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Bas Darien Mitchell C.

(Student Number Redacted)

(Course Title Redacted)

Daniel Padilla interpreted through Platonic Forms

The celebrity Daniel Padilla rose to fame in the year 2012 and is known for starring in

numerous television series including Pangako Sa’yo and even released a single titled Nasa’yo Na

Ang Lahat which was even used in a recent KFC advertisement. His name and face have become

ubiquitous in the media and around Metro Manila as you can find him on billboards, posters,

even in some broadcast advertisements for sanitary napkins for women.

The Philippine Media presents Daniel Padilla as belonging to the Bad boy stereotype like

Robin Padilla and Paquito Diaz and is also marketed as the ideal standard for masculinity. The

problem with the way that the media presents Daniel Padilla across different media platforms is

that they misrepresent him. The media claims to have knowledge of what Daniel Padilla is and

we as media consumers passively accept the image of Daniel Padilla being fed to us by the

media but in doing so, we fail to ask the question “Who is Daniel Padilla in himself as he

presents himself?”.

Using Plato’s analogy of the Realm of Forms as explained through the famous Allegory

of the Cave, we can realize that the popularly accepted image of Daniel Padilla as constructed

and presented to us by the media is far from what is real. The media fails to acknowledge that

there is a true and eternal form of Daniel Padilla which exists only in the eternal plane (The

realm of forms) which cannot truly be manifested here on earth by any means therefore, any
manner of representation of Daniel Padilla is only a shadow or an inferior attempt to portray the

true and eternal Daniel Padilla which no person, including Daniel Padilla himself, has ever seen

or experienced to begin with.

Another problem with any analysis of Daniel Padilla is that we have no clear consensus

over what or who he truly is. The need to eat, drink, breathe, and sleep are properties that Daniel

Padilla possesses that are essential to being a human and these are what Aristotle calls essential

properties but the descriptions that the media provide us with are hard to determine as essential

properties because the characteristics used to describe Daniel Padilla in the media like having a

handsome appearance, a “good” singing voice, and a pleasing personality are not traits exclusive

to Daniel Padilla’s humanity, these are what Aristotle calls accidental properties which can be

present in any other person but paradoxically, these are also the traits that essentially make him

Daniel Padilla. In order to further explain how little we actually know about Daniel Padilla, let us

bring into the discussion Immanuel Kant’s (Cathcart & Klein, 2008) concept of the Ding an sich.

The Ding an sich in Kantian Philosophy refers to an object as itself in itself. Daniel

Padilla in himself as himself is something that is impossible to determine. If we were to attempt

to understand Daniel Padilla based on his appearance, we would not actually be determining who

or what he is in himself because we would only be determining who he is as seen through our

eyes. If we were to take a part of Daniel Padilla or a physical sample of him and put it through

laboratory tests to determine what elements, compounds, and chemicals make up Daniel Padilla,

we would only be seeing what he is as interpreted by those scientific devices and in combining

Plato and Immanuel Kant’s philosophies, we arrive at the conclusion that none of us actually

know who or what Daniel Padilla is.

In order to make Plato and Immanuel Kant’s (Cathcart & Klein, 2008) philosophies (and

this paper) at all useful in understanding Daniel Padilla as a media text, we must understand that

everything that the media presents us are mere claims to truth or, interpretations of truths, not

actual truths in themselves. Let us illustrate the argument with the following example:

Let us say for example that a motorcycle accident happened and the media arrived on the

scene to cover the said incident. The coverage of ABS-CBN, GMA, and TV5 will be different

from each other as they will have different angles in presenting the incident as a news story.

Every news network will have a different way of interpreting and presenting the incident, but

none of them will be able to describe the motorcycle accident in itself as itself because even if

they were there as the motorcycle accident happened and were to make a news report out of what

they saw, they would still not be describing the incident in itself as it presents itself, they would

only be presenting and interpreting the event as they saw it through their eyes, not as the event in

itself. Through this analogy, we can conclude that nothing that the media presents us no matter

how objective they try to be about it, can be absolutely true, all news are merely claims to truth.

Going back to Daniel Padilla, we begin to realize that his image as a celebrity is merely

constructed, there is no real Daniel Padilla, there is only the Daniel Padilla that is marketed to us

by the corporate media in order to make a profit and therefore we should be critical of any

attempt to portray Daniel Padilla because Daniel Padilla is a construct, a concept being sold and

this analogy can extend to any other media text in that we should be critical of everything that

the broadcast media throws at us because what appears to be true at face value can actually be

masks that cover up the corporate media’s true intentions which in most cases, is to make a

profit. Everything presented by the media is a constructed truth, not abstract realities in

Cathcart, T., & Klein, D. (2007). Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar. New York: Penguin Publising.

Kant, I. (1785). Critique of Pure Reason. New York: Penguin Classics.