Photo courtesy: Interaksyon
Jojo Estrada and wife Diana, appeared on the set of Willing Willie to personally clear the air on the March 12 episode where their son Jan-jan was in tears while gyrating to Snoop Dog’s Next Episode.
The DSWD condemned the episode and called the attention of ABC Development Communication Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan on Monday to prohibit children from appearing in shows like Willing Willie.
It said that putting pressure on Jan-jan to mimic adult sexy dances in exchange for money at the expense of being laughed at was traumatic for the child and was tantamount to child abuse.
“’Wag naman po nilang sabihan ng ganun (I hope they don’t say that),” Diana said, fighting her tears.
“Napakasakit po sa magulang na na cha-child abuse ang anak ko. Dahil ‘di naman naming tinuturan ng masama ang anak ko. Gusto n'ya lang po sigurong mag-artista kaya gusto niyang sumayaw, guminhawa buhay namin,” she added.
(It’s heartbreaking for parents if their child is abused. We did not teach anything bad to our child. Perhaps he just wanted to become a celebrity that’s why he was so driven to dance, and eventually make our lives better.)
My son wants to be famous
Jan-jan’s mother went further to assail a children’s show in another channel, which she said should be looked into by the DSWD.
Game show host Willie Revillame gave the couple the chance to give their side to the story after several Filipinos raised their concern on the welfare of the child.
Revillame, who also apologized for the incident, said that during the auditions for the March 12 episode, the show’s producers had advised Jan-jan to choose another talent to showcase for the Wiltime Bigtime segment. But Jan-jan relented.
“Kagustuhan ng anak ko 'yon, gusto niyang sumikat, mag-artista...sinuportahan ko lang yung anak ko...'yon ang gusto n'ya eh (That’s what my son wanted, he liked to be famous, become a star...I just supported my kid...that’s what he wanted),” Jojo said.
According to Jojo, Jan-jan had been gyrating to Careless Whisper at the age of three. In 2009, Jan-jan even joined a talent show at SM mall to showcase his talent.
“Lahat ng tao nagsisigawan talaga sa kanya (People were screaming for him),” Jojo said.
In the said episode dated March 12, Jan-jan, was in tears as he danced on stage. The boy’s performance was egged on with cheers from the audience and Revillame, and also by the approving presence of his aunt, Josie, who accompanied Jan-Jan in the show.
“Umiiyak pa yan! (And he's even crying!)” an amused Revillame said.
“Ganyan na ho ang hirap ng buhay ng tao...siyempre nagsasayaw siya bilang macho dancer sa edad nyang ‘yan para sa mahal niyang pamilya (That’s how tough life is. He’s a macho dancer at this age all for the love of his family),” Revillame said, laughing.
I was scared of Balingit
Jan-jan was given P10,000 by Revillame after his appearance in the show. His aunt also was given P3,000. Jojo said he had used Jan-jan's prize money to buy an MP5 Player and a bicycle for his son.
Jan-jan explained that he had cried on the set of Willing Willie not because he was embarrassed to be there but because he was intimidated by former basketball player Bonel Balingit, who was invited by Revillame on stage to meet the boy.
“Natakot ako kay Balingit (I was scared of him),” Jan-jan said.
The video footage of the controversial episode with Jan-Jan is circulating on the web and social media sites.
Revillame has caught the ire of the blogosphere for the said incident. Bloggers have hit Revillame for "humiliating" the boy in front of millions of Filipinos. At least one online petition is calling for the attention of the Commission on Human Rights. There are also open letters addressed to the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.
As of Monday evening, Willing Willie has become a top trending topic in micro-blogging site Twitter.