Dumbing down can’t be uplifting.
The dubbing of English movies in Tagalog is a reflection of the makers’ patronizing attitude toward the Filipino audience. It’s what you call dumbing down. To accommodate the comprehension level of the viewer. Filipinos speak English – HELLO!
The rationale by the TV station that does this, is to create fare classified “pang-masa” or “for the masses.” The result is a grotesque matchup between normally English-speaking actors and the Tagalog verbiage they spew.
Filipino movie-goers have been exposed to English instruction since pre-school years. They’ve grown up on Sesame Street and have flocked to standing-room-only theatres featuring The Ten Commandments, The Sound of Music, Love Story and the James Bond series. All in English.
A recent online survey among Filipinos revealed a number of disgusted responders. “We understand English,” ”we want our children to perfect their English,” ”the dubbed versions are awful,” constituted the rhetoric among other comments.
Sure the novelty factor or attention-grabber works well in a carnival sideshow. Is that what dubbing English movies in Tagalog is all about? Turning them into a carnival sideshow to gain more viewers? Hey, a bearded lady, a dwarf or a two-headed embryo can only go so far in entertainment value. Not to mention transvestites and cross-dressers on family television. Sure you might laugh when Clint Eastwood says, “Gawin mo ang araw ko,” (make my day), or when a bikini-clad model with a masculine face sashays down a runway. Where’s the redeeming factor in that? Yeah, scratch your head.
Here’s what a friend of mine said after watching a Tagalog-dubbed Hollywood blockbuster on T.V. “I think my i.q. just dropped a few points.”