Freddie Aguilar’s 'anak' in the age of reality TV

Traditional and social media was recently inundated by news stories regarding Meagan Aguilar’s rant  (the “anak” of music icon Freddie Aguilar) against her own father.
Meagan has been spewing scathing remarks and despicable stories about Freddie and his 17-year-old wife, after she, along with her partner and two kids, were reportedly kicked out of Freddie’s house.
Meagan said in reports that she is now homeless and that she and her family are temporarily staying in a hotel room. She also reportedly declared that she is cutting off ties with her father.
I may have questions and reservations about Freddie taking a minor for a wife, but that is not the point of this story. What really bothers me is how Meagan was compelled to air all their dirty laundry in public and blurt out all those toxic words against the man, who raised her for all the wrong reasons, in my opinion.
Did I mention that Meagan is already 35 years old?
Let me be clear that I am looking at their situation from a Fil-Am perspective, after having lived in the United States for 13 years now.
Here in America, a child is considered emancipated once he or she reaches the age of 18. At this age, the child is considered an adult, and is therefore accorded all the rights and privileges of an adult. The parents are not even allowed to look at their 18-year-old’s school and medical records. They are not even permitted to search their kid’s room nor open their 18-year-old’s mail.
Conversely, the parents are no longer legally responsible to support their children once they reach 18. Whatever help they give to their adult kids are considered voluntary and coming from the goodness of their heart.
Technically, parents can kick their kids out of their house when they reach 18, and many parents in America do. The adult kid is now legally responsible to pay for his/her own living expenses, and is accountable for the consequences of hs/her own behavior.
I know Philippine culture is very different. We are such a nurturing people, many even take care of and support their married children and grandchildren, for as long as they live in their homes.
But it is also part of our culture to give our parents and grandparents due respect and to take care of them in their old age. Our culture also frowns upon airing our dirty laundry in public. We keep very personal conflict within the family, to protect our family’s name and honor.
This is my issue with Freddie’s “anak.” She is 35 years old. She is already an adult who is obligated to take care of herself and her own family.
Her father owes her nothing. She has no right whatsoever to complain if he has finally kicked her out of their house. In fact, she should even be thankful that her father supported her and her kids way past her age of emancipation.
She also cannot cite Philippine culture here, because she does not give her father the respect he deserves. She cannot cherry pick only those aspects of Philippine culture that gives her rights and privileges, yet reject the obligations that come with these benefits.
Surely, this is the age of reality TV. And Freddie’s “anak” seems to take full advantage of it for her own purpose.
The scary thing here is that kids, who are being exposed to this kind of behavior on reality TV, may just grow up thinking this is the norm — that our parents and the world owe us everything.

Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to and

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