Vilmanians should not fret too much for their idol being bashed for wrong grammar and spelling. English, after all, is not the mother language of the Batangas governor.
Even then-U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle made a gaffe in 1992 – when he corrected a student’s spelling of potato to potatoe in a spelling bee. It was widely believed that President George H. W. Bush and Quayle lost reelection to Bill Clinton and Al Gore because of that “idiocy.”
The only take about Ate Vi’s (term of endearment for her by fans) is that in a short missive – 33 words including names – two glaring mistakes, one grammatical and one spelling, is too much.
Good if Vilma is just another unschooled movie star (like the one who said University of Belt instead of University Belt and other booboos) or a beauty queen who said “I like my long legged” but Ms. Santos is the Star For All Seasons and the highest elected official of a big province. She’s even being touted as a senatorial or possibly a vice-presidential candidate come May 2016.
Kris Aquino may have wittingly or unwittingly posted Ate Vi’s note on Instagram. The former presidential daughter-and now-presidential sister may actually also be a silent member of the grammar police. Remember how she admitted she corrected ex-lover (father of lovechild Josh who’s now 19) Phillip Salvador’s grammar in front of other people?
Kris explained later, though, that she posted the note because what mattered to her was Ate Vi’s kindness and the thought behind the card and didn’t think about the wrong spelling.
Years ago, when asked about the status of her relationship with Edu Manzano (father of Vilma’s son Luis), the Star For All Seasons said, “We’ve been divorcing…” instead of “We’ve been divorced since…” or “We’re divorced…”
This grammar-spelling controversy has pitted Vilma against perennial rival Nora Aunor again in the limelight – to which many observers say it’s always been Nora-Vilma since the ‘70s. Nora had been hogging the headlines due to her non-inclusion among those proclaimed National Artists recently.
(See related story Ill-advised or just plain ignorant?: PNoy’s pronouncement why Nora Aunor did not pass as National Artist tantamount to slander and libel https://arloc888.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/ill-advised-or-just-plain-ignorant-pnoys-pronouncement-why-nora-aunor-did-not-pass-as-national-artist-tantamount-to-slander-and-libel/)
As to the importance or gravity of the controversy, Vilma Santos is again just second fiddle to Nora Aunor.
In the political front, though, Vilma has always been a winner and Nora lost in her first try.
Vilma has also found a strong ally both in Kris (an avowed Vilmanian) in the media and PNoy in politics.
Meanwhile, Nora seems to be winning the battle in the National Artist brouhaha as there’s an initiative to proclaim her as truly (not truely, please) a People’s National Artist.
When that happens, maybe Ate Vi will tell her kumare, “You are so blessed!”
By the way, mistakes are not defended (as Ai-Ai delas Alas reportedly did for this grammar and spelling hullabaloo). They are corrected.
No sweat. Surely there could be mistakes in this article, too. Please feel free to make corrections if you see any.