January 6, 2019

#PABoost: Kris Aquino, the showbiz cockroach, bit off more social media fodder than she can chew

After the Nagasaki and Hiroshima nuclear attacks, reports came out that cockroaches were the only creatures that survived the two blasts. With that said, I think it can be argued that Kris Aquino is the showbiz equivalent of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Cockroaches, with her atomic blasts being the many scandals she survived throughout her showbiz career.

And what's the problem? Kris Aquino's #PABoost Scandal, the latest atomic blast,  is something that even a cockroach like her may not survive.

[UPDATE: Kris Aquino admitted several hours after this article's publication that she indeed financed opposition bloggers. See embedded image below]


In an 06 January 2019 reply to a comment...
Posted by Thinking Pinoy on Sunday, January 6, 2019


Recall the controversial Pep.ph article "Nicko Falcis swears Kris Aquino said: 'PAPAPATAY KA NG PAMILYA KO'", that most likely triggered her latest press conference.

I used an analytics app to find out how the said article went viral on social media and I discovered something really interesting: For the Motherland - Sass Rogando Sasot and Thinking Pinoy appears to have influenced a large chunk -- if not the largest chunk -- of shares that Pep.ph’s article garnered.

Facebook's CrowdTangle comes as a Google Chrome extension app that instantly provides social media analytics data of any given page.

Facebook's CrowdTangle, a service that describes itself as a tool to "measure social performance and identify influencers with tools designed for publishers.", is a great tool to find out how a given article spreads through Social Media, and that's what I used here.

Going back, analytics data shows most of the article's traffic basically came from TP and Sass' followers, people who are very well aware of the #PABoost controversy, where various screenshots released by the camp of her estranged financial manager Nicko Falcis


If Kris Aquino's massive social media team is worth its salt, it should also be totally aware of the allegations that Aquino's been funding at least one political propagandist [TP: #PABoost]. Thus, Aquino must have also been aware of the issue, unless her social media people are too scared of telling her about it for fear of suffering the same fate as her former financial manager.

Nah! Kris must know about #PABoost: she’s known to be really good at PR work and she’s not totally stupid.

Despite this, Aquino in her live video reply to the Pep article totally ignored the #PABoost Scandal and instead resorted to various appeals to emotion: her kids' welfare, her parents' legacy, her supposedly serious medical issues, and what not.

But then, there are two important details that Aquino mentioned in her live video:
[1] That her endorsement deals are under threat, supposedly because of the health clause in those contracts. 
[2] That she will take a 14-day hiatus from social media, supposedly per doctors’ advice

And here’s where it gets interesting.

These two bits of information from Aquino, mentioned in the previous section, should be taken with a grain of salt. However, what’s clear and stipulatable so far are:
[1] That her endorsement deals are under threat, and
[2] That she will take a 14-day break from social media.
Yes, Aquino cited health concerns to justify both, but considering that someone like her who’s concededly more than adept at Public Relations, I cannot help but think that the alibi is all-too-convenient.


Companies who want to sell to as large a chunk of the population want their endorsers to be likable by the largest possible audience. On the other hand, political discourse is inherently divisive. Thus, there’s a widely-held notion in the advertising industry that product endorsers should never delve too deeply in politics because it limits their ability to enhance product sales.

I admit that sans a courtroom trial, we can never definitively prove beyond reasonable doubt that Aquino is funding opposition propagandists. The preponderance of evidence pointing to it, however,  appears to be more than enough to convince the Court of Public Opinion.

And there’s the problem: Kris has hundreds of millions worth of endorsement deals from companies who would most likely prefer getting apolitical endorsers. Aquino herself admitted not too long ago that she chose not to run for office in the 2019 midterm elections for fear of losing these contracts.But rumors of a senatorial run pale in comparison to accusations of financing political propaganda.

That is, I have reason to believe that Aquino’s involvement in the #PABoost Scandal may have started to become a hot topic in more than a few company boardrooms, likely resulting to more than a few company directors’ suggestions to ditch Aquino in favor of a new endorser who can reach a larger segment of their target markets.

Vice Ganda, for example, is a suitable alternative endorser for products that cater to socioeconomic classes C, D, E.

Vice Ganda (L) and Kris Aquino (R)
Surely, Vice Ganda endorsing Uni-Pak sardines will most likely result in better sales than a haciendera Kris Aquino doing the same. We all know that Kris is a socialite to the bone and we hardly expect her to buy Uni-Pak. She probably even feeds something more expensive to her dogs.

The relatable Vice Ganda, despite her inclination towards Duterte as shown in what happened during Duterte’s July 2015 Gandang Gabi Vice guesting, remains largely apolitical, unlike Aquino who’s even funding political bloggers.

I believe that the treat to her endorsement deals are less about her medical condition and more about her politics.

And this theory is further reinforced by her supposedly self-imposed 14-day break from Social Media.


Aquino in her live video announced a 14-day hiatus from social media supposedly to avoid stress that her doctors supposedly said could worsen her Lupus.

