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Artist Benny Blanco draws flak over Jollibee review

by Gaby Agbulos

BENNY BLANCO is currently under fire after posting a 3-minute video to his TikTok reviewing Jollibee’s food. In the video, he explained that it was his first time trying the food and that his stepmother is part Filipino, so he was constantly eating Filipino food when he was growing up. 

The 35-year-old is a famous American record producer, responsible for songs like Bad Decisions, Diamonds, Dynamite, Castle on the Hill, and Moves Like Jagger. He is also artist Selena Gomez’s current partner.

At present, the video has over 4.5 million views and 17, 000 comments, with many of them from Filipinos angered by his straightforward review.

This is because, in the video, he started by saying that the adobo rice was dry, and then continued on to say that the chicken was soggy. 

He then started to cover his nose after opening up the spaghetti, saying that it smelled like vomit, then spitting it out as soon as he took a bite.

“I feel like that just ruined my night,” he commented, repeatedly saying ‘ew’ afterward.

He also made fun of the fries from the fast food chain, saying that they were all limp, no longer bothering to try them.

He ended the video by saying: “Don’t go to Jollibee, this sh*t sucks.” 

Many people – Filipinos in particular – have shown anger toward the artist’s video, so much so that he has since started trending on platforms like TikTok and X as a result of this.

“Filipinos reacted this way because Jollibee is part of our childhood,” one commenter explained on Blanco’s video.

“When we got high grades in school, birthdays, or our parents want to spoil us, they take us to Jollibee. This is the affordable way they can take us out. Some can’t even afford it. There’s a lot of memories of Filipinos about Jollibee, [and] it’s also part of our culture.” 

The people’s reactions

While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, many Filipinos found Blanco’s review to be rather harsh, perhaps even bordering on racist. 

For 23-year-old Yan Bernardino, it wasn’t just the food he was bashing.

“Us Filipinos, we feel strongly about our food because that’s how we share our culture [with] other people and us sharing Jollibee to people from a [different] culture is like us welcoming them,” Bernardino stated, explaining his feelings.

“Him saying those things about food that we know and love, it’s off-putting. Sure, maybe it’s not your taste, but don’t do it that badly.”

Bernardino feels, simply, that Blanco did Jollibee dirty, from throwing out the food to spitting it out in its pain, he finds that it’s a disrespect both to the food, the company, and to Filipinos as a whole. 

He added: “We’re proud of Jollibee and our food, so if someone does that… girl, are you okay?”

Niña Tupa, 23, also found Blanco’s review to be rather off-putting, especially since the artist doesn’t fully understand Filipino culture. 

She explained: “Sa Jollibee, may franchises siya sa iba’t ibang countries, and it depends din sa country, [sa] panlasa ng culture nila. Siyempre hindi niya naman fully nau-understand why ganun yung lasa.” 

She notes that while it’s normal for people reviewing food to offer reviews and constructive criticism, she found Blanco’s approach disrespectful to Philippine culture.

23-year-old Bryan Gadingan shares similar sentiments, noting that many people were also upset given how famous Blanco is. 

“Mahal mo yung ginagawa ng country mo, [and] since yung Jollibee, galing sa Pilipinas, siyempre hindi ka matutuwa na may bad comments sa [kanya,] given yung magnitude niya dito sa country natin,” he said regarding how people reacted.

He also felt that Blanco’s reaction was rather harsh given its straightforward nature, and is unsure of Blanco’s motives in trying the food.

“‘Di ko alam kung dala ba ng hype kaya triny niya, or gusto niyang kumuha ng clout dun sa ginawa niyang reaction,” he added.

“Feeling ko hindi lang siya sanay sa ganung food, kasi nabanggit niya na first time niyang i-try. Baka [the] second time around, mag-iba yung [tingin] niya.” 

Why we love Jollibee

“Sa culture natin as a Filipino, talagang masayahin tayo, so yung Jollibee, it symbolizes what makes a Filipino,” Tupa said.

“Nahahanap natin yung saya [sa] mga nangyayari sa’tin, kaya siya staple sa Filipino culture.” 

Gadingan also notes that it’s become such a staple because of how affordable it is, and accessible to practically every Filipino, all while being of good quality and taste. 

Bernardino added: “We’ve done a lot of celebrations with Jollibee; we’ve had memories eating Jollibee, memories bonding with family at Jollibee. The thing that makes Jollibee special isn’t [just] the food, but the memories we make [while] consuming it.” 

Whether you love it or hate it, it’s undeniable that Jollibee is a staple in practically every Filipino household. It’s there at birthday parties, at Christmas time – any celebration, you’ll find at least one bucket of Chickenjoy sitting alongside everything else. 

While it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, there’s no reason to disrespect it. 



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