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How the Social Media has changed Modern Day Homosexuality

Jazz in Love, the opening documentary film of the 9 th Cinemalaya Philippine

Independent Film Festival, deals with two of the most prominent social issues relevant to the
contemporary Filipino society: homosexuality and the social media. The film seeks to prove that
love should not be limited to a man and a woman; it could also exist between individuals of the
same sex. It opens the eyes of the audience to the more liberated world of two men falling in
The first few minutes of the film starts with a phone call between Ernesto Jazz
Tigaldao, a Filipino nursing graduate and his lover, Theo Rutkowski, a German military staff.
The two met on a social networking site popular today, Facebook. It then shifts to the scene
where Jazz frantically waits for the result of his exam in a German language-learning institute,
the Goethe-Institut. Passing the exam is a requirement for his fianc visa he needs in order to go
to Germany and marry Theo. After finally obtaining the results which indicated that he passed,
he went home to his town. The following scenes depict the typical Filipino family in a province
where the real situation is revealed: Jazz and his relationship with a foreigner man is still viewed
negatively. The next part was the arrival of Theo to the Philippines wherein he would ask for
Jazzs hand from his parents formally. Towards the end, it was disclosed that they had numerous
fights, almost every day, as Jazz describes. The film ended as Theo returns to Germany while
Jazz still hopes for their reconciliation.
This story, a homosexual, long-distance, and interracial relationship between two men,
might not be an ordinary love story to the eyes of a Filipino. The situations portrayed here are not
the ones often seen in the common Filipino society and could probably raise a few eyebrows.
Conversely, what the maker tries to show is that homosexual relationships are no different from
any other heterosexual relationships; problems and misunderstandings also subsist. Furthermore,
as the society is faced with some changes practically concerning the morality of a Christian
nation, there exist dauntless individuals who desire and attempt to justify their right as
respected citizens of the nation.
There are two general types of people in the Filipino society today: The liberated people
who are described as having emancipated beliefs and the conservatives particularly Christians

who maintain their traditional Filipino values. The latter would most likely defend same gender
relationship, considering that living in the 21st century enables them to break through the bonds
of traditional social restraints which is opposed to what the former would perceive.
As time passes by, more and more modify their notion of what kind of love could exist
and who should be responsible for it. One major contributing factor is this: The media portrays
homosexuality as normal and commonly came across in the society nowadays. One well-known
example is the drama series which caught much attention and stirred opinions, My Husbands
Lover. The airing of this show was a breakthrough for the supporters of homosexuality and the
homosexual people themselves who desire acceptance and respect on their part; however, there
are still some people who were not pleased by this. This unacceptability is shown by the film in
some scenes where there are radio programs in the background discussing about how
homosexuality is immoral.
Another aspect this film is concerned with is the widespread use of social media among
modern Filipinos. According to Jim Ayson, approximately 21 million Filipinos are Facebook
users, ranking 5th in the world Facebook population. Manifestly, social media, particularly social
networking sites, have influenced people from all over the globe. It connects people and makes
communication as fast as possible. Everything is just a click away and anything could change in
the blink of an eye. With regard to this, the societal attitude towards homosexuality has greatly
changed: The social media has played a significant role in making it mainstream and accepted by
a growing number of people. It could also be said that people nowadays are able to express
themselves freely on the internet; thus, promoting different ideas that could influence the public
Truly, the society has been changing and adapting to what is the trend online. It could be
observed that the standards of right and wrong merely depend on what is socially popular. On the
other hand, to decide if something is right or wrong, a fixed moral standard must exist and that
is the law God has set for us to follow. It cannot change based on what the modern Filipino
thinks what is right for himself and for other people or what the social media prescribes.
Glamorizing iniquitous deeds by the media is simply unnatural; thus, being in a relationship with
the same sex is indeed improper. Not only it is implicated with moral values, but also the health

and well-being since homosexuality is often linked to numerous sexually-transmitted diseases