Ten of the ‘messiest’ moments on Philippine television

The Philippines has no shortage of scandals, fiascos, and laughable moments caught on live television. The people involved come from all walks of life—from politicians to your ordinary Juan—showing that no one is immune from experiencing embarrassing moments.

Last April 1, X user @Bb_menita03 posted a thread on some of the “messy moments” (a.k.a. makalat in Filipino slang) on Philippine live television. The original thread had the user posting 30 different videos that ranged from show business to politicians to ordinary folks fighting over their ulam for lunch.

The thread has since become a hit tweet, garnering 49,000 likes and 30,000 bookmarks and spawning over 10,000 reposts and 5,200 quote tweets. Here are some of the funniest and most indelible ones that have been posted so fat but are not necessarily part of the OG tweet.

1. Zamboanga City bridge is falling down, 2018

On the morning of April 26, 2018, then-Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco brought along congressmen and other local officials to Barangay Mariki Island to see for themselves the “poor state” of the housing project implemented by the National House Authority.

As fate would have it, they did not only get to see the poor living conditions of the people living on the island as they got to experience (and perhaps, even taste) it themselves, when the footbridge they were crossing collapsed under their weight, causing them to fall into the murky waters.

I found the video both hilarious and satisfying—it’s not every day that we see government officials having a taste of the rough life after all. 

2. BBM raising the “wrong” sign at a CNN Philippines VP debate, 2016

During the Vice Presidential Debate of CNN Philippines in 2016, host and moderator Pinky Webb asked the question: “Have you ever engaged in any corrupt practices?” 

Each of the candidates had a signboard that had the words “Yes” and “No” on each side. Then VP-candidate Bongbong Marcos raised his sign showing the “Yes” side, much to the amusement of the audience made up of mostly students, and causing Webb to ask Marcos if he was sure of his answer. A slip of the “hand,” perhaps?

3. “Majoha” fiasco on Pinoy Big Brother, 2022

In an episode of popular reality show Pinoy Big Brother last April 2022, teen housemates incorrectly identified Gomburza as Majoha, the three priests who fought for independence from Spain in the late 1800s. The video clip turned viral very quickly, mostly causing alarm at the dire state of our education system. 

The only good thing that came out of it was that the PBB teens got a history 101 lesson courtesy of none other than esteemed historian Ambeth Ocampo. It also compelled authorities to reflect on what has gone wrong in our schools—though little seems to have changed since then.

4. Celine Pialago’s passed away gaffe, 2014

Who can forget the moment when former beauty pageant contestant Celine Pialago said a fellow candidate “passed away” when she meant “passed out” during an interview. The former MMDA spokesperson was then was a candidate in the Miss Philippines Earth pageant in 2014 using her real name Pircelyn when the viral and now iconic faux pas happened.

Since then, every time Pialago would find herself in a controversy or a sticky situation, media outfits and other government officials would do well to remember pulling out the “passed away” card. Rappler, for instance, reported how her chances of running for congress “passed away,” after after her organization was not accredited by the Comelec.

5. Dogs mating during Unang Hirit’s cooking portion, 2022

Moving on to something lighter—but quite NSFW—in the “This is Eat” segment of chef JR Royol in the morning show Unang Hirit, two dogs suddenly mated while the chef was cooking.

The chef was demonstrating how to cook crispy hito fillet when a male dog humped a female dog and much to everyone’s surprise, the mating actually pushed through! The sexual escapade happened while the good chef was frying the dish completely oblivious to the canine procreation going on. It. Was. Hilarious.

6. Girltrends’ clashing choreography, 2019

In one of the more makalat videos of recent memory, now defunct girl group Girltrends went viral for all the wrong reasons. Their cover and performance of Sam Smith’s “How Do You Sleep?” earned the laughs—and the ire—of many netizens after they seemed to be out of sync. 

Girltrends member Sammie Rimando implied in a tweet that their group only practiced the particular choreography on the “same day” it was performed on the noontime show because they had to tape multiple episodes. Still, we can’t deny that they were all over the place during the performance and its was quite painful to watch even years later.

Before this, the group’s performance of the hit BLACKPINK song “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” also drew criticisms.

7. Jolo Revilla’s “Bola bago droga” remark, 2018

Then Cavite vice governor Jolo Revilla’s viewing of the match between the Bacoor City Strikers and the Bulacan Kuyas last July 12, 2018 made it to the news not because of a fistfight or players behaving badly but because of himself and his now infamous verbal booboo.

While thanking the fans who watched the game, he advised, “Bola muna bago droga (Basket]ball first before drugs),” in a live interview. This, of course, drew laughs from netizens who immediately feasted upon the clip and made memes out of it. 

Truly a facepalm moment.

8. Drunk man trying to buy bulalo from a bakery

In one of the funniest moments caught live on camera, a drunk man caused trouble in Santa Ana, Manila in the early morning of Jan. 17, 2014, when he tried to buy bulalo (bone marrow soup) from a panaderia. A bakery would, of course, not have bulalo on its menu, unless it also doubles as a carinderia. But the man was so inebriated he didn’t seem to be aware of this fact.

Making the tensions reach boiling point was when the vendor gave him bulalo-flavored cup noodles, further incensing the man who refused to pay for the cup noodles and wailed: “Pare ang bulalo mga buto-buto, may laman, sinusupsop ang bulalo pare, ang cup noodles… noodles, noodles, pare!” 

The man was shortly escorted to the barangay hall. 

9. Alma Moreno’s “lights on” birth control plan, 2015

Listening to this interview was so painful and the second hand embarrassment I felt was so intense I wish it could be undone. Moreno was then running for senator in the 2016 elections under the opposition party United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) when she appeared on ANC’s “Headstart” hosted by Karen Davila on November 11.

The whole interview was in itself a spectacle so awkward I think nobody has rewatched it in full since it was aired. The peak moment, however, was when Davila asked Moreno what her birth control suggestion was, especially for the poor. Moreno answered: Kailangan laging bukas ang ilaw! (The light should always be on.) 

Cringeworthy TV at its finest. 

10. ‘Take it, take it!’ scandal, 1994

This fiasco is now 30 years old but its notoriety lives on. In a nutshell, for all you Gen Z readers out there, the scandal involved the former Miss Mauritius Viveka Babajee who  was caught on camera saying “Take it! Take it!” to fellow presenter Rocky Gutierrez, younger brother of actress and beauty queen Ruffa, as she handed him the envelope containing the name of the Best Actress winner. 

Babajee read aloud “Ruffa Gutierrez!” as the winner to the shock of fellow presenter Gretchen Barretto, who had seen the name of the real winner which was Aiko Melendez. Apparently, the scam was orchestrated by talent managers Lolit Solis and Annabelle Rama. 

There you go, dear readers. This is not even scratching the surface of the funniest and most cringe-worthy moments on Philippine television. If you’re looking for more, visit the thread on X as more and more videos are still being quoted every day.

Associate Editor

The new lifestyle.