Donnalyn Bartolome is easily one of the most-followed Filipino influencers/content creators on social media; her Facebook page alone has 16M followers! But the “Kakaibabe” singer is no stranger to controversy. The YouTuber is once again the center of attention after voicing out her opinions on employees’ feelings returning to the office after a long break. Here’s what happened.
“Dapat grateful kasi may work”
The holiday break is officially over and many — after the holiday high — are dreading going back to work again and confronting pending deadlines. But not social media influencer Donnalyn Bartolome who shared how those with jobs should feel grateful instead of sad.
“Bakit may sad dahil back to work na? Di’ba dapat, masaya ka kasi may chance ka na pagandahin buhay mo at ng pamilya?” Her now viral post on Facebook reads. “Trip ko pa nga may work ng January 1 dahil superstition ko, may work ako buong taon pag ganun. Dapat grateful kasi may work.”
Donnalyn added that for those people feeling “unhappy” with their work, she wishes they’ll find a career that makes them excited. “Anyway, this is just a reminder that having a job is a blessing. Change mindset, it’s 2023!”
Donnalyn Bartolome draws criticism
Although some agreed with Donnalyn, many netizens felt her post was insensitive and invalidating.
“Here’s the thing: valid malungkot,” one Facebook user wrote. “Sabihin na nating opportunity ang makapagtrabaho pero hindi rin maiiwasan mangulila, malungkot, or even magalit. Nonetheless, being sad among many other feelings, don’t mean na hindi sila grateful, okay?”
They also went on to say that we should learn to recognize that people “can carry different valid feelings.”
Others pointed out that Donnalyn’s post romanticizes the struggles of workers. They said systematic exploitation against employees is still prevalent, and one can’t simply use “sipag” or “tiyaga” to escape the toxic system.
“Kasi kung kasipagan lang ang pag-uusapan, sana lahat ng manggagawa ngayon ay mayaman na,” said another netizen. “What you said is not applicable sa mga minimum wage workers na kulang na lang ay huwag nang umuwi sa pamilya nila maibigay lang ang pangangailangan ng kani-kanilang pamilya.”
And then there are some who kept their reply short and sweet:
Netizens didn’t like Donnalyn’s reply concerning minimum wage earners.
Thanks Queen Donnalyn na hindi naman minimum wage earner sa motivation. Luv luv luv uwuuu! Pake mo ba kung sa ‘burnout’ ng ibang tao. pic.twitter.com/NZEaI3iza7
— RinaUGHH (@xxgiZibee) January 3, 2023
A netizen said Donnalyn’s perspective doesn’t apply to minimum wage earners, to which the social media influencer disagreed.
“‘Wag na natin gamitin ‘yung minimum wage issue. May ancestors ako na mababa pa noon sa minimum, but that didn’t stop them. Hindi reason ‘yun to be unappreciative for having work. Nagsumikap sila to have a better life,” Donnalyn replied.
She also clarified that while she’s not invalidating the issue of minimum wage, nothing will happen if people continue to dwell on negativity.
“Hindi ko dini-disregard ang ‘yung minimum wage issue, I pray it improves for people in the situation. Pero wala talagang mangyayari sa buhay natin, if mag-dwell tayo sa negative.”
For someone who’s supposedly built her brand from the ground up, quota na siya sa blunders.
— shoo, go away 🦦 (@sanmanmawari) January 3, 2023
The current plight of Filipino workers
A study conducted by the American research and analytics company Gallup revealed that Filipinos are the most stressed workers in Southeast Asia. The Philippines was ranked first in Southeast Asia in the daily stress category with 50% and scored 32% in the daily sadness category.
On top of that, many Filipino workers are still in short-term employment (also known as endo) and receive inadequate pay.
At this point, the message is clear: your feelings are valid. It’s true that we should learn to count our blessings — to be grateful. However, negative emotions are normal. Many Filipino employees suffer from toxic working conditions, and sadly, they have no choice but to deal with it just to put food on the table. Don’t also forget to check your privilege before making bold statements and try to see life outside your bubble.