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Donnalyn Bartolome responds to ‘kanto’ party backlash: ‘Bawal na ba maging ako?’
Donnalyn Bartolome responds to ‘kanto’ party backlash: ‘Bawal na ba maging ako?’

DONNALYN BARTOLOME. The internet personality defends herself against the backlash for her kanto-themed birthday party.

Donnalyn Bartolome's Facebook

Donnalyn gets flak for her 'kanto' or 'street-themed' birthday party

MANILA, Philippines – Internet personality Donnalyn Bartolome has responded to the criticism she has received for her “kanto” or street-themed birthday party, saying that she was just being true to herself.

Bawal na ba maging ako? Nagpapakatotoo lang ako. Sino ka para pagsabihan ako na mali bumalik sa dati kong gawi (Am I not allowed to be me? I’m just being authentic. Who are you to tell me it’s wrong to do what I used to do)?” she said in an August 18 Facebook post.

Donnalyn celebrated her birthday on July 9, and posted a vlog of the celebration on August 11.

The party, which was attended by a number of celebrities, featured monobloc chairs, street food staples, and traditional Filipino party games such as pabitin and limbo rock. She also had a crispy mound of rice as her birthday cake.

Some social media users thought that the party’s theme was bordering on “poverty porn,” and said that she romanticized the realities of many Filipinos.

Donnalyn had previously said that the concept for the party was not just a theme, but her reality for many years, and she emphasized it in the Facebook post, saying “That kanto birthday party is my history.”

Yung minamata ako ng mga tao noon after ko umalis saamin cause I had no money, pati pagkain ko ng kwek kwek tinatawag akong poor,”

(People would eye me before after I left our home, because I had no money, even when I ate kwek kwek, I would be called poor.)

She also quoted a line from her song “Kakaibabe,” saying, “Saan sa tingin niyo nakukuha ko lyrics sa kanta ko (Where do you think I get the lyrics for my songs)?”

“I’ve always been so proud of everything I’ve been through cause hindi naman ako basta tumambay lang eh, nagtrabaho ako (I didn’t just hang out, I worked),” she added.

“THIS IS THE FILIPINO CULTURE. Not a theme,” she said. “Gusto niyo pabonggahan na party? Choice niyo yun. Walang masama sa simple o bongga basta afford mo (Do you want a grand party? That’s your choice. There’s nothing wrong with simple or grand, as long as you can afford it),” she said.

She also said that she used her birthday to inspire those who are going through what she went through: “That there’s a light at the end of the tunnel basta wag ka mag-ggive up (as long as you don’t give up).”

She also called out news outlets, saying that the people who criticized her vlog wasn’t even 5% of the people who loved it. 

“You’re just shining the light on whatever’s worse for engagement,” she said. –

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