Jimmy Bondoc, singer-songwriter, has stirred some controversy with his language. Critics questioned his appointment to an executive position at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), but it is not the cause of his problem. Some people just could not stand his bad English.
Bondoc, who supported the campaign of President Duterte in the last election, took extra effort to explain in the Internet his appointment. He could have kept quiet and just do his job as PAGCOR’s executive vice president for Entertainment. He chose to respond to criticism and stuck a foot in his mouth.
He grumbled: “I don’t mind people questioning the credentials of some of us appointees… However, I would also like to say that entertainment is God’s gift to me. I know it back and forth, but I am also willing to learn…”
I don’t think people questioned his capability as a singer who knows the entertainment business “back and forth.” His critics asked if he’s fit for the job, and his explanation added fuel to the fire.
Bloggers ran to the dictionary and they pointed to the meaning of “back and forth” as “backward and forward.” If Bondoc knows the entertainment industry “back and forth,” does that makes him an expert on the business?
Bondoc mangled the English language, a Facebook post screamed. Other bloggers analyzed his statement and corrected his English and confusing metaphors with glee.
Bondoc, who wrote and recorded the 2004 hit “Let Me Be the One,” said he is a proud graduate of Ateneo. He said he was in Ateneo’s “honor class all the time from cradle to the grave.”
One blogger quickly picked up the idiomatic phrase “from cradle to grave” and said it was inaccurate. The blogger said the dictionary meaning of the phrase is “from birth to death.” Bondoc was not born in Ateneo and he is no longer connected with the school.
Despite the criticisms, Bondoc promised to do a good job and said he would never steal money from the government. “If I ever take money or kickbacks… come to my house and cut off my hands,” he said.
Shifting to a conciliatory tone, Bondoc appealed on people to give him a chance to prove himself. “Guys, I may or may not be the best man for this job. But it’s a done deal.”
“Watch me use this money from ‘gaming’ and transform it into awesome shows… turn money into Joy,” he said.
But some bloggers were unforgiving. They picked the phrase “turn money into joy,” flipped it over, examined it closely from all sides and said money is always a source of joy. Spread PAGCOR money and you spread joy, one blogger said.
What was Bondoc trying to say with the phrase “turn money in joy?” Bloggers are genius in finding the meaning. On bloggers said: “The phrase “turn money into joy” is, at best, an awkward way to literally translate into English what he probably wanted to say in Filipino: “Paliligayahin ko kayo mula sa perang kinikita ng isang casino.”
What should Bondoc do to earn praise? Bondoc should stick to what he does best: turn his thoughts into lyrics. It’s one of the best ways to spread joy.