Bong Vhong: The Dull Resonant Sound of Boob Tube Boo-Boos (Part 1 of 2)

bong [bong, bawng] 

– A dull resonant sound of a bell

What’s with “bongs” these days? From Bong Revillato bong throwing, to the Bong Bowl, and now Vhong Navarro

“Honorable” Senator Bong Revilla’s well-choreographed privilege speech commanded a few hours of attention although many thought there was nothing new about it. Just recently, the apparent brutality suffered by comedian and TV host Vhong Navarro stirred public attention. We know some would quickly dismiss the Vhong Navarro issue as something sensationalized and not worth discussing but there’s something about it that could be worth a ponder. Just like the onomatopoeic “ping pong,” the “Bong Vhong” sound can be likened to a boring, unimportant noise that actually calls your attention to something that tends to get unexpectedly exciting as the exchange of sounds become faster.

Let’s focus on the two “bongs” that are likely of greater interest to Filipinos: Bong and Vhong.


The senator who brusquely dares question the “Tuwid na Daan” motif of the Aquino administration created a buzz with his well-staged speech. He even afforded to drop a number of heavy names and directly attackedPresident Aquino’s alleged meddling during the Corona impeachment trial. He offered anecdotesin the hopes of justifying his actions, possibly concealing misdeeds, or diverting the main issue. Just like a dull resonant sound of a corroded bell, the gentleman from Cavite sounded unexciting, unconvincing, and ignorable. He may have said truths but the highly conspicuous intention of trying to make himself appear faultless made the whole hullabaloo of a speech senseless.

The toy truck anticwas funny at best and was perhaps the highlight of the speech, the only new feature of the otherwise rehashed and predictable hour-long soliloquy. The subtle name callingwasn’t funny and inventive. It only made everything sound ridiculous. It was all an annoying bell’s bong. It was a PR mistake the boob tube has obligingly shown.


In case you’re belatedly realizing it — yes, this name (even if it’s just a screen name) indeed sounds ridiculous albeit very Filipino. It’s one of those “Filipino-esque” naming conventions comparable to the equally notorious ilk of Jun-Jun, Ton-Ton, and Mak-Mak. Vhong Navarro’s name is cringingly “Filipino-esque” but it’s nothing compared to his brutal misadventureat a condo in The Fort.

Vhong’s ordeal may appear trivial but the reactions and consequent events it has brought forth are nothing short of interesting. Consider these:

– Vhong Navarro appears on a TV interview to reveal his “truths” about the brutality he suffered and is subtly mocked by the TV show (to whom he granted his first exclusive interview) through the ratings-oriented editing and dramatics-filled voice over and “musical scoring.”

– GMA News and the Philippine Daily Inquirer dug the story of an SPD blotter wherein Vhong Navarro purportedly concurs to the accusation that he attempted to rape someone.

– Chito Roño, Vhong’s manager, attempts a poorly scripted damage control by dismissing the existence of a blottersigned by his talent only to be refuted by the admission of Vhong himself.

– The girl who accuses Vhong of attempted rape turns out to be pretty if not gorgeous, as many netizens point out.

– Beaten man cries extortion; girl alleges rape.

– The whole Vhong Navarro fiasco gives rise to a social media facilitated spam.

– For fans, it has escalated into—guess what—a network war!

– The girl’s alleged connections to GMAbigwigs were cited.

– Broadcaster Karen Davila openly throws supportfor Vhong by mentioning how the supposedly traumatized attempted rape victim was able to go out to party and show off Vhong’s compromising video to her friends.

– Jinggoy Estrada, yes the senator, joins the fray and says in an interview with Philippine Star that Cedric Lee is a member of a Chinese mafia in addition to calling Vhong innocent and a good man.

– The perennially “involved” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (of course) gets involved. She has a lot of time to deal with all hot issues in the country.

Anthony Tabiernaof ABS-CBN criticizes police action (or inaction) during the logging of the blotter at the police precinct.

Vhong Navarro’s issue appears to have more significant responses and implications in comparison to Senator Bong Revilla’s boring and self-serving proffering. Discussions or comments about what happened to him have flooded social media. It’s more than resonant; every day something new unfolds and the responses keep growing.


Continuation in Part 2.


screencap via youtube. Some rights reserved.