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Jan Slater Young’s Big PBB Prize

I did not start watching PBB until this season, so I had no idea how much of a following it has. Big! Really big! I mean, from the size of that late night crowd at the Quirino Grandstand for the Big Night, you would have thought that the Pope himself had arrived for a Catholic convention.

You also have to admire – or deplore – the way ABS-CBN stretched a nothing subject into a two-and-a-half-hour special. I mean, what was there to the show but the announcement of the big winner? But this we all had to wait for after N2 x 2Z number of commercials and a song-and-dance number here and there all the way to midnight!

I did not really have any preference from among the Big 4. Would it not have been nice, however, for that gangling lad Biggel to have won? The other night, when Kuya asked all four to call up somebody who each really wanted to say sorry to, Biggel tried calling up his parents.

The moment he said ‘Joseph Emil Biggel’ was at the line, the other end went dead and could not be reached again. What a poor excuse for a source of genes!

I don’t know their side of the story from Biggel’s; but the least whoever it was at the other end could have done was to accept the call. The poor lad was in tears; and had he won, it would really have given PBB a fairytale ending. That said, third place and at least half-a-million bucks for the farmer-cum-fisherman was not bad all.

Paco was voted fourth: and rightly so, in my humble opinion. He got to the Big 4 via the backdoor, anyway. It would have been unfair to all others who had been evicted had he gone all the way.

I must say, though, that I admire the gracious way with which he accepted fourth place. His mother – was it? – waiting outside could barely hide her disappointment. I mean, if that was a smile on her face, then my name is Superman. Paco, on the other hand, was beaming with happiness!

So, it all came down to Pamu and Slater. The voting trend, however, seemed to indicate that it was always going to be Slater.

In the poll to select the Big 4, Slater garnered almost 50% of the votes and left it to the others to pick up the crumbs. Voting all season long had been fickle at best. However, considering the shorter time difference between the final poll and the one immediately before along with the way this last poll was going, it would have taken a miracle for Pamu to have won this.

Pamu would have made an excellent winner, as far as I am concerned. Not only does she come from my home city, she is also this bubbly character that life seemingly is unable to ever put down.

Her body is all bones and angles but there is a tremendous amount of energy in that skinny body of hers. Other female housemates might have been prettier; but Pamu’s radiant smile beats everyone else’s.

In Slater, though, the taong-bayan probably chose the best possible winner. The young man is personable, soft-spoken, cultured and blessed with an even temperament. He is as strong-willed as Paco without the latter’s occasional abrasiveness.

That Slater won at all is not without irony. First of all, he comes from a Chinese family with means based in Cebu; and the prizes will probably be no more than spare change to him.

Also, in a conversation with Kuya, he declared that he did not really need the title of Big Winner to consider himself as such – a winner. The fact that he managed to overcome his shyness and learned more about and started to believe in himself was more than what he thought he would ever gain from joining PBB, he told Kuya.

That was probably what won it for him. We are Filipinos, after all. We are a self-deprecating people and rather tend to shirk those who make brash declarations of self-worth. It was this humility in one so well-off in life that probably convinced so many to use the ‘Power of One.’

It can also be that many of the followers of Divine Maitland-Smith and Tin Patrimonio, the last two housemates who were evicted prior to the Big 4, simply transferred allegiance to Slater. That this is suspiciously true may be extrapolated from the stats on the day that Tin Patrimonio was evicted.

Slater barely survived the cut that day; but then shot up to the top of the rankings when the next poll results were announced. Of course, these results also came after Slater had bravely taken responsibility for not having won a fifth slot in the Big Night during that silly target shooting competition.

The taong-bayan probably admired him for his willingness to take the blame in a competition that was impossible to win in the first place.

So it’s Jan Slater Young with the big win! It’s no secret that there was opposition from his parents to his joining PBB. I say, there were no traces of that opposition in the old folks as they waited for their son to come down from the elevated platform. Both were beaming with nothing if not pride.

I say, more than the title and the prizes, his parents’ pride in him was what Slater wanted to win more than anything else!

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