The price of being celebrity

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A CELEBRITIY isn't just someone who spends two hours to groom his hair before stepping out. Any well-publicized person is a celebrity.

He doesn't have to be admired or hated. Comedian-TV host Vhong Navarro and businessman Cedric Lee get unequal measures of public sympathy and scorn.

Yardstick is renown or recognition. Janet Napoles, "pork barrel queen," handily qualifies.


Stiffest price of fame is diminished or lost privacy. Scrutiny invades, which can spill over from sidewalks where fans gawk and applaud to the bedroom where Vhong allegedly raped Deniece Cornejo.

Media meddles only when private act becomes public concern. And targets aren't only celebrities but also private persons. Anyone can become a public figure by force of circumstance, such as being caught in crime or scandal.

Of the three, only Vhong is a public figure. But Cedric and Deniece, ex-private persons, are now public persons too.

They're written and talked about by media -- and, in Cedric's case, probed by the BIR for untaxed money.

Sniffing out

The BIR chief admits that's how the agency sniffs out tax dodgers: people who (a) flaunt their wealth or (b) unwittingly expose it when they're publicized about.

Janet's daughter "Facebooked" her upscale lifestyle: pricey clothes, luxury cars and posh apartment. Lee's businesses were reported along with the item about his alleged attempt to extort a million pesos.

How about the legion of us who’re unknown and un-affluent?

As Lady Gaga would say: we've always been famous, it's just no one knows it yet.

And, cheer, BIR won't bother us.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 04, 2014.


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