In defense of Marcelo Santos III (sort of)

marcelo santos III reviews
These are the covers of Marcelo Santos III's three books (Photo taken from his Facebook page)

First of all, who is Marcelo Santos III? He is the author of two books with themes revolving on love and relationships. Based on the number of his followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, he is a social media superstar.

His followers are mostly  Filipinos in their teens up to late 20s, and they are very likely to share Marcelo Santos III’s quotes through their respective accounts.

By the way, I previously taught communication and literature classes for a private college in Quezon City and it is through my students that I became acquainted with Marcelo Santos III’s quotes.

marcelo santos III reviews
These are the covers of Marcelo Santos III’s three books (Photo taken from his Facebook page)

The young author has received criticism for a wide array of things, from his rather absurd claim that writers don’t really have to read to excel in their craft to the shallow theme of his writings. Some of the critiques are valid, while others are nothing more than an exercise in verbal diarrhea like this one that became viral on Facebook.

I really don’t like those who criticize his writing style and the theme of his books and quotes. I’m not a fan of his work, though I share his quotes sometimes (a sort of guilty pleasure for me, actually). Look at this: writers like me write for different purposes. Some write just to express themselves, others write to inform, while others write to persuade.

If Marcelo is doing his stuff with the aim of ENTERTAINING people and earning millions in the process, let him be. Why are those supposedly “intellectual” writers demonizing him for doing something that’s perfectly within his right? It’s as absurd as the thought of looking for social significance from comedy movies like “Sisterakas” and “My Little Bossings.”

If they are looking for authors whose writings carry social relevance, then they should look for someone else. Or better yet, THEY can be that writer.

At this point, let me add that I agree that given his large number of followers online, MS III can use his clout to espouse worthwhile advocacies. For example, since he writes mostly in Filipino, maybe he can raise awareness about the Commission on Higher Education’s recommendation that Filipino won’t be taught in college anymore by 2016.

However, that’s not how things are. And it’s not right to bash him for choosing NOT to go in that direction.

To sum it up, I am writing this sort of “defense” not as a fan of him but as a writer who respects the artistic freedom of another writer. Though I won’t recommend anyone to read his works (I haven’t done so myself), it can be included in classroom discussions about contemporary Philippine literature.

(PS: This blog entry is based on a post I made on Facebook a few weeks ago.)

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

6 Comments on In defense of Marcelo Santos III (sort of)

  1. “Why are those supposedly “intellectual” writers demonizing him for doing something that’s perfectly within his right? ” – tama!

  2. I thought it’s one of those meaningful blogs. But then re sharing of MSIII’s quotes was revealed and then you mentioned ‘artistic freedom’. MSIII is looked up to by his millions of fans. He should at least be responsible how and what kind of Filipino literature he imparts to the nation. Mark, how old are you?

  3. You are so cool! I don’t believe I have read through a single thing like this before. So great to find another person with a few unique thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that’s needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!|

  4. This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

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