“Napaka-simple lang po.”
A beauty queen’s answer to the much-discussed topic of historians and gossipmongers earned online buzz among Filipinos after she was asked about the issue by broadcast journalist Karen Davila.
Binibining Pilipinas 2022 first runner-up Herlene Nicole Budol, also known as “Hipon Girl,” was the guest of the 62nd episode of the journalist’s YouTube vlog, where she participated in a “Q&A” portion.
The 22-year-old beauty queen was asked “if history is just like tsismis” or gossip.
“No. Para po sa akin po kasi, napaka-simple lang po. ‘Wag na po natin daanin sa kung anu-anong explanation. Ang historian po is katotohanan, ang marites, hindi totoo. ‘Yun po, para sa akin,” she answered.
“Marites” is a slang with origin attributed to the phrase “Mare, ito ang tsismis.” It is also used to colloquially refer to those who like to gossip.
“Para sa akin nga, ang historian, mga teacher eh. Ang mga nagturo ng kasaysayan. Ang mga marites, parang mga CCTV, social media,” Herlene added.
Her response made some Filipinos call the attention of actress Ella Cruz who stirred controversy when she likened history to gossip last July.
“Buti pa [siya] ‘no, Ella?” a Twitter user said after learning of Herlene’s comment.
“[Yan] sis @itsEllaCruz, gets mo na???” another online user exclaimed, tagging the actress’ account.
“@itsEllaCruz, ayan ah. Simpleng explanation na. ‘Di mo na kailangan mag pa-deep,” wrote a different Pinoy with a grinning-face-with-sweat emoji.
Others simply lauded Herlene’s distinction between historians and Marites.
“Point blank peryuhhhddd!” a Twitter user commented.
Some, on the other hand, stood by some of Ella’s comments, saying that history is not completely “absolute.”
“History is mostly facts. That’s the keyword, ‘MOSTLY’. It can’t be absolute, hence its revisablility. So, for what it’s worth, Ella Cruz is not completely wrong. Her statement sounded stupid, yes, but it is more stupid to just blindly believe written history without questioning its integrity when other versions of what transpired in the past come out,” an online user said.
Ella previously remarked that “history is like tsismis” when she talked about her role in a dramedy where she played the role of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr’s third child.
“It is filtered and dagdag na rin, so, hindi natin alam what is the real history. Andoon na iyong idea, pero may mga bias talaga. As long as we’re here, alive at may kanya-kanyang opinion, I respect everyone’s opinion,” she said before.
Some historians and academics argued that history cannot be equated to gossip, pointing out that the former is “evidence-based” and its narratives are “based on fact.”
Former actress G Tongi, an attendee of the historic People Power Revolution, also disputed Ella and said that the latter’s comments felt like “an erasure” to someone like her who experienced marching to the streets.
Amid the uproar, journalist Patrick Paez said that Ella “was asked as a student (and) not as a historian.”
He quoted host and reporter MJ Marfori who said, “Upon accepting the project, siyempre meron ka nga ‘no, pinag-usapan sa school, ‘di ba, sa mga Marcoses at kung ano ano pa. Ano ang punto de bista as an actress? Ano ang point of view mo?”