That Christmas has been so badly commercialized is a sad fact. The show "Christmas with Barney Live in Manila" is perfect proof.

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Christmas with Barney (tape) Live in Manila: A Super-Dee-Dupang Sing-Along
By Angelica Bautista Viloria
December 7, 1999

Note: For those who do not understand the Filipino language, the word "dupang" means "greedy."

Like a thief on a December 5, 1999 afternoon, the producers (don't know who they are) came to Shangri-la Plaza Cinema 1 and robbed parents blind. Shelling out P300 to P450 per head for any show or presentation is no joke, especially during an economic crisis. The producers, however, took no note of this and took advantage of parents whose kids, of course, are big fans of Barney.

My son, Adi, perhaps, has ESP. Even before the show started, he was already saying: "Want to go home." Perhaps he knew the show would not be worth it. Well, I will never know. All I know is that watching Barney move and dance a little, while singing-along with a tape, for 30-45 minutes, does not amount to P300-450 per person. Why, they even experienced some technical problems. In the middle of the show, someone suddenly announced: "Barney will be back in two seconds." Two seconds came and Barney was still nowhere in sight. When he came back after a few minutes, he repeated his last song. Now, didn't I tell you I wuz robbed, in broad daylight?

Other parent-friends say we were still quite lucky. The earlier shows were said to have had two kids who couldn't carry a tune nor act. Ours had grown-ups pretending to be kids. Luckier still were those who stayed away. Did you miss the show? Good for you.

Nowhere to be found were Baby Bop and BJ. I guess they couldn't stand to be part of such a mediocre presentation. People would have been better off staying at home, playing with your Barney and Friends stuffed toys, while playing your tapes in the background.

I know the show started out by saying that it was meant to be a sing-along and not a "full-blown concert." A sing-along, truth to tell, is still quite different from a rip-off.

This is clearly a case of producers without any conscience. It was profit at all cost, with no consideration of whether the audience would leave the theater happy, having spent hard-earned money on something the whole family would enjoy. It was definitely not worth it. The people behind this show should apologize to the parents who paid for tickets to this show. May producers of this kind go the way of the dinosaur and I ain't talking about Barney.

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Christmas with Barney (tape) Live in Manila: A Super-Dee-Dupang Sing-Along
Written December 7, 1999
Copyright © 1999 by Angelica Bautista Viloria of

Angelica Viloria is a Filipina mom, living in the Philippines, who works in a credit rating company, and occasionally posts articles in her family homepage at