Before I start ranting about what I feel is the wrong way to see Pinoy Big Brother, let me first appeal to you to vote for my friend and schoolmate Robi Domingo to save him from eviction this week by texting BB ROBI to 2331 for Globe networks and to 231 for Smart networks, or by voting online through http://teensplus.pinoybigbrother.com/Vote/tabid/139/Default.aspx. Robi has been nothing but an exceptional housemate during his stay, and in my opinion, the good rankings in this competition of values and attitudes give us a good picture of what characteristics Filipinos see as important.
Pinoy Big Brother was supposedly tagged as the "teleserye ng totoong buhay." For the past 3 years, it showed different batches of people living inside a house, trying to show whatever good or bad they have, with the hopes of winning a prize that amounts to at least a million pesos, among other reasons (like inspiring others and trying to jump-start a show business career). However, whoever wins or loses in the contest is ultimately left to the discretion of the viewers, who vote for the housemate they want to stay, and in most cases, eventually win. However, whoever is presented to the public as 'nominees' for eviction depends on the housemates themselves, and the way the housemates tackle this obstacle really bothers me.
I have seen countless instances when housemates (and even guardians) were nominated for eviction for the simple reason that they did not need the money involved with winning the contest. Being a housemate myself, I admit that it really is hard to say that you want a friend to leave the house because of whatever reason, but I believe that each housemate (or guardian) also has the mental capacity to discern that being well-off is not enough ground for trying to dismiss a person from a contest that measures character, more than anything. Nominating someone because of financial capability, in my opinion, cannot be used as an escape route to avoid saying negative things about others. It has often been said that Filipinos are maawain, and that they want those least blessed to be victorious, but this certain Filipino trait of seemingly wanting the less-privileged to win should not be the reason for the more-privileged to suffer. We cannot let crab-mentality take over!
Big Brother is not primarily a charity show. While it tries to help the needy in some way, it is first and foremost a contest of character. I would never like to think that the sole reason that Nene, Keanna, Kim, Bea, and Reuben won was because they needed so much money. I would like to think that while yes, it was a factor, they were persons that really reflected what the Filipino stood up for. They were Filipinos with good character. It is alright to want the less-privileged to win, but please, do not bring people down for the same reason.
PBB is primarily a contest of character, and the best way to choose who to nominate (after assessing my own stay inside the house), is by assessing what each housemate has done for the past week. Nominations happen weekly for a reason, and I think each nomination weekend is a time to think about how each housemate has interacted with the others, or how each has done his part as a member of a team. If financial status is considered a good reason to nominate someone, then we can assume that PBB is a charity show. Housemates should know better.
Robi's nominations for the whole season are dumb, if he's nominated for the reason that he does not demonstrate immense financial need. If he's nominated by others as part of a strategy to win (that we'll probably never find out), since Robi has a good chance of ranking high, then things can be more acceptable. In that case, Teen Edition Plus would be full of devious housemates, which is pretty unlikely, considering our age.