‘Medyo nakaka-invalidate’: Reactions to Donnalyn Bartolome’s back-to-work comments 

January 5, 2023 - 5:05 PM
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Donnalyn and vector
Composite of a man working (Image by syarifahbrit on Freepik) and Donnalyn Bartolome in this photo from her Instagram on July 28, 2022 (Instagram/donna) 

Two social media pages responded to the comments of vlogger Donnalyn Bartolome who questioned some Filipinos’ feelings about going back to work after the holidays.

In a Facebook status on Tuesday, the internet personality said she was “feeling lucky” and then proceeded to air her thoughts about resuming work on the third day of the new year.

“Bakit may sad dahil back to work na? [‘Di ba] dapat masaya ka kasi may chance ka na pagandahin buhay mo at ng pamilya? Trip ko pa nga may work ng January 1 dahil superstition ko may work ako buong taon ‘pag [gano’n],” Donnalyn wrote.

“Dapat grateful kasi may work. If work makes you unhappy, I hope you find a job that will. ‘Yung pakikiligin ka and sheet (face holding back tears emoji). Anyway, this is just a reminder that having a job is a blessing, bessss. Change mindset, it’s 2023!! (white heart emoji),” the vlogger added.

Donnalyn_FB post on working
(Screengrab by Interaksyon from Facebook/Donnalyn)

Donnalyn’s post has since earned several comments from Filipinos, with a portion of them disagreeing with some of her points.

“Donnalyn, kung lahat kami successful vloggers at kumikita ng hundreds of thousands. Hindi pagod sa commutes, walang boss na mahirap pakisamahan, hindi underpaid, kulang sa tulog, walang kinakaltas na ninanakaw — magiging happy and grateful kami,” content creator @nibambamboo tweeted.

“Donnalyn, maganda ka at mabait ha, kaso please, isip muna bago post. Na-i-invalidate na naman feelings ng ibang tao, lalo mga Filipino minimum wage earners. Tandaan na privileged ka. Anytime, pwede siguro na magpahinga ka or magbakasyon ‘pag stress sa work. ‘Yung ibang tao no choice ha,” another Twitter user wrote.

Among those who countered the vlogger included the social media page of Cinema One, a television channel dedicated to airing Filipino movies.

Its administrator, while not naming any names, posted a popular still of Nora Aunor from Ishmael Bernal’s “Himala” with the following caption which referenced some of a Filipino worker’s plights.

“Sana all hindi nakaka-experience ng traffic, o kaya malayo sa pamilya dahil sa trabaho. (upside down smiling emoji) Para sa lahat ng kumakayod para sa pamilya, laban lang tayo dahil may himala at pag-asa! (hugging emoji).”

The iconic still of Nora’s character also included an in-line text that took a hit at some of Donnalyn’s phrases.

“Lord, sana all excited mag-back to work,” the page said. It was accompanied by a smiling face with tear emoji.

Facebook page “Your Millennial Psychologist,” which is being run by psychologist Riyan Portuguez, also took part in the discourse and reminded everyone that their feelings are valid — whatever they may be.

“Nakakadagdag ng guilt feelings ‘yung naririnig mo sa iba na ‘dapat’ kang magpasalamat dahil worse ang iba at dahil mayroon ka na wala ang iba,” the page said.

“Hindi sa lahat ng pagkakataon nagwo-work siya. Pero alam kong good ang intention ng mga taong nagsasabi niyan. Hindi lang talaga minsan applicable. (sparkles emoji) #BesTips2023 #ympreminder,” it added.

The page also shared a tweet from Portuguez, who wrote: “Baka kaya sad ang mga tao sa pagbalik sa trabaho kasi may kanya-kanya silang struggle. Kasi regardless kung may trabaho ka o wala, natural na malungkot kapag may pinagdadaanan ka.”

“Ang pagkilala ng emosyon ay hindi katumbas ng hindi pagpapasalamat sa kung anong mayroon ka,” she added.

Portuguez also shared an old vlog post where she discussed why “positive thinking” is sometimes “not enough” for people who have mental health conditions.

“Negative emotions, hindi po ito equivalent sa bad emotion. Nakakatulong ‘yan para maunawaan natin ang ating sarili, ang paligid at ang ibang tao,” she said.

“Medyo nakaka-invalidate ‘yun sa mga tao na may iba’t ibang karanasan ‘no, iba’t ibang pinagdadaanan. Kaya mapapansin mo talaga, nagre-react sila kasi nakakaramdam sila na, ‘Teka, parang minamaliit mo naman ata ‘yung aking karanasan’ o ‘Teka, bakit mo ako itinutulad sa’yo?’ Kasi nga, we cope differently. Iba-iba rin talaga tayo ng nararanasan,” the psychologist added.

Content creator Janina Vela also said she understands Donnalyn but she highlighted how it is still valid to feel tired and sad despite being grateful about having work.

In the comments section, Donnalyn responded to some Facebook users and said that she understood where they were coming from, saying she also works hard and is away from her family.

She also cited that she has experienced working with a meager salary. These comments of hers still earned flak.

The “Kakaibabe” singer previously earned flak for having a street-themed birthday party and for “sexualizing toddlers” in a birthday photoshoot.