ICYMI, social media was ablaze after Toni Gonzaga interviewed former Senator Bongbong Marcos on her official YouTube channel and Facebook account, with the video released in time for BBM’s birthday — coincidentally, just days before the 49th anniversary of his father’s declaration of martial law in the Philippines on September 21.
The actress’ interview earned the ire of netizens who thought that the video glossed over the atrocities of Martial Law, as the interview was filled with softball questions and treacly anecdotes as Marcos Jr. wistfully reminisced about his namesake and father, the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
As a reply, BBM appropriated Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” lyrics as he dismissed critics of his family and the Marcos regime, saying merely, “Haters gonna hate, right?”
This did not sit well with social media, which was immeditely lit with incendiary reactions from netizens who criticized the interview.
Protest artist Tarantadong Kalbo released a rather powerful illustration just hours after Gonzaga’s interview was posted, while other commenters on Twitter noted how close the martial law anniversary was. Still others criticized the actress-host’s attempts to appear “neutral” and “objective”, especially since Gonzaga featured Vice President Leni Robredo and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno — whose father was imprisoned by Marcos senior— on her vlog just weeks before.
E l e p h a n t I n T h e R o o m pic.twitter.com/duCefpsb0k
— Tarantadong Kalbo (@KevinKalbo) September 13, 2021
The worst and most distasteful part is that we will be commemorating one of the darkest days in Philippine history on the 21st. Ganda ng timing mo, Toni. #NeverAgain. #NeverForget. https://t.co/pTiLu2wYLn
— Mon Sy #StopLumadKillings #OustDuterte (@YearoftheMonSy) September 13, 2021
People like #ToniGonzaga are complicit in historical revisionism. They should be held accountable for using their platforms to sell this version of the “truth” that completely erases what the Marcoses have done to nation, and continue to do to it. 7/10
— katrinastuartsantiago (@radikalchick) September 13, 2021
Toni Gonzaga pls explain the smooth transition pic.twitter.com/So5GkySpTX
— David Escueta (@DavidEscueta) September 13, 2021
If this unlikely collaboration has you scratching your head, the internet is there to remind everyone that the Gonzaga-Marcos ties go back a long way. In fact, BBM was godfather at Toni’s wedding to director Paul Soriano in 2015, just a year before his failed attempt to run for the vice presidency.
As a favor to their ninong, the Gonzaga-Soriano celebrity couple publicly supported BBM in his bid for the vice presidency in the 2016 elections.
PAUL SORIANO AND TONI GONZAGA
• Paul Soriano and Toni Gonzaga showed their support for BBM during a Marcos rally in 2015.
• BBM is one of the sponsors of their wedding. pic.twitter.com/pfIlIYwcRH
— Roentgen #MagpaRehistroKa (@ronaldgem) October 23, 2018