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‘Ang Natatanging Pagmamaganda’: The reception of selected Filipino gays of the teleserye, “Iisa Pa Lamang”: Understanding the ritual of communication


ABSTRACT

This audience reception study answered how the Filipino gays received the representation of Philippine gay culture in the teleserye, Iisa Pa Lamang. The researcher utilized Horace Newcomb’s Polysemic Nature of Texts, John Fiske’s Semiotic Democracy, Stuart Hall’s Reception Theory, and James Carey’s Ritual Perspective of Communication. In order to find out from the selected homosexuals how they read the story elements and visual, oral, and kinesthetic symbols embedded in the teleserye, the researcher conducted a combination of focus group interviews and a focus group discussion.

The results of the gays’ analysis provided insights on the polysemic reading of Iisa Pa Lamang’s text; the gay comedy club culture; and the nature, cause, and extent of the gays’ struggles projected in Iisa Pa Lamang. The researcher’s analysis discussed how the soap opera’s appeal to women and feminist fantasies paralleled Iisa Pa Lamang’s popularity among Filipino gay audiences; how Iisa Pa Lamang’s deviations from the conventional components of a soap opera reflected the gay manner of subverting the order of things; and how the Filipino gays created, maintained, repaired, and transformed Philippine gay culture through Iisa Pa Lamang.

The Filipino gays received the representation of Philippine gay culture in Iisa Pa Lamang in various ways; there surfaced polysemic readings, some of which were congruent with one another while some were contradictory. Some views confirmed that Iisa Pa Lamang represented Philippine gay culture, while some negated certain elements in the teleserye’s portrayal of Philippine gay culture. Some opinions validated Iisa Pa Lamang as promoting gay empowerment and credited its success as an innovation of the portrayal of Philippine gay culture, while there were those that countered the effect of Iisa Pa Lamang as advancing gay empowerment.

The multiplicity of meanings in the gay audiences’ readings demonstrated the uniqueness and individuality of each gay person; their being human in precedence to their being gay; the inhomogeneous characteristic of Philippine gay culture; and the deviant nature of being gay that escapes definition.


Olavario, F.S.G. (2011). ‘Ang Natatanging Pagmamaganda’. The reception of selected Filipino gays of the teleserye, “Iisa Pa Lamang”: Understanding the ritual of communication, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

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Subject Index : Motion pictures and gay men

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