- A lawyer criticized Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) for supposedly exploiting Badjao Girl
- She said the girl from the indigenous community should not be on the show
- The lawyer added Badjao Girl should be protected from the lack of understanding of their culture instead
MANILA, Philippines – Lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles has accused the “Pinoy Big Brother” (PBB) of exploiting Rita “Badjao Girl” Gabiola following the controversial incident where the indigenous teenager was teased about her undergarment.
Cruz-Angeles said in her Facebook post that Gabiola shouldn’t be on the show, in the first place, since “her community has not done well under the capitalist paradigm of competition” which few people, especially those watching the reality television show, would understand.
She went on to explain that the Sama Dilaut, to which Gabiola belongs, are previously known as “masters of the waves” for their ability to dive for pearls and selling rare shells and corral formations before the practice was eventually banned.
“However, poverty, war, changes in the economy have marginalized the various communities. Some local governments have even pushed them inland, away from their historic dwelling by or on the sea,” Cruz-Angeles wrote.
The lawyer added that the Constitution and the Indigenous People’s Right Act or IPRA law articulate the rights to which these communities are entitled, “precisely to protect them from the lack of understanding that is so pervasive nowadays.”
“Their own self characterization sometimes does rub off on us and we look down on them. And sometimes, as well meaning citizens, we rush to their aid, doling out charity or forcing them to accept unfamiliar living conditions,” she said.
However, the lawyer explained, these practices “interferes with their right to determine their own path, their own development within the context of their history and unique culture,” and thus, wrong, most of the time.”
She said very few are equipped in assisting these minority people even if it were done in good faith and with good intentions.
“Is it therefore right to place a child, from an indigenous cultural community, entitled to be treated with the dignity and respect for being bearers of a proud nearly forgotten tradition, into a situations such as PBB?” the lawyer asked.
In reply to her question, Cruz-Angeles said seeing Badjao Girl being exploited in PBB “hurts her in the gut”.