Playgirls’ twerking registers 1M views
DON’T look now, but the 2016 election campaign might just prove to be one huge lucrative platform for the Playgirls, who gained national fame/notoriety for their raunchy performance at a Liberal Party (LP) event on Oct. 1.
Already, the 39-second video of the Playgirls doing suggestive hip thrusts onstage and on top of several local officials taking their oath as LP members, had posted over a million views on YouTube, boosting the group’s marketability but derailing the political plans of at least one LP candidate.
Shot by Inquirer reporter Marlon Ramos using his mobile phone, the video of the twerking Playgirls riled several groups, with some of them demanding that LP drop possible senatorial bet Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Francis Tolentino, who allegedly brought the Playgirls to the event as a “gift” to Laguna Rep. Benjie Agarao, who was celebrating his birthday on the same day.
LP officials quickly distanced themselves from Tolentino, with Senate President Franklin Drilon saying that the MMDA official was not even an LP member, while House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said it was up to Tolentino to decide whether he wanted to leave or stay with the party.
But all’s well with the Playgirls, according to the group’s manager, Michael Tupaz. “[The controversy] is helping us, although we did not plan it that way. [The girls] are really famous now, according to our booker in Japan,” he said.
“We have received inquiries for birthday party bookings. And yes, we are booked for the campaign trail,” Tupaz added, although he refused to identify the political parties who have contracted the Playgirls’ services.
Young and pretty women in abbreviated clothes are a staple on the campaign trail in Philippine elections, which are a heady blend of politics and show biz.
In fact, political hustings are deemed incomplete without these entertainers, who are considered irresistible crowd drawers. As a rule, these much-awaited sexy dancers perform just before party standard-bearers make their appeal for votes.
Among the more notable stage performers in previous elections are the Sexbomb Girls, writhing to the tune of “Spaghetti Song” in the 2004 polls, and the Viva Hot Babes with their sexually-charged anthem “Bulaklak.”
Tupaz said he found nothing wrong with the Playgirls’ performance at the LP event in Laguna.
“It was a birthday party for an adult, not a children’s party,” he said. “[And performers] have their own forte. There are balladeers, rappers… Some people though are narrow-minded, and self-righteous,” the Playgirls’ manager said.
“We have been in this business for six years. We’re not into scandals,”
Tupaz said, adding that the group has performed in Australia, Japan, Bahrain, Cambodia and Dubai.
They feel sorry that Tolentino might lose his slot in the LP’s Senate slate, he said.
“We’re sad, but it’s beyond our control,” Tupaz said, adding that it’s been business as usual for the Playgirls who are booked to perform in Dubai on Nov. 5-9.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that no election law covers the controversial dance number performed by the Playgirls, but that the election body was ready to act on the complaint should a case be filed before the poll body regarding the incident.
“If there is any complaint filed, [the complainant] should cite whatever legal basis they find and we will act accordingly,” said Comelec Chair Andres Bautista.
The Comelec official said the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) did not have any provision touching on lewd and obscene activities.
“When the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) was invented, [there was no] twerking yet,” added Election Commissioner Christian Robert Lim. With a report by Tina G. Santos