Content creator and vlogger Donnalyn Bartolome’s most recent video is getting a lot of attention — but not for the right reasons. She hosted a party to celebrate her birthday last July 9 — with the theme of “Kanto.” However, that exact theme drew some raised eyebrows, and here’s why.
The “Kanto” birthday party
During the day of her party, Donnalyn Bartolome invited her family and friends to dress up in comfortable house clothes like shirts, shorts, sandos, and slippers. She hired jeepney and tricycle drivers to ferry her guests to the venue, which was a closed-off street filled with wooden tables and benches and plastic monoblocs. She served Filipino street food like isaw, kwek-kwek, fishball, and balut. Her guests enjoyed singing their hearts out to a classic videoke machine. There was also a pabitin full of different prizes, and her birthday cake was tutong (burnt rice) topped with a candle.
Some netizens found it cute and fun
Fans of the vlogger have been flooding the comment sections of her Facebook and Youtube pages, greeting her a happy birthday and congratulating her for a fun video. A few even said they felt like they were part of the celebration themselves while watching Donnalyn’s vlog.
But others found it inappropriate
However, other netizens expressed their disappointment with the theme she chose for her party. Some say it’s “poverty porn”, while others have deemed her content “problematic and insensitive”, especially with the rising poverty rate in the Philippines.
She never learned. What’s worse here is people don’t recognize her poverty porn contents as problematic and insensitive. When poor people celebrate, may angel’s burger at coke sa mesa, pinagtatawan sa facebook. But when Donnalyn does it, she’s empathetic with the poor? https://t.co/P0GDntsmbl
— sexbomb lex 🕷 (@f4ggotism) August 15, 2022
Is she reliving memories?
In the video, the vlogger explained that she wanted to relive the moments when she was only starting her journey in the Philippines to build her acting and singing career. She also shared photos of her younger self, singing along with a classic videoke machine and hanging out just outside with her friends.
“This was my life when I left home abroad where my life was comfortable. Pero hindi mo maaabot pangarap mo sa pagiging komportable lagi,” she wrote on her Facebook post. “Kaya nung umalis ako sa amin to work here sa Pinas, hindi ko inaasahan, kahit mahirap, isa siya sa adventure ko sa buhay na hindi ko makakalimutan. So I relived the times when I was just starting out on my bday last month July 9, just like nung time na walang wala pa ako.”
Or is this poverty porn?
However, others pointed out that this isn’t the first time she used poverty for her content. This wasn’t just a simple birthday party — these were rich celebrities pretending to be poor for fun, or for an aesthetic.
Two years ago, she made a video where she switched lives with a struggling family. This also drew flak for “glorifying the resilience among the poor.”
i’m not hating on her. she listens. remember how she did on the photoshoot she had (the baby-themed one). but this is not the only time she based her content from poverty. refer to the image below: pic.twitter.com/hrPmSzMcvS
— joe (@henweejoe) August 15, 2022
Some understood her intent . . .
One netizen said she could’ve gone a different route in her desire to “relive her memories.” But the way she executed her idea was “outright poverty porn.” Was the tutong cake really necessary?
She could’ve done this in a different way, not like this. Gets ko yung idea niya to go reimagine her life nung hindi pa siya yung Donallyn that we know, pero this execution is outright poverty porn. https://t.co/5hg9kQm2vO
— vain (@ivanjdl) August 15, 2022
. . . While others don’t see the problem
A netizen likens her “kanto” birthday party to a fiesta, or to parties during the 1990s to 2000s, where events were simpler and less extravagant. The netizen goes on to imply that SJWs (or Social Justice Warriors) might have gone overboard with criticism.
Another thing rin Birthday sa Kanto is NOT synonymous with POVERTY. I swear kayo ‘yung rude.
You can be rich and magpaparty sa kanto. What’s wrong with the SJWs these days. 🤦🏻♂️
— RM👷🏻♂️ (@AltRickM) August 15, 2022
This isn’t the first time she came under fire for her content
Earlier this year, Donnalyn Bartolome also went viral due to the theme of her birthday photo shoot. After she shared her sexy baby-themed birthday photo shoot, the vlogger drew the ire of the internet, getting accused of “enabling pedophilic culture” and “promoting harmful fetish.” She quickly issued an apology and took down the post.
However, she has yet to speak up about the new accusations being hurled against her over her latest vlog.
What’s your take on this issue?