When the trailer for the new series starring Liza Soberano was published online on February 7, social media netizens has already started to express their disappointment about the casting of the show.
Bagani, a pre-colonial inspired TV show, stars Soberano, Enrique Gil, Sofia Andres, Makisig Morales, and Matteo Guidicelli. A lot of people pointed out that the new Kapamilya fantaserye shouldn’t cast “fair-skinned” actors.
In a viral Facebook post, Paolo Cruz posted a screencap of a tweet that compared Bagani to Black Panther, which is an American movie that was able to celebrate the African culture “innovating without sacrificing authenticity.”
“Movies like Black Panther pay homage to African culture by innovating without sacrificing authenticity. While shows like Bagani slather half-white Asians in bronzer to pass them off as precolonial Filipinos because kayumanggi doesn’t sell.”
Patay na si Hesus actress Chai Fonacier expressed his dismay in a tweet last February 10.
“Don’t brown face to serve majority of a population that are naturally brown skinned. To condescend on your own kind this way and scream PiNoy PriDE in your station IDs AND call them “family” is blatantly stupid and insulting.,” Fonacier wrote.
Don't brown face to serve majority of a population that are naturally brown skinned.
To condescend on your own kind this way and scream PiNoy PriDE in your station IDs AND call them "family" is blatantly stupid and insulting.
— Chai Fonacier (@rrrabidcat) February 10, 2018
The debate about the show has been the talk of the town after Liza Soberano responded to the now-deleted tweet by Twitter user @deeCrz saying that she and Enrique Gil are not Filipinos.
And who says were not pinoy? My Father is full filipino. I was raised by two filipinos since the age of 4. I looooove sinigang i think thats as pinoy as pinoy can get.
— Liza Soberano (@lizasoberano) February 16, 2018
Netizens take the issue lightly and joke about Liza’s love for sinigang.
"hey so are u filipi-"
me, with a bowl of Sinigang balanced on my head, removing my gabi and labanos shaped sunglasses, wearing kangkong as bangles, sipping Sinigang soup from my handcarry thermos, wearing Sinigang merch: yes why did u ask https://t.co/O1rwCP2DI4
— pork chao fan with dumplings (@gageaux) February 18, 2018
favorite ni liza soberano ilysb bc it stands for i love you sinigang na baboy
— january danielle (@warysanchhh) February 18, 2018
I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative.
— Sinigang (@puresinigang) February 18, 2018
Make sure you have enough valid IDs guys.. pic.twitter.com/YtSpUqeWyI
— PG-13 Seña (@Sentastic) February 18, 2018
and who says im not japanese? I was raised by watching anime every afternoon since the age of 4. I looooove ramen i think thats as japanese as japanese can get.
— angelu (@trashkweeen) February 18, 2018
User @pocahontascruz also cleared that the debate isn’t about who raised who and how much Liza love sinigang, but it is about “how you need to be more informed & responsible” with the roles she accepts.
“This is about… how you are propagating a culture that takes away roles from just-as-capable-and-beautiful Morena actors,” she tweeted.
This isn’t abt who ur dad is/who raised u/how much u luv sinigang. WE ALL LOVE SINIGANG. This is about how YOU need to be more informed & responsible with the roles u accept; how u r propagating a culture that takes away roles from just-as-capable-&-beautiful Morena actors
— ✨ mandy ✨ (@pocahontascruz) February 18, 2018
While some people said Liza missed the point of the whole issue, others defended the actress.
— Noni Cabrera نونت (@nokneetoe) February 19, 2018
I feel so bad for @lizasoberano for all the hate she's getting. That "sinigang" tweet was a reply to someone who said "di sila pinoy". What she's basically saying is that she's Filipino by blood and by heart. Don't take the tweet too literal and stop playing dumb. 🙁
— Celine (@RonaCelina) February 19, 2018
I'm not justifying them playing such roles for Bagani but she is Filipino. Don't you appreciate her loving her Filipino roots even when y'all keep throwing your di-ka-naman-pinoy hate against her?
— Celine (@RonaCelina) February 19, 2018
Bothered na dinadala yung usapan ng Bagani sa right to being a Filipino noong actors. To REAL LIFE. Let's not be like that guys.
Liza, Enrique, all these actors ARE Filipino. You don't have the right to take that away from them from some essentialist notion of nationality.
— 👑 QUEEN CEO AILEE 👽 (@kipaypay) February 18, 2018
What can you say about this issue revolving the new show Bagani?