Jodee, our ultra-hip programs manager, put me on to this video on April 19th. The video was uploaded to YouTube two days earlier. By then the video had clocked over 5000 hits. It might even have been 10, 000 hits. Either way, it was a shit-load of hits, being public for only two days.
When the boss-lady kindly asked me to start a column/blog, posting exciting developments in Filipinoness, I wanted to post this first. I wanted to post it first because 1- I loved it, 2- I wanted everyone to hear it from here first. But then the Philippine Elections rolled around and I felt it was my duty to post something related.
By that time, May 10th, the Lady Gagita video had clocked in 800, 000 hits! Even worse, I was at my Lola's (Grandma) house and my Tita (Aunt) was telling ME about it. And by then, the young man and creator of the video had been featured on a number of Filipino talk and variety shows on network television. NOW, the video is at over a million hits. The boy is well on his way to the Ellen Show. It just shows, that no matter how HIP we (more like me) at KAPISANAN try to be, you can't beat old-fashion Filipino word-of-mouth.
It's viral spread is not without merit. This video is an excellent example of Filipino ingenuity and resourcefulness. The editing, the costumes, the props, the choreography, the use of neighborhood kids for the cast. That's how you get shit done with no budget. If you're into Michel Gondry flicks (Be Kind Rewind, Spotless Mind), you'll appreciate the clever tricks.
I'd point them out for you, but I think you'll enjoy spotting them yourselves.
It was all shot on a regular digital camera. The kid (Vinzon Booc) is known in his neighborhood (in Davao) for filming these (yes, there are others). When he's done shooting, he heads down to the local internet cafe, edits the clips, and uploads from there (internet cafes in The Philippines are about P10 = $0.25 CDN / hour). GENIUS!
Here, in the 'First-World', we sometimes get too caught up in technology and s0-called professionalism. We get so caught up in using all these toys, achieving a look, and following formulas for success that we forget to use our ultimate tool; which is our creativity and ability to just have fun with it.
For me- the ultimate procrastinator and glutton for validation- watching this video was a humbling experience. He's made, with a digital camera and zero budget, what I haven't been able to do with half an arts education and a Philippine Arts Centre backing me.
In a way this is a call for the diaspora to step-up their game.
Ay buhay! (translates to: That's life! )