Frio who had an Afro

I remember him now – that guy on TV, the one who landed third place in Hear Ye, Theatre Calls. I can’t believe he lost to farmer boy, Venoit… but it is expected; Venoit performed better – best, I mean. The battle of a talent attuned to popular taste versus skill and expertise harnessed by training and theoretical knowledge.

It’s funny to think that he took the risk of losing to anybody – Frio, I mean. I always presumed that those who studied  Performing Arts and Music in the best Music Conservatory in the country, have it in their minds to “conserve” the art that is “artful” singing, hence, their natural and understandable aversion to the idea of exposing their “conserved art” and “skills” to popular scrutiny and uneducated discernment. It is much similar to allowing a mere child to grade the Doctoral dissertation of a Harvard man, I suppose.

Money matters. That’s what the media maneuvered the viewers to believe. It’s the easiest route to winning, steering, and beguiling the unexploited perspicacity of the masses. They portrayed Frio as a “struggling” music teacher who is in need – in dire need – of financial assistance and support. I don’t know what is true – if it is true at all. He could be really poor now and maybe, his meagre teacher’s salary isn’t sufficient to support his family who rely on him for financial wherewithal. But surely, there is more to the man than “struggles”…

I could only surmise in resignation.

I suppose a financial matter is a strong enough motivation for someone like Frio to drop all his “artful notions” and conserved ideal philosophies for the sake of instant and sure money. Nothing wrong with that, really.

Good for him, I daresay. He managed to be like ordinary people and be realistically human in this erring Filipino domain.

I wonder what he thought about the reversed roles, though. His credentials should’ve proven him a more fitting judge than the celebrities who judged him on the show. Apparently, ironic and paradoxical reality always wins and bites. It’s not all about education and hard-earned diplomas any more. One has to throw in popularity, reputed merits, and experiences – just enough to catapult a person overboard and standout from the competition. Just enough for the majority to say,

“Damn, he’s good!”

Such is the world now – mocking, sardonic and satirical. And Frio is just one of the players in this world stage. I am one of the players, too- sadly. Haven’t I walked the same path once? Wasn’t he someone in the fourth row in one of the theory classes in the Conservatory? Wasn’t he the one with the dreadlocks… or Afro… something? Wasn’t he in the background of a wacky class picture?

That’s him, alright – Frio who had an Afro.

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