edgar Mortiz sing the Prayer (for the rain to come!)or better yet Guy and Pip! But nothing will beat the yodelling version of Victor Wood’s duet with Esperanza Fabon of the “Prayer”!

    Ay naku! Malou Fernandez is just one of the many that are still clinging on to the elitist pinoy mentality. The only difference between her and the many others who believe that they are above the ordinary hardworking pinoys, is that she published her “Abscorbic acid” comment about OFW’s! I think she suffers from the the “Ed Zachary Disease”. I am not a doctor but I sensed from her “matapobre” comments that she has all the symptoms of this ugly disease. I would love to hear Senator Miriam Defensor’s piece on this whole issue….ay abaw! ari mo gid ay!

  12. I’ve also commented on this issue on watson’s blog. But according to her apology, she was trying to do satire. Well, Jonathan Swift was good at satire and unfortunately, Ms. Fernandez is no Jonathan Swift. I remember GMA a few years back was going to pass a law that was going to affect OFWs and there was so much outcry that she changed her mind. She apparently forgot that OFWs play a huge part in the Philippine economy.

    My mom is a big Josh Groban fan. I like his song “You Raise Me Up.”

  13. thanks BW, I’ve been to Tingog.com and lol…400+ comments would surely shame someone trying to think she’s a diva. It’s just a small fraction of OFWs reacting. Remember 7 million kami noh.

    I laughed at the part when she mentioned that her legs had scratches, makitid ang upuan. Wow, when I saw her pics, solve ang mystery. Wow, of course with that size, makitid nga ang eroplano.

    Anyway, she just showed what kind she is.

  14. Quote: “I guess God was watching out for us because the ferry we were supposed to take sank in the middle of the Aegean sea. I could already see myself screaming “SAVE MY ACCESSORIES!!!!” And swimming with my head above water so I don’t mess up my makeup…”-from People Asia Magazine” Unquote.

    I think this one is the most insensitive remarks she made in that article. If spoken in those Islamic country where perhaps the victims of that sinking relatives may hear that would be Blasphemy for invoking God in the Death of the poor victims of the tragedy. Not sure and didn’t know the aftermath of that sinking because miss fernandez was more concern of saving her seventeen lbs (or kgs?) worth of “beauty accessories”.

    I have some funny feelings some of the events of her travel were just made up, bigots and “upper class” are dreamers too, you know…

  15. Noypetes – That line up of singers would be something like a We Are The World undertaking bro :)It has always boggled my mind how Victor Wood managed to make a smash hit out of a rinky dinky song such as Pearly Shells LOL 🙂 Now don’t bring Miriam Defensor into the fray – that’s asking for even more trouble hehe 🙂

  16. Ipanema – I’m not a talker when it comes to plane rides but I’d love to sit beside MF in a long flight… I think her perfume
    would put me to sleep 🙂

  17. kainis naman pala itong si MF, akala nya ganun-ganun lang ang mgaing OFW. huh, nakahanap siya ng katapat, wawa naman siya 🙂

  18. Iskoo – it’s a learning experience para sa lahat ika nga na dapat mag ingat sa mga tao sa isunusulat nila esp sa widely read print media. This incident also showcases the power of the blog – that it can make a difference 🙂

  19. Nothing better mixture than that of Andrea and Celine singing together, for me that’s still unbeatable. Perhaps, it was the first operatic son that I really have adored so well (My Prayer) and had made me craved for more of these sort of music and had led me to discover the beauty o opera.

  20. I have Josh Groban’s album and I like the version with Charlotte Church but yeah…nothing beats the Andrea and Celine version (naks! first name basis..close! hehehe) I had goosebumps when I first heard them sing the song…

    Anyway I don’t know anything about Malu F…will check it out later 🙂

  21. Major Tom,

    same her, I’ve always like hybrid songs that have pop and opera qualities in them. They have more artistic qualities that appeal to my taste 🙂

  22. Verns,

    I’m not surprised of young folks like you and Alternati finding Charlotte Church better 🙂 Nothing wrong with that… We have our own Lani Misalucha who can sing both pop and opera with a spunk 🙂 Not sure if she’s in the same age group as you hehe 🙂 She’s doing Vegas means she’s got some serious talent 🙂

  23. Andrea’s tickets are always tough to get in NY, but finally attended a concert of his at Araneta Coliseum … hehehe. As for Malu F., check out Carlos Celdran’s article on the issue.

  24. Eric – I know what you’re saying. Luciano Pavarotti was selling $1000 front row tickets when he performed in Toronto! It’s insane.

    wooo.. I checked it out.. ugh ! I guess this country will never run out of matapobres 😦

  25. I watched Celine and Andrea’s duet at the Grammys. I think that’s my favourite version.

    As for Charlotte, I didn’t realize she’s a grown woman now. I remember when she first rose to stardom as a child. Man, I feel old. 🙂

  26. The Malu Fernandez case will be forgotten soon. I haven’t much sympathy for her but I am ashamed about what people said about her. Calling her pig was just childish and stupid.
    Everybody is free to disagree but a bit of courtesy never hurts.

