15 May 2014

PBB All In: the Conflict Batangueño Joshua Garcia Faces


As a Batangueño, I have more than just a passing interest in Pinoy Big Brother’s teenage housemate Joshua Garcia; and but of course. The boy is from Bauan, less than an hour from where I live. We Filipinos tend to be an ethnocentric lot; and the affinity that I feel for the boy stems from our being from the same province.

He is good advertisement for Batangas, mind; and not just for his movie-star good looks. During nomination night over the last weekend, I do not believe that any of the other housemates gave him points at all which would have endangered him for nomination and, subsequently, eviction from the Big Brother House.

He has been receiving good airtime the last few days; and mostly because Big Brother has seen fit to provide him with the opportunity to resolve some personal issues with his estranged mother.

While I generally applaud this, I do have issues with the way the resolution was done; but more on this subject later.


This is something that Joshua will have to deal with once he leaves the Big Brother House; and something so totally avoidable. In fact, this is something that can get totally ugly.
If I understand Joshua’s story correctly, his parents separated when he was one year old. Fe, his mother, tried to raise him as a single parent but then did not have the resources to send him to school.

This was when she felt she had no recourse but to leave Joshua in the custody of her estranged husband’s uncle, with whom Joshua grew until his father took him back to live with him.

All the uhog-inducing drama was inevitably brought about by Mothers’ Day, which was celebrated even inside Big Brother House. In what ultimately turned out to be something of a recollection, the housemates all took turns paying tributes to their Moms.

For Joshua, it was naturally awkward since he grew up not really knowing his Mom. Despite having apparently been abandoned, Joshua showed magnanimity by choosing not to hold any grudges against his own Mom.

Cue free flow of tears and uhog not only from Joshua but also from the other housemates as the tissue-dabbing tearathon hit fever pitch; particularly when Joshua confessed how envious he was of the others because they grew up with their mothers.

In the confession room with Kuya, he intimated that he would like nothing more than the opportunity to sit down with his Mom so he could ask her why she abandoned him. Apparently, Fe herself had also asked Big Brother for an opportunity to explain her side to Joshua.


So, almost like a well-written teleserye, on to last night’s poignant meeting between mother and son. Joshua was initially made to do a demonstration of the fandango sa ilaw while he his mother watched unseen behind the mirrors.

To make a long story short, the two sat down for a snack and a long-overdue heart-to-heart conversation. Here is the thing, however.

Just like a teleserye, there has to be a twist. This one’s came in the afternoon highlights show called Uber.

I did not see this part myself; but apparently, Fe had mentioned on-cam that the reason she left Joshua in the care of the uncle was because this was a precondition from her estranged husband’s family when she had gone to them asking for financial help.

I personally find this lame because she was an able-bodied woman and we have all heard stories of even mothers with disabilities who found ways to bring up their children. The matter, however, does not really concern me so I will give her the benefit of the doubt.

At any rate, to balance Fe’s story out, Uber showed a live patched-in interview with Joshua’s grandmother on the father side, who while speaking with an even voice nonetheless could not really cloak her anger.

In fact, I felt that Bianca Gonzales was mesmerized by her tone and cut short the interview. Frankly, I felt that the Lola’s tone was unnerving; and speaking as she was with a somewhat toned down but still unmistakable Batangueño accent, I am not surprised that Bianca was in a hurry to end the call.

The Lola refuted Fe’s story about Joshua being left in their care as a precondition and claimed that Fe, in fact, would have always been made welcome if she had only shown real desire to see more of her son.

I do not take sides here as we are all fascinated spectators.

Honestly, however, I do not for one moment think that Fe will continue to be welcome even if the Lola was sincere in what she said earlier. This is where the editors of the show could have done better.

Everyone knows they only pick out certain juicy stories inside the house to highlight. Therefore, I feel that that bit about the precondition should have been edited out. I know the ensuing conflict has added more spice to the story; but this is a young boy’s life that they are tinkering with.

In trying to provide Joshua with a chance to attain closure with one aspect of his young life that he had wanted to come to terms with, I am afraid that the show also managed to further stoke animosity between his mother and her estranged in-laws.

This is something that Joshua will have to deal with once he leaves the Big Brother House; and something so totally avoidable. In fact, this is something that can get totally ugly.

On the other hand, we all ought to bear in mind that PBB All In is a show. For all we know the entire thing was so totally scripted!

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