Marian Rivera apologizes for controversial answer about traffic

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 14 2019 07:07 PM | Updated as of Oct 14 2019 07:41 PM

Actress Marian Rivera. ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA — Actress Marian Rivera on Monday apologized for her answer about dealing with traffic, which went viral and became the target of criticism over the weekend for its supposed insensitivity to the plight of daily commuters.

Rivera was asked about the topic during a recent press conference for a grocery store chain she endorses.

“Traffic? Parang matagal nang may traffic. Wala nang dahilan para ikonsume mo sarili mo sa traffic. Kung may lakad ka, e ‘di pumunta ka ahead of time para ‘di ka ma-trapik,” she said, echoing an earlier, controversial statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

“Sa sasakyan, 'pag traffic, andaming puwedeng gawin. Mag-cellphone ka, magsulat ka. E ‘di iyon ‘yung ‘me’ time mo sa sarili mo, ‘di ba? So andaming puwedeng gawin mo 'pag traffic,” she added.

Rivera’s statement, as published on the online platform of The Philippine Star, drew the ire of some commuters on Twitter, where the actress was called “privileged” and “ignorant” of the woes of those who can’t afford a private vehicle.

Commuters line up for buses in Cubao, Quezon City in October 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The answer of Rivera notably came amid the “transport crisis” debate between political groups, including Bayan, and the government, with the latter rejecting the term.

Panelo, who in response advised commuters to be creative and to leave early to avoid getting stuck in traffic, took on a commute-only challenge that resulted in him being late to work after nearly four hours on the road.

Rivera, on her Instagram account on Monday, sought to clarify her own advice to commuters when it comes to traffic, and apologized to those who may have been offended by her answer.

She wrote: “Lahat tayo ay biktima ng trapik, at kani-kaniyang paraan lang kung paano tayo mag-cope sa sitwasyon. Ang tanong po kasi during the interview — kung panonoorin at pakikinggan niyo ang buong clip — ay naka-tuon sa aking pamamaraan kung paano ko personal na itinatahak ang problemang ito ng ating lipunan, kaya’t sinagot ko naman iyon ayon sa kung ano ang totoo sa akin — at sa akin lamang. I just wanted to give a light take on my personal experience, but was misinterpreted.”

“Hindi ko po nilalahat at lalu nang ginawang pangaral sa publiko ang aking pahayag… Kung sana’y naging mas responsable lang ang Philstar.com sa kanilang headline at sa hindi pag-edit ng tanong sa umpisa ng original video, hindi ako ma-tatake out of context.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Marian Rivera Gracia Dantes 🇵🇭 (@marianrivera) on

The question that prompted Rivera’s answer, as heard in recordings of the press conference, was: “Since magpa-Pasko na, [tumitindi] na ang traffic. Naaapektuhan ba ng traffic ‘yung katulad niyo nila Dingdong (Dantes, her husband)? Paano kayo naaapektuhan sa pamilya niyo ng traffic? At saka paano nakakatulong ‘yung delivery service ng Waltermart?”

While Rivera stands by her earlier answer about having “me time” during traffic, she apologized on Monday to those she may have offended.

“Pinaninindigan ko po ang aking sagot and I take full responsibility, pero humihingi rin ako ng paumanhin sa mga nasaktan, nainis, napikon at kahit sa mga mema lang — hindi ko po nais na gawin ito sa inyo. Sa susunod, magiging mas maingat ako sa aking mga sinasabi, at sana ganoon din ang mga pahayagan na tinitingala ng nakararami,” she wrote in her statement.

“Kinikilala ko po ang hirap na pinagdaraanan ng mga Pilipino sa kalbaryong ibinibigay sa ating lahat ng trapik. Ang bawat minuto na nasasayang sa kalsada ay dapat na sana’y nagagamit natin para makapiling ang ating mga mahal sa buhay — wala pong may gusto nito. Peace everyone,” Rivera said.