Singer-vlogger Donnalyn Bartolome celebrated her 28th birthday with a unique kanto-style theme, supposedly to "reminisce the simple life" she had before becoming famous. Despite her good intentions, however, the vlog didn't go down well as netizens continued to condemn the vlog, calling it "foul."
"My Kanto birthday party is not just a concept. This was my life when I left home [to work] abroad where my life was comfortable," Bartolome wrote on a Facebook post.
The celebrity's birthday vlog was uploaded on August 11 and has since garnered over 3.8 million views. As of press time, it ranks second on the Philippines trending list on Twitter.
Bartolome's birthday vlog features famous vlogger-streamers like herself and mainstream celebrities including Ella Cruz, Awra Briguela, and Paul Salas, attending the party in theme, dressed in shorts and flip-flops.
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"Pinaka simple pero pinaka masaya na birthday ko," the actress wrote on Facebook. "Just like nung time na walang wala pa ako, nandiyan yung mga taong mahal ako, kahit butas-butas ang shorts; at murang sapatos, at tsinelas lang ang kaya kong bilhin."
Netizens, however, found it exaggerated when Donnalyn blew the candle on a mound of burnt rice or tutong as her birthday cake. Some called it "insulting."
"Nakakainsulto yung ginamit na cake. Wala namang mahirap gusto ang tutong as cake. They want to be empathetic, but it feels like they're just romanticizing being poor as if ginusto ng tao na ganon yung situation nila sa buhay," a Twitter user said.
On the other hand, fans who admired Bartolome for looking back from whence she came, posted reactions like, "Nakaka-miss ang mga kanto na birthday, kaya sobrang salamat at na-experience namin ulit dahil sayo [Donnalyn]!"
"When poor people celebrate, they are called 'cheap' and 'jejemon'... Donnalyn is deemed 'humble' and 'grounded' for momentarily pretending that she was poor," another netizen wrote.
While fans quickly came to Bartolome's defense, the vlogger has yet to release a statement on the trending issue.
Incidentally, Bartolome also received criticism for her pre-birthday photoshoot in July this year for portraying toddlers in a "more than mature" nature. The celebrity successfully countered the earlier gaffe by apologizing to those turned off via Facebook. In a written apology, Bartolome also announced she has set up a fundraiser for Nayon ng Kabataan, a child care facility run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), to make up for her insensitivity.