Trigger Warning: This article contains descriptions and alleged comments that may be triggering to victims of sexual violence, sexual assault, or sexual abuse
Students and alumni of the De La Salle University – Dasmariñas expressed their disgust over singer Michael Pangilinan’s comments during his performance at a benefit concert held within the university.
Elaine Aznar, a Political Science student and campus journalist of the university’s Heraldo Filipino, was at the concert when Pangilinan made the controversial comment.
“So before siya kumanta, nagpaakyat muna siya ng audience. He asked if she’s single and all ‘para makagawa tayo ng baby.’”, she tweeted, which has been viewed more than 2.6 million times.
Nakaprivate na yung video na naka-embed. I saved it for everyone’s reference though. pic.twitter.com/SXjgOc0iB0
— elaine🕰️ (@eastwestelle) March 15, 2023
“And guys, later on, we connected the dots kung bakit ganon ‘yung intro niya. Kasi ‘I’ll Make Love To You’ pala yung kanta!!!! Then he asked if he could kiss the female student… ‘di daw ba magagalit ‘yung parents niya and all. He even asked to get the student’s number!!!” she said in another tweet.
“There’s a lot of ways to have an opening speech before singing a song and Michael Pangilinan literally chose to disrespect women. Happy Women’s Month, I guess???” she added referring to the month of March as Women’s Month.
In an interview with PressOne.PH, Aznar said that she and her friends were shocked to hear Pangilinan make the remark.
“Naiinis ako na women’s month pa naman,” she said.
In another tweet of Aznar, Pangilinan can be seen attempting to kiss a female student. Other photos show Pangilinan sitting on the female student’s lap and vice-versa.
— elaine🕰️ (@eastwestelle) March 15, 2023
“Is he objectifying women as baby makers. As a woman nakaka degrade pakinggan di porket babae eh baby agad,” she added.
She said that she was shocked that other members of the audience did not find the quip offensive.
“Bakit ganun pinagsasabi niya? Does he want to normalize objectifying women as baby makers? As a woman nakakadegrade po pakinggan,” she added.
She stressed that she found the joke inappropriate considering that the benefit concert was held within the university compound.
Asked why she was reacting to the statement when the female student with Pangilinan seemingly found nothing offensive with what he singer said and did, Aznar said “Honestly, I don’t care much if she liked it because that’s what she feels eh. What I really care about is the normalization of such actions and remarks against women. And strictly prohibited sa univ yung nangyari kaya deserve ma-call out.”
Another DLSU-D student, Kayla Nicole Togonon, slammed Pangilinan on her Facebook account, asking the singer to just sing next and refrain from making any jokes which she found “disgusting”.
“DLSU-D has a safe space act, which means all of us are protected from any kind of kabastusan! AT sa school ka nagpeperform hindi sa kung anong music fest. Yung joke mo or whatever… you spouted on that stage tonight was DISGUSTING,” she wrote.
Togonon was referring to the “Student Safe Spaces Act” of DLSU-D that was put in force in 2021 by the University Student Goverment after the enactment of Republic Act 11313 to be known as the Safe Spaces Act. According to the “Student Safe Spaces Act” of DLSU-D , the DLSU-D student government “recognizes that need for safe space that is conducive in the students’ physical well-being in the University.”
On the other hand, under the university’s Student Handbook, public display of affection is prohibited in the university. It also classifies “unwelcome sexual advances, repeated sexual-oriented kidding, teasing, or flirting” as forms of sexual harassment.
DLSU-D Journalism alumnus Ahmad Mahusay, who was also at the concert, said in an interview with PressOne.PH that he too was “disgusted” with the sexist jokes and stunts performed by Pangilinan and a female audience on stage.
“Sumisigaw na ako sa kanya that night. Sobra na akong frustrated that night. Gusto ko na siyang bumaba sa stage. Kasi grabe yung ginawa niya,” he said.
Mahusay said he was shocked to hear some in the audience finding the stunt entertaining. “Anong breed sila ng La Salle students? Bakit sila natutuwa? Taga La Salle ba itong mga ito?” he asked.
Meanwhile, DLSU-D president Br. Francisco “Sockie” dela Rosa, FSC, posted on his Facebook page that ‘sexual harassment is not tolerated’ in the university and promised that he will investigate the matter.
Meanwhile, the official Facebook page of the university came out with a statement seemingly addressing the controversy.
“Recently, unlikely statements were reported to have been made before Lasallian students and their invited family members. As a Lasallian institution, we regret that these statements offended the sensibilities of some members of our community. In light of this, we would like to remind everyone including guests and friends to observe prudence, tact, and caution when expressing their views and opinions within the Lasallian community,” the statement said.
However, some netizens were not pleased with how the statement was worded.
Netizen Nia Sara said “Bakit po walang context? Also, bakit ang delivery nito ay parang simpleng pag-report ng so-called unlikely statements instead of saying na there is SOMEONE who made those unlikely statements? Hindi ba talaga natin bibigyan ng accountability ang doer ng action?”
“Respectfully speaking. Bakit parang kasalanan pa po ng students along with their families na nagv-voice out sila against said person? Aren’t we, as students of this campus, prorected by the Safe Spaces Act? The person that made unlikely statements AND actions in front of everyone and it is not even a simple matter. Please address the issue at hand with a more specific statement po, because this is vague po,” Natasha Sy commented on the post.
Aznar was also wondering why the university did not condemn Pangilinan’s actions.
“Sobrang vague talaga nung statement and it’s disappointing. Ni-hindi man lang nila kaya imention yung incident and they are also deleting comments related to my Twitter thread,” she said.
DLSU-D’s College of Tourism and Hospitality Management (CTHM) student council held the “CTHM Sparks Fest: Re-Ignite the Fire” on March 14 at the campus grounds. The student government said the event’s beneficiaries include student athletes, student leaders, selected students of the CTHM, the One La Salle Scholarship Endowment Fund, and Bahay Pag-asa.
Aside from Pangilinan, bands December Avenue, Imago and other local bands performed at the concert.
PressOne.PH reached out to the camp of Pangilinan for an interview. His camp did not respond to our request. — Rommel F. Lopez