  27. Big bro I actually said nothing beats Celine and Andrea’s version but yeah I also like the one Josh Groban did with Charlotte Church 🙂

    Lani M and I are definitely not in the same age group hehe but I like her voice 🙂

  28. Niceheart – yes, Charlotte is a big girl, a superstar now and a controversial one at that ! She had made bold statements in some of her interviews that surprised many people 🙂

  29. Sidney – I guess emotions played a big part in some people’s responses to her journalistic adventurism. The use of violent words was inexcusable.

    Unfortunately, she chose the side which was virtually indefensible and she had to bear the brunt of it all. I wasn’t in favor of what she wrote but wouldn’t mind having an uzo and mousakka with her hehe 🙂

  30. Vernsky – just kidding Lil Sis. I know you’re only 26 hahaha 🙂

  31. I’ve read that MF article from People Asia and my first thought was “how did it get to print?” For a reputable Magazine such as People Asia, what were the Editors doing?

    I have worked in publications before and whatever comes out on print is the EIC’s call. Does the EIC share the same sentiments as her as to release it on print. Or does the EIC wants this writer to hang herself on the neck with her own work?

    Well there will be a lesson learned here. MF should prictice tact in her writing and be sensitive enough about issues. High society is not being classless.

  32. I totally agree with the comment above: what was the EIC thinking? Why did the article see print at all?

    But honestly, I’m getting a bit tired of the Malou F. issue. She really does not deserve all that time and attention, does she? Next issue, please. Hehe. 😛

  33. Ferdz – totally agree… I’ll not be surprised if the editor in chief is of the same elitist ilk as MF 😦

  34. Kathy – getting pretty fed up with MF eh? Me too 🙂 But watch out, I have a feeling she’s coming back soon after boosting her dubious fame hehe 🙂

  35. In her magazine article, Malu F. was trying to be funny at the expense of other people which, I think, is not nice. This is the kind of humor (mockery) that her kind loves.

    I agree with you: how come her article, reeking with “matapobre-ness,” ever saw print? What kind of editorial judgment did the editor/s have?

    I have met a lot of Malu Fernandez types at work and in school, and I must say that it’s second nature to them to be shallow (apathetic to the pain and suffering around them), superficial (judging appearances too much), and “matapobre” (looking down on the have-nots). I just never gave them the time of day. They didn’t deserve my or anyone’s attention that they inwardly crave (that explains ‘photo overloads’ — showing socialites mingling with one another over a glass of champagne in parties — in the society pages of newspapers).

    But I do understand the OFWs reaction (or overreaction) to this issue. They work so hard to give their families a better future — only to be lambasted in a casual way by someone who doesn’t know the pain of leaving one’s family to slave away in a foreign land where the grass is much greener.

    However, some anti-Malu comments were plain below the belt. Her weight had nothing to do with the issue at hand.

    Anyway, I think this case is closed. She has resigned from both publications, and I hope that’s the end of that. No more need to “beat Malu black and blue” as you put it.

    (BW, I didn’t want to comment on this overhyped issue — I hate hype — but since you’re one of my favorite and respected opinion bloggers, I just have to type in my comment for all its worth. 🙂


    Hey, I like “The Prayer” song by Josh Groban. Thanks for sharing the videos here. To answer your question, I prefer Celine Dion and Josh Groban’s version.

    (Any sequel to the “300” Ilonggo spoof? I really loved it. It makes me laugh every time I replay it. LOL)


  36. Jayred – thanks for a accolade ‘mam 🙂 I know the issue was overhyped and now that its over and done, we are talking about why it happened. I thought the silly comments about her fatness was a reflex reaction to her insults when she herself is far from perfection. She was rude and she deserved rude comments as well. The death threat part I wasn’t in agreement with – that was uncalled for. But as I said, when one starts a war between haves and have nots, it can turn ugly and it did, quite unfortunately 😦 I think it was a lesson for writers and editors , that they must be sensitive towards people and adhere to political correctness at all times.

    As for Bisaya 300 – search for BENJO in YouTube – there are hilarious sequels to it 🙂

  37. about that malu fernadez, good thing she said her apologies before the threats turned into reality. it’s amazing how ‘some’ people with money can think that they’re gods and that they can just step on other peoples toes without any consideration for what others may feel. her words are totally insensitive and insulting. what she said us ungodly and impertinent. totally disrespecting humanity and her very own people!

    i must say that celine dion and josh grobans performance deserve a big round of applause. but i remain loyal to andrea bocelli’s version. josh groban on the other hand is truly one amazing artist with an angelic face. charlotte church, she remains a lad in my imagination. but her performance is also impeccable!

    sorry hah, feeling ko i was a doing a review column for a magazine. hehehe =)

  38. Neil – MalouF’s carelessness taught the world a valuable lesson on the importance of responsible journalism. If she was doing stand up comedy such comments could have gone through and laughed out in my opinion but not in a reputable magazine – in a travel article at that !

    Andrea sings so effortless with such majestic ease and that’s what it like about his style. Don’t worry – you are allowed to do a review, no matter how granular, in this blog hehe 🙂

  39. Is MF history now? She deserves whatever she gets.

    I liked both duets.

    I have CDs for all these 3 artists. Powerful voices. Great song.

  40. Leah – as far as I am concerned, MF is toast 🙂 But hey, who know, her notoriety may have gained her fame ala Rosie O’Donnel and she might stage a comeback 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: