Filipino vlogger’s content on father’s death sparks debate

June 19, 2019 - 7:42 PM
Person holding smartphone
Individual holding the YouTube application in a smartphone. (Pexels/Stock photo)

A vlogger defended himself after some viewers criticized a video he uploaded showing him receiving news that his father passed away.

YouTube vlogger Keith Talens shared his reasons for continuing to post the video on the platform despite the sudden news, admitting that his father wanted to be included in his vlog.

“Gustong gusto ng dade (daddy) ko na maisama siya sa vlog ko dahil last time na nag-usap kami about vlogging, nag-biro pa siya sa akin na ‘Gusto ko ‘yan kasi magiging artista na ako!'” he wrote as a postscript in his video’s description.

Talens also debunked speculations that he only staged the entire incident to gain clout or views from the online community.

“‘Di naman po ako siguro ganoon kaganid sa vlog na i-vo-vlog mo, alam mo naman na namatay ‘yung daddy mo, magsasalita ka pa ng mga ganoon, na parang magkukunwari ka na, ‘Uy, i-su-surprise ko ‘yung daddy ko!'” he said.

“Actually, ‘di ko na nga alam kung paano ako mag-v-vlog eh. Kung paano ko ulit sisimulan ‘tong… ‘yung kung ipapagtuloy, kung paano ako mag-vlog. ‘Di ko na nga alam eh. Kasi sobra talaga,” Talens added.

What happened? 

The vlogger previously filmed himself and his family traveling to their father’s house to surprise him for Father’s Day. The initial plan was for Talens to pretend that he is a fan and then give him a gift.

However, minutes before they finally reached his father’s house, Talens received a call from his stepmother that informed him of his father’s death due to cardiac arrest.

“Namatay po ‘yung cellphone ko… pagkatingin ko, as in namatay po siya, sobrang iyak na po ako nang iyak, sobra ‘yung iyak ko,” he recounted.

Talens admitted that he initially thought his brother had pranked him but when he saw tears on his aunt’s face upon arriving at the house, he got restless and nervous.

“‘Yung pinanood ko po talaga ‘yung raw ng video ko, kinilabutan po talaga ako sa mga reaction ko, ‘yung sa sobrang kinakabahan ako. Off cam po, sobrang kabang-kaba po talaga ako,” he shared.

The entire incident was eventually filmed and uploaded, from their trip to the arrival in the hospital itself. However, during their arrival, it was no longer Talens who held the camera.

Talens’ video immediately went viral upon its upload on the video-sharing platform and initially earned many reactions from the online community.

There were those who offered their condolences but there were others who criticized the vlogger for continuing to film the incident even when he had found out his father passed away.

Due to the condemnation, Talens eventually decided to disable the comments section of the video. The same option was set in his second video where he defended himself from critics.

What viewers think 

Talens’ move opened conversations on the matter of uploading sensitive content such as a loved one’s death.

Means to gain ‘views’

There were viewers who thought it was “completely disrespectful” to go on uploading a video even after he learns his father passed away.

Host and producer KC Montero, for instance, claimed that the move was “classless” for the vlogger.

KC Montero reacts to vlogger Keith Talens’ controversial video. (Screenshot by Interaksyon)

A Twitter user pointed out that if Talens’ initial intention was to surprise his father, then he should’ve discontinued filming when he personally arrived in the hospital.

Twitter user @whenisaynassif reacts to the vlogger’s video. (Screenshot by Interaksyon)

Another one criticized Talens for supposedly using his father’s death to earn views as a YouTube vlogger.

Twitter user @xoxinalu reacts to the vlogger’s video. (Screenshot by Interaksyon)

Another user noticed the duration of Talens’ video and claimed that he supposedly intended to make it long enough for ads to be inserted, claiming that the content was meant to “monetized.”

The video where Talens find out that his father passed away was 10 minutes long.

Twitter user @cataricachu reacts to the vlogger’s video. (Screenshot by Interaksyon)


There were others, however, who offered their condolences to  the vlogger when he uploaded the video, noting that receiving news of your father passing away is indeed a “painful” experience.

Twitter user @Shaiynaaaaa reacts to the vlogger’s video. (Screenshot by Interaksyon)
Twitter user @Jethrojade reacts to the vlogger’s video. (Screenshot by Interaksyon)

Whether Talens did it for the views or not, there has been research that resorting to “confessional videos” has its own psychological benefits.

“(It) enables people to build a structure around their difficult experiences and regain a sense of control,” YouTube trends specialist Carly Lanning wrote in Psychology Today.

Pamela Routledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center at Fielding Graduate University, reasoned that people use social media as an “outlet” where they seek support during such “traumatic experiences.”

“Social media gives them an outlet, a place to go for support where they’re recognized and understood, and the more practice you have being authentic, the more likely you are, at a certain point, to transfer those behaviors into your offline world,” she said.