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The Editorial Board




By Ysh Estayo | Posted on June 9, 2024 

Manila, Philippines | EDITORIALPH

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Ending the Exploitative Giving Culture: Identifying Influencers and Vloggers Taking Advantage

Filipinos are naturally kind and generous, especially when it comes to helping others. However, it's disheartening to see that even this noble act has been turned into a business by influencers and vloggers. With just a little donation, assistance, or gift, along with the deceptive focus of a camera, they can easily hypnotize and lure you into thinking they're doing good deeds, often making you believe it's easy money for them.


During the pandemic, helping others was indeed heartwarming, but some individuals have turned it into a career that they continue to pursue. In short, opportunistic social media personalities have turned acts of kindness into profit-making ventures. They appear gentle on the surface like sheep, but deep down, they're like lions ready to devour you and your soul for their own gain. Some say it's all about the money, which is truly saddening.


Many influencers' content revolves around "giving." They seek out targets who appear poor or pitiful, then offer help while accompanied by a camera for social media posts, deceiving and misleading the masses into thinking they're good-hearted. Instant followers, instant views, and some even become instant millionaires.


Have you noticed how our perception of helping others has declined? Whenever someone extends a helping hand, our immediate thought is that they must be an influencer or vlogger on social media. We tend to look for hidden cameras and conspirators. Imagine the gravity of this shift in human behavior.


We're no longer amazed or inspired; instead, we're merely intrigued and entertained. It's like watching a movie on social media. There's no power left. The spirit of kindness and the power of giving and generosity are fading away, which is truly disappointing.


It's frightening to think that the true spirit of giving, kindness, and generosity might disappear in a few years, leading to the degradation or even extinction of moral and cultural values.


Consider these customs and traditions:


"Bayanihan" - Is anyone still practicing this? Some argue that houses nowadays are made of concrete, so there's nothing to lift together. This is wrong! The truth is, we've abandoned "Bayanihan" as we've progressed. There's been a shift in human behavior, impacting our culture and traditions.


"Tulungan" - Helping used to be a privilege, an honor. You'd proudly tell the whole barangay and your family that you helped Mang Pedro and Aling Nena chop wood or fetch water from the well. It used to be something to be proud of. Now, it has to come with a price tag. Before offering help, there must be compensation, or else you'll end up doing it alone. Everything has a price now. One way or another, you're both assessing whether you'll be the one giving or the one receiving payment.


"Balikatan" - In the past, when a relative or family member needed help to overcome hardship, there was an unspoken obligation to assist. Nowadays, it's worsened because those aunts, uncles, or relatives who helped you end up demanding payment in the end. So now, when you receive help, you have to ask if it's a debt of gratitude because they might demand repayment later, with interest. It's like dealing with a bank loan. It would be better if it were genuine.


That's the fate of the once beautiful Filipino customs.


Returning to our topic, our culture of giving is on the brink of extinction. Let's use the term "extinction" akin to the disappearance of species, but this time, it's about the disappearance of behaviors that we may not even realize are vanishing.


There used to be philanthropists, known for their acts of charity. They were intelligent, wealthy, and knowledgeable. In essence, they knew what they were doing, and their acts of kindness were engraved in their minds and hearts. It was a way of showing gratitude and spreading goodness to others because of what they had achieved.


Now, they've been replaced by influencers and vloggers. We don't know where they come from or if they possess the same qualities as philanthropists. But one clear thing they've done is turn their acts of kindness into content for social media, to profit from it.


If you're a follower of these influencers, you might feel hurt, but consider this: shouldn't we be more hurt because the true meaning of helping others is disappearing due to the actions of fake givers - the influencers you follow?


Nowadays, anyone who gives is labeled a vlogger or influencer. The next day, you might go viral with them. It's like a syndicate. It's like a scam. It's like a horrifying deception. We're being manipulated too much!


It would be better if they had a "disclaimer" and declared that they're creating content like a movie or documentary, perhaps then it would be more acceptable because their actions would be seen as entertainment or public service. They shouldn't prioritize their content on giving and kindness because, truth be told, they're worse than corrupt politicians. They're not just taking money; they're also disrespecting our rich culture, customs and traditions.


They're like a plague on society!


They're like ugly people who are profiting off the poor.


Spot them and Stop them.


Let's help to stop them. Let's not allow the true culture of generosity in our country to vanish like a bubble. Let's not turn acts of kindness into a business venture.

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