Twitter was abuzz last night when comedian Pokwang took to Twitter to call out former Pinoy Big Brother housemate Baninay Bautista. Bautista uploaded a vlog (which now has 1.4m views) sharing how she tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The alarming title read “I AM POSITIVE” which initially had her comments section flooded with “Get well soon” wishes. But the controversial vlog title was the catalyst to an incident which, once again, reminds everyone that in these uncertain times, we must all be careful and responsible for our actions.
Pokwang takes to Twitter to air her fear and frustration
Hoy Baninay wag mong pagkaperahan yang clickbait mo para lang dumami views mo! negative kana diba last aug.2?? july 21 ka nagkasakit tapos aug.2 ok kana negative kana! Aug.16 naglaro ka samin nagpanic kmi kanina dahil di mo sinabi sa vlog mo na late upload nayan! pa trending ka!
— marietta subong (@pokwang27) August 19, 2020
Clearly, Pokwang was in all states of distress upon seeing the vlog title. “‘Wag mong pagkaperahan yang clickbait mo para lang dumami views mo!” she posted on Twitter. Based on the sensationalized vlog title, Pokwang feared that she made close contact with Baninay during the filming of a game show without knowing she was positive with the virus.
The misleading vlog title
It should be I WAS POSITIVE. Ms. Baninay.
I AM POSITIVE saying that as of the moment and the time u upload your vlog people will think na u r still +. And I don’t know if ung date ang edited sa pinned. pic.twitter.com/pywTifWqOL
— my goodness gREIcJOSS. (@bhannahnaaa) August 19, 2020
Pokwang’s alarm was echoed by netizens, who were drawn to the controversy like moths to a flame. Many weighed in on the incident and pointed out Bautista’s obvious mistake — that vlog title and in all caps, no less. After all, if she is already in the clear from the virus, the vlog title could’ve been worded differently.
People think Pokwang should’ve watched the whole thing first before reacting
If you’d actually look into Baninay’s video you’d see the date and there’s a reason it’s not posted immediately. I hope this kind of terrible stuff doesn’t happen to any of you. We don’t know when it’s gonna come for us, so don’t discriminate! And please think before you click!
— JunecaMayer (@juneca_mayer) August 19, 2020
Baninay’s vlog had date stamps and she herself pinned a comment saying everything happened on the week of Jul. 21. However, many random observers passing by YouTube and seeing the video would probably not have enough time to watch it. That’s what titles are for — so people kind of get the gist of what the video is about. Pokwang could’ve watched the entire thing but then again, when the title oh so clearly states that it was in the present tense, what’s a girl gotta do but react?
Baninay’s boyfriend tries to explain
Bakit po kailangan pa magsalita ng masasakit na salita? Kumpleto naman po ang detalye na binigay nya. At saka sobrang sama na po ng pinagdadaanan namin, namatayan po ako ng ama. Si baninay po ang katabi ko ng mawalan ng hininga ang papa ko na hindi kami inintindi.
— Bont Bryan Oropel (@bont_bryan) August 19, 2020
In a separate vlog, Baninay’s boyfriend, Bont Oropel, also revealed that he along with other family members tested positive for coronavirus. His father passed away a few days ago due to pneumonia and suspected COVID virus. Bont directly replied under Pokwang’s tweet defending his girlfriend. “Alam nyo naman po pala na negative na sya ng August 2 sa swab at rapid test sa show nyo bakit kailangan pa po magtweet ng hate?” he added in a series of tweets.
You can’t blame Pokwang here. Baninay obviously did it for clout. https://t.co/9K4Zjug4u8
— AltABSCBN (@AltABSCBN) August 19, 2020
if baninay tested positive before pa, and is now negative, she should’ve made it clear, especially sa mga bumabati ng “get well soon”, if she did not— she’s definitely doing it for clout.
you two announced it now, with a video for monetization pa? you must have missed the point. https://t.co/JWIXXovDeQ
— Yuan Gonzales (@yuangonzaIes) August 19, 2020
The vlog was also monetized.
Proper verb tenses next time
The culprit in Baninay-Pokwang issue is the title of the vlog and how to use verb tenses correctly.
— ban (@midoubanchan) August 19, 2020
I AM POSITIVE ay malayo na sa I WAS POSITIVE. choose your fighter, Baninay.
— Pat Abran (@patriciagraphy) August 19, 2020
Content creators should learn from this incident to avoid mistakes in the future. Clickbait is unavoidable when your bread and butter is based on views and engagement, but it’s important to practice sensitivity as well.
Were both parties at fault?
Both Baninay and Pokwang made mistakes. Yes, Baninay may have posted it for clout and didn’t make it clear that it was in the past and also, Pokwang didn’t watch the vid in full detail that made her criticise Baninay. Not only Baninay nor Pokwang is at fault, both of them are.
— Name cannot be blank (@foulwhispersde1) August 19, 2020
What do you think?
Baninay changes vlog title and tweets apology
We already talked and settled things in private. I apologized for causing fear and ngayon po ay clear na lahat. Again, sorry po. Wala po talaga akong intensyon na masama 🙏🏼
— mayora (@BaninayBautista) August 19, 2020
After the saga of intense tweet threads between the parties involved, Baninay changed her vlog title. From the jarring “I AM POSITIVE,” it is now “I TESTED POSITIVE” (as opposed to netizen’s recommendation of simply changing it to “I WAS POSITIVE”). She also posted an apology on Twitter.
Pokwang, for her part, posted a photo of her two-year-old child and her 80-year-old mother captioning it with “Sila ang buhay ko, sila ang dahilan kung bakit kahit takot ako lumabas para maghanap buhay ay kinailangan kong gawin dahil mahal na mahal ko sila.” She ended with a simple hashtag we should all do well to take to heart: #BeResponsible.
ito at sila ang dahilan bakit ganon ang naging reaksyon ko sa vlog mo 💔😢 sila ang buhay ko, sila ang dahilan kung bakit kahit takot ako lumabas para maghanap buhay ay kinailangan kong gawin dahil mahal na mahal ko sila 😢 pamilya ko tanging yaman ko. again, #BeResponsible pic.twitter.com/ASnj2S1Jz7
— marietta subong (@pokwang27) August 19, 2020
What’s your take on the Baninay-Pokwang issue?