Promoting China in PH gov’t radio station trends for unpleasant reasons
MANILA, Philippines — A program being aired on state-run Radyo Pilipinas that promotes Chinese culture and history is trending online — but for unpleasant reasons.
“Wow China,” a collaboration of Philippines Broadcasting Service (PBS) and China Radio International, appears to be airing in the government radio station since mid-2018.
“Let’s get to know our Chinese brothers for better relations and friendship,” said part of the program’s opening spiel in Filipino.
An episode on May 10, posted on the Facebook page of Radyo Pilipinas, was being shared online over the weekend. With over 200,000 views and nearly 9,000 likes as of 7 p.m. on Monday (May 11), it also generated at least 8,000 angry reactions from netizens. It has drawn so far at least 4,000 comments.
“Why Radyo Pilipinas, you gave time to China? Wow! China, after everything you’ve done to the Philippines, you’re still the good guy in the Philippines!” wrote one Diana Ross Medrina Cetenta in the comments section of the Radyo Pilipinas page.
“What’s the concept and China is being described as Wow? It’s too obvious. Philippine broadcasting but that’s the program name. Why not Wow Pilipinas?” wrote another netixen, Lei Kai Dumayag, in Filipino.
The two hosts, Nimfa Asuncion and Ernest Wang, lightly talked about Mother’s Day and the current quarantine for COVID-19.
Part of the hour-long show also offered Mandarin lessons from a certain Teacher Serenity of the Confucius Institute of the University of the Philippines.
Most of the comments from netizens, who were apparently unaware that the China program had been airing for more than a year, expressed disapproval of the show being aired by a Philippine government station.
“Wow China” did not also sit well with Twitter users, which made it trend as of Monday night.
The Presidential Communications Operations Office has entered into multiple bilateral media and communications agreements with the Chinese government covering communications, media and and information exchanges, and joint production since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016.
The public scrutiny of Wow China came weeks after the Chinese embassy-produced music video “Iisang Dagat” (One Sea) sparked outrage outline. It was meant to be a tribute to health workers and others on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19, a disease which originated in China.
But netizens saw the music video as a subtle way by China to assert its claims to nearly the entire West Philippine Sea.
Edited by TSB
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