What I find odd, however, is the seemingly arbitrarily chosen length of her hiatus. Why 14 days? Why not 7? Why not longer? Did her doctors tell her that she’ll be significantly healthier in just 14 days, healthy enough to deal with social media-induced stress?

I doubt it. Aquino herself admitted to being allergic to Lupus-related medicines, and Lupus in itself is incurable. If Aquino indeed decided to take a break from social media due to her medical condition, the break should be for a much longer period of, say, at least a few months or even a year.

But 14 days, just 14 days?

Social media is a fast-paced environment where issues enjoy a very short shelf life. The talk of the town today will most likely be forgotten as soon as another issue comes up. For example, the Tony Labrusca airport scandal along with rumors about his sexuality that erupted earlier this week have been relegated to the sidelines right after Aquino’s press conference.

Chismis time! Ano pang hinihintay n’yo? Pasok! I-tag na ang mga ka-chismosa natin para hindi mahuli.
Posted by Senyora on Friday, January 4, 2019

That is, I cannot help but think that the 14-day hiatus is less about her health and more about preserving what’s left of her showbiz career. That is, it appears that she’s hoping that the #PABoost scandal would have died down by the end of her vacation.


Right after the United States dropped atomic bombs in Nagasaki and Hiroshima during the Second World War, reports came out that cockroaches were the only creatures that survived the two blasts. And I think everyone will agree that in this respect, Kris Aquino is the showbiz equivalent of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Cockroaches, with her atomic bombs being the many scandals she survived throughout her showbiz career.

Do you still remember…
…her affair with the married actor Philip Salvador that produced a baby?
…her (yet another) affair with comedian Joey Marquez where she even claimed to have contracted STDs?
…her much-publicized rift with her erstwhile best buddy and actress Ai-ai de las Alas?
…her seemingly apocalyptic breakup with baller James Yap that includes a protracted custody battle over their child?
These are just some of the many scandals she faced throughout the decades.

Oh, and I forgot Bistek!
Kris Aquino did not only survive all these scandals: she even deftly used the publicity to boost her popularity that, in turn, allowed her to snag multi-million-peso endorsement contracts, catapulting her to top of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s top individual taxpayers’ list.

But there the abovementioned scandals share one common denominator, a common denominator that the recent Aquino-Falcis #PABoost Scandal doesn’t have.


The past scandals enumerated in the previous section have one thing in common: the issues are extremely personal in nature, so that the public has no significant stake in the matter.

Any regular Filipino who watched each of these quite entertaining events unfold knows full well that nothing in his life change whatever happens.

Contrast that to the Aquino-Falcis #PABoost Scandal that, unlike the previous ones, took on a very political dimension. What initially started as a financial squabble slowly metamorphosed into a political issue after Aquino was found out to have been significantly funding anti-government political propagandists.

Her financing an opposition-aligned blogger wouldn’t have mattered much if it happened in the 2000s. But a product endorser doing the same is a terrible idea at an age where every Pedro, Pablo, and Pekto is actively engaged in political discourse, and 74% of every Pedro, Pablo, and Pekto are satisfied with the Duterte Administration.


Boost is how Facebook calls paid promotional posts. That is, a page administrator can...
Posted by Thinking Pinoy on Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Unlike Kris Aquino’s previous scandals, the public now has a stake in her kerfuffle with Falcis. That is, the general public, instead of watching her make a fool of herself as usual just for kicks, feel that any semblance of victory on Kris Aquino’s part is a major blow against general public interest.

After all, if Kris Aquino emerges victorious through-and-through, then she can just continue funding anti-government propagandists, to the detriment of Filipinos who are sick and tired of the brand of governance that her brother and former president Noynoy Aquino’s opposition espouses.

Kris Aquino, as a product endorser, is basically a salesperson. Now, imagine a salesperson who tells you that you made a stupid decision to support your president then, at the same breath, attempt to sell you Uni-Pak sardines, Ariel detergent, UFC ketchup, Marca PiƱa soy sauce and what not?

That’s ridiculous: I’d rather buy Ligo, Tide, Hunt's Ketchup, and Datu Puti, than help support the livelihood of Kris Aquino, the Kris Aquino who supports the livelihood of propagandists that will bring my country back to the nightmares of Yolanda and Mamasapano.

[UPDATE: Readers pointed out that Tide, like Ariel, is from Procter and Gamble. So I'll just buy Surf, I guess.]

Kris Aquino's many endorsement deals.
The latest developments in the Aquino-Falcis #PABoost brouhaha suggests that Kris is now in a scandal that she, unlike before, cannot possibly take advantage of.

Kris Aquino basically bit off more social media fodder than she can chew.

Will she continue to fund political propagandists after this?

I do not know, but what’s clear is that the Liberal Partygoers, who so fervently paint their social media bloggers as selfless, patriotic, and independent activists, cannot do so anymore.

Why? Because Kris Aquino proved that Liberal Party’s ogrish poster girl for social media – Pinoy Ako Blog’s Jover Laurio that she herself finances – is a paid hack.

As for Vice Ganda's manager, I strongly suggest that you take even greater care of your talent's interests right away. Here's an opportunity. Grab it. *wink*. [RJ Nieto/ThinkingPinoy]


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