Five Media Personalities Influencing the Filipino Youth Today

Youth Culture keeps changing. Those of us who grew up in the 1990s fondly remember the music of Eraserheads, Alamid, Introvoys, Rivermaya, and yes, Parokya ni Edgar. It was the explosion of Filipino alternative bands! But the music of the 90s usually contained socially relevant lyrics. Magasin by Eraserheads criticized the prevailing smut and porn in tabloids. Huling El Bimbo, also by Eraserheads, talked about the loss of innocence and being caught in the “madili na eskinita” of various social issues. Parokya ni Edgar’s Buloy tackled the important issue of suicide. Agaw Agimat in Wanli Teltu criticized the lack of family planning and the population explosion in the country.

In the past two decades, the Internet rose in popularity, and the popularity of radio dwindled. CDs became obsolete and MP3 players became the norm. And so, I could say that alternative music, both in form and content, ceased to impact the vast majority of Filipino young people.

In the aftermath of this sort of loss, several other media personalities are influencing young people. Here’s my list of media personalities influencing Filipino youth today. I initially posted this in my Facebook timeline and friends suggested other media personalities, which I’ll be listing after the five below:

Vice Ganda

He has been the face of Pinoy comedy in the past few years. When he is on TV, his comedy is pretty wholesome, though there’s the occasional green joke/jab. But if you watch his gigs at comedy bars, it’s often R-18. Vice Ganda pretty much dominates ABS-CBN’s version of comedy. He’s a daily companion of many thanks to his gig with Showtime. He also has his own TV show: Gandang Gabi Vice, which is the source of laughter of most Filipinos.

Interestingly, he’s just continuing the persona of the gay comedian, which was started by Dolphy Quizon in his Facifica Falayfay role in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Papa Jack

In the 1990s, we had Joe D’Mango. This generation has Papa Jack, a sorta kinda lovelife issues counselor on 90.7 Love Radio. He gives advice, that much is true, but not before making fun of the caller. He gives honest to goodness advice that makes sense to a lot of young people but with the added witty, sarcastic, and sometimes downright insulting remarks. He’s also a regular favorite of public transportation — jeepneys, vans, taxis, and buses.

Bob Ong

Bob Ong broke into the scene in the late 90s and early 2000s with his best-selling book ABNKKBSNPLAko, which showed the educational experiences and misadventures of young people who grew up in the 1990s. He practically redefined writing for Filipino teenagers/young people. He used a combination of English and Filipino. A stream of consciousness type of writing that is funny, touching, and tear-inducing all in one paragraph! He produced additional thought-provoking books. But none could rival the first one, methinks.

Eros Atalia

Eros Atalia is somewhat similar to Bob Ong. But he’s a fictionist. His book “Ligo na U, Lapit na Me” has been turned into a Cinemalaya movie. In terms of teenage lovelife, Eros seems to capture the field pretty well. His works, though, are Rated R and may not be all too suitable for “conservative” readers. The book sequel, It’s Not that Complicated, contains some a-little-too-graphic sex scenes. But his book is a hit among young people. And readers say that they could relate with the scenes they read. The content can be shocking for older folks, but it’s necessary reading material for those who are monitoring Filipino youth culture.

Ramon Bautista

The influence of Ramon Bautista is growing. He’s on GMANews TV and TV5 (I think). But his influence is primarily in the area of lovelife advice (sort of). Check out his formspring account: and you’ll know what I’m talking about. His book “Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo” was released in late September 2012 and it was a runaway bestseller. Copies of his book quickly ran out of stock at a lot of NBS outlets.


If there is one common thing among these five media personalities — it’s the dominance of humor and witticism. I don’t know how to make out of the Pinoy humor as embodied by these people. But they can induce minutes upon minutes of laughter from their readers, listeners or viewers.

They are also honest and do not shirk away from sensitive topics.

There goes my list. Here are other personalities that my Facebook friends mentioned. I might need to expand this post to write more about the guys below.

Lourd de Veyra.

Anne Curtis.

Efren Peñaflorida.

Manny Pacquiao.

Fliptop Rappers: Abra, Loonie, Dello, Protego, Fuego, etc. Read this WikiPilipinas entry if you don’t know what Flip Top is.

TV Shows: Eat Bulaga and Showtime

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