MANILA, Philippines – Actress Marian Rivera apologized for remarks she made on the traffic situation in Metro Manila, even as she stood by what she said, explaining them as a take on her own personal experiences.
“Lahat tayo ay biktima ng trapik, at kani-kaniyang paraan lang kung paano tayo mag-cope sa sitwasyon. Ang tanong po kasi during the interview — kung panonoorin at pakikinggan niyo ang buong clip — ay naka-tuon sa aking pamamaraan kung paano ko personal na itinatahak ang problemang ito ng ating lipunan, kaya’t sinagot ko naman iyon ayon sa kung ano ang totoo sa akin — at sa akin lamang. I just wanted to give a light take on my personal experience, but was misinterpreted,” she said in an Instagram post on Monday, October 14.
Over the weekend, Marian had been criticized for seemingly flippant remarks over comments she made about the traffic in the megacity.
During a press conference for a grocery chain she endorses, the actress was asked: “Paano na-aapektuhan ang pamilya niyo ng traffic? At paano nakakatulong ang delivery service ng Waltermart?”
(How is your family affected by traffic? How does Waltermart’s delivery service help?)
She then answered: “Traffic? Parang matagal nang may traffic. Wala nang dahilan para ikunsume mo sarili mo sa traffic. Kung may lakad ka, eh ‘di pumunta ka ahead of time para ‘di ka ma-trapik. Sa sasakyan, ‘pag trapik, andaming pwedeng gawin. Magcellphone ka, magsulat ka, eh ‘di ‘yun ‘yung ‘me’ time mo sa sarili mo, ‘di ba? So andaming pwedeng gawin mo ‘pag traffic.”
(Traffic? Traffic has been around for a long time. There’s no reason to stress yourself over traffic. If you have to go somewhere, leave ahead of time to avoid traffic. In the case, if the traffic is heavy, there’s a lot you can do. Use your phone, write, use it as your ‘me time,’ right? There’s a lot you can do when it’s traffic.)
The Philippine Star story didn’t exactly deviate from the original question, leading its story with: “Are the ‘super rich’ like superstar Marian Rivera also affected by Metro Manila’s heavy traffic, especially as the holidays draw near?”
In the Philippines, the term “traffic” generally refers to “heavy traffic” – a phenomenon that’s becoming more and more frequent in Metro Manila, a megacity of 16 cities including the country’s seat of government and key financial districts.
Transportation woes in Metro Manila have amplified in the past weeks, following a transport strike over the cost of a proposed jeepney modernization scheme, repeated breakdowns of train systems, and the partial shutdown of one rail line.
“Hindi ko po nilalahat at lalu nang ginawang pangaral sa publiko ang aking pahayag. Kung sana’y naging mas responsable lang ang Philstar.com sa kanilang headline at sa hindi pag edit ng tanong sa umpisa ng original video, hindi ako ma-tatake out of context,” said Marian.
(I’m not saying this as a generality nor am I lecturing the public with my statement. If only PhilStar.com was more responsible with its headline and in editing out the question from the start of the original video, I wouldn’t have been taking out of context.)
The actress, however, stood by her statement. “Pinaninindigan ko po ang aking sagot and i take full responsibility, pero humihingi rin ako ng paumanhin sa mga nasaktan, nainis, napikon at kahit sa mga mema lang— hindi ko po nais na gawin ito sa inyo. Sa susunod, magiging mas maingat ako sa aking mga sinasabi, at sana ganoon din ang mga pahayagan na tinitingala ng nakararami.”
(I stand by what I said and I take full responsibility. But I also apologize to those who were hurt, annoyed, or had anything to say about it – I didn’t intend to do that to you. Next time, I’ll be more careful with my words and I hope publications that are trusted by many do the same.)
The actress, who is among GMA 7’s biggest stars, ended by saying she understands the pain Filipinos go through during their daily commutes. “Ang bawat minuto na nasasayang sa kalsada ay dapat na sana’y nagagamit natin para makapiling ang ating mga mahal sa buhay— wala pong may gusto nito,” she said.
(Each minute wasted on the road is time that could have been used spending time with our loved ones. Nobody wants this.)
The severity of the traffic and transportation problem has been caleld a “crisis” both by commuters and commuters rights groups. Palace Spokesman Salvador Panelo, who recently took a “commute challenge,” insisted it was no crisis because there was no transportation paralysis.
This, despite the fact that it took him over 3 and a half hours to commute to Malacañang from New Manila, arriving at the Palace at around 8:46 am – 46 minutes past the time when government offices open. – Rappler.com