American cultural imperialism at its best. Except that I read somewhere that the Big Brother show started in Europe. It’s good to know we’re not the only ones spreading mind-rotting reality TV around the world.

Pinoy Big Brother, broadcast by my host organization, is really popular here. It even has its own catchy theme song that I hear everywhere. (And other PIA fellows work for NGOs that try to do things like protect the environment, increase literacy and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. I, on the other hand, get to do much more important work — like wander the halls of a media conglomerate that broadcasts the Philippines very own Big Brother.)

Other American reality programs — especially The Apprentice — are extremely popular here. At a baby shower last weekend I was completely left out of a conversation, not because of a language barrier, but because my hosts were having a very detailed discussion about The Apprentice.


  1. Renee says:

    This is kind of random, but quasi-linked to American cultural imperialism, but I read in the Japan Times about more “My Way” craziness at a karaoke bar in Manila (someone got stabbed or something). That is absolutely nuts. At the end of the article it mentioned something about the songs drastic change in pitch are difficult to sing, so people heckle and hiss from the audience, thus inciting the violence … Just thought I’d share.

  2. Amit says:

    I keep seeing ads for Pinoy Big Brother on TV. Apparently there’s a 24/7 channel one can subscribe to and if I’m not wrong it’s an offering by ABS-CBN! 🙂

    Is it?

  3. Christina says:

    Hi Renee! Yes, I know about the “My Way” phenomenon here. I already posted about it maybe a month or so ago. So funny!

    And Amit, yes, it is an ABS-CBN offering. I live a little to close to the actually Pinoy Big Brother house. I’m not sure why one would want access to a 24/7 channel, but I’m probably the wrong audience for the channel anyway. 🙂

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