A popular Filipino TikTok creator earned criticisms after she claimed that not everything is political in the videos she posts on the platform.
Early this week, Jen Barangan, former flight attendant turned TikTok creator, shared a now-deleted video where she met a high-ranking Palace official in her hometown in Cebu.
In the clip, she appeared to be excited when she introduced the presidential spokesperson Harry Roque to her followers.
Barangan immediately received criticisms after. Her comments section and duet TikTok clips alleged she was paid to meet the public figure.
Some critics also questioned why she appeared to be stoked or “fangirling” over the Palace official.
Due to the backlash, Barangan eventually deleted the video and uploaded a new one on Tuesday.
The negative comments have taken a toll on her mental health, she said in the new clip. She cited her job loss and failure to get in on ABS-CBN’s Pinoy Big Brother.
“I get that. You hate me now because that video triggered you. But you insinuating something about me is too much for me to take. And you know what my lola taught me na just because you hate someone it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to lose your kindness and you have to be polite for someone you just met. Do you get me?,” Barangan said.
In the same video she also emphasized: “I’m trying to handle it the best way I can. I’m really trying, guys. You just don’t have any idea.”
Barangan is a Youtuber and a former flight attendant of Cebu Pacific who lost her job last October 2020 amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Her YouTube channel has over 684,000 subscribers. Her TikTok, meanwhile, has two million followers.
She made online buzz in June last year after she joined the “video reply” challenge on the video-sharing website.
Others made a duet video with her doing her “airline Public Address announcement” challenge.
@jenbaranganWill post the Bisaya Version soon. 🤗 #edutokph #learnontiktok #tiktoku #flightattendant #cabincrew #videoreply #fyp #xyzcba♬ original sound – Jen Barangan
The social media personality also auditioned for “PBB: Connect,” the ninth season of ABS-CBN’s long-running reality show, last December.
How local Twitter reacted
Barangan’s name became a hot topic on social media again following the controversial TikTok video.
Prior to its deletion, some social media users managed to make a copy of it and then shared it on Twitter.
@_jenbarangan Jen Barangan be like : NOT EVERYTHING IS POLITICAL and WE CAN RESPECT PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT OPINIONS.
Not when it comes to social injustice and Oppression. Nah-uh! Sis, educate yourself and do better. pic.twitter.com/37DGMmNoJV
— Easy A (@AlterElio13) February 21, 2021
Others also made a screenshot of a commenter who took her side, saying: “Please don’t put politics in everything.”
The content creator agreed to the user and replied: “Louder please!”
Twitter users countered this and argued that politics is linked to society whether directly or not.
“Girl, everything is political whether we intentionally link it or not,” a Twitter user said.
Ahahaha Jen Barangan meeting Harry Roque in Cebu and people in her comment sections are telling her to do better then I saw this. Lol girl everything is political whether we intentionally link it or not pic.twitter.com/36PSQ0syj1
— Kumander Liwayway #OUSTDUTERTENOW (@jullieneregemne) February 21, 2021
Others expressed their disappointment over her “apolitical” stance.
“I was rooting for Jen Barangan but sis is apolitical. I can’t,” a Twitter user said.
One Twitter user also observed that she had lost followers on TikTok.
Jen Barangan has been losing followers on Tiktok ever since she posted her video with Harry Roque 😶 pic.twitter.com/1x8CxXenwp
— Irish Cayetano (@IrishCayetano) February 21, 2021
Twitter user @reneprincipejr_, meanwhile, perceived that online users might have been “too hard” on her.
“Cancel culture is a lose-lose situation,” he said.
On involvement of politics
Some personalities also countered Barangan’s view on politics without mentioning her name.
Dora Dorado, a content creator known for his username @doracrybaby, made a video on how politics affect the choices and opportunities given to people.
“The way politics affects us even unconsciously is our level of power, our access to choice. Not even our choice, eh. It’s our access to having a choice,” Dorado said.
He also pointed out that the term “politics” do not automatically correspond or equate to “politicians.”
EVERYTHING is political. 🙂 pic.twitter.com/94IlH5xy1J
— dora (@doracrybaby) February 22, 2021
Miss Trans Global 2020 Mela Franco Habijan also stressed that a citizen cannot be apolitical.
“We can never be apolitical. For every citizen is affected by political, economic, and social issues. Our responsibility to vote underscores this. Voting gives us the power to take part in nation building and be a decision-maker,” Habijan wrote.
“So if you are apolitical, you are apathetic,” she added.
Similarly, an article released by Popular Science also echoed how “politics” is practiced by a person or group with power that affects “everybody else.”
“Too often people think of politics as merely the governance of a people. But it goes far beyond that. Politics is the process and practice in which a person or group in power makes decisions that affect everybody else,” the article said.
“For good or bad. In every aspect of life, including science. Especially science. You’d be hard pressed to find a discussion that was not shaped by political rhetoric. Nothing happens in a vacuum,” it added.