18 September 2009

Chika Chika Boom Boom

Show me someone who never gossips, and I'll show you someone who isn't interested in people. ~Barbara Walters

The now defunct, six feet under Chikatime gossip blog was not exactly an innovative concept when it first exploded onto Filipino computer screens in 2007. Perez Hilton had already been dominating the global gossip scene with his particular brand of shock and awe, but then along came fashion blogger Bryanboy who quickly copied Hilton’s format to blistering effect.
And I mean blistering

Bryanboy launched Chikatime in the Philippines to thunderous applause and hostile reaction. Chikatime and its clever creator were being incredibly audacious to say the least, considering the site's main targets were the REAL power people behind Manila's toxic high society. To fear as well, were the real dangers and risks involved with unabashedly redefining the entire social scene through honest, truthful yet sordid revelation and earth shattering chismis. The Philippines' "all powerful" who had previously enjoyed nearly full control over ‘their’ media were quite literally catatonic as expose after expose made its way to computer screens all over the country. No one was safe from the constant stream of shocking revelation.

With the advent of Chikatime, Manila’s HIGH society for the second time had NO control over a semi automatic rogue website that was systematically destroying individuals, one gossip dagger at a time, leaving a truly sordid trail of devastation and destruction in its wake. The gossip blog absolutely was a watershed moment in the Philippines, but we must never forget the fact that before Chikatime, there was another scathing "shoot and maim" gossip blog called Soozyhopper. The creator of the Soozyhopper site and Bryanboy’s predecessor was Raul Manzano who is a very high society insider. After Manzano shut down his gossip blog (NBI were circling) Bryan Boy saw his opportunity, started Chikatime and Manila would never be the same.

Finally, the very clever, blush wearing, frilly bow donning fashion blogger would have the last laugh and soon the choicest cuts of high society meat that sent him up the river not so long ago with the "do not invite to anything" paddle would be paying the ultimate price. They were hung out to dry. It was sweet toxic revenge against the very same people who had rejected Bryanboy’s own harsh branding and some very off putting more often than not "inept social mannerisms". Bryanboy told me himself that Celine Lopez led the charge against him and he was banished from the Gucci Gang forever after the two of them had a public altercation at Nami in Boracay.

It’s a fact that after Chikatime launched, many people were grasping for oxygen masks when private delectable details of their lives were blasted out publicly for all to see, read and sometimes even taste. Manila was hooked from the very first day and started to demand more from Chikatime.

The explosive tales of drug use and XXX sexcapades were plentiful and fruitful as were the tales of candid and not so candid debauchery. Chikatime exposed crassness to the extreme for all the lovers of dirty laundry and closeted skeletons. There was that infamous picture of a cocaine-snorting socialite, which was HUGE . Sure, socialites doing drugs is not new, but having their picture posted on the net snorting the drugs was.

Bryanboy seemed to target people one at a time, unleashing their darkest super secrets and behind the scenes uber-chis. For months, the gossip shrapnel continued to impale the site's victims forcing some very well heeled victims to actually vanish for weeks out of sheer humiliation. No one was safe as the Chikatime grenades were being lobbed into the epicentre of the Manila social whirl. In no time at all, Manila’s high society landscape was littered with limbless bodies riddled with gossip inflicted war wounds.

Some of Chikatime’s victims were embarrassed by shocking revelations, while others have yet to fully recover. For some, the vicious innuendo and caustic bits of reality had a sobering affect on them. But most others could not look away, checking it every five minutes trying desperately to quench their insatiable need, passion and desire for the dirt.

Addiction to the blog became a reality for many as the site became a magnet for everything debauched, criminal and down right ugly. Its creator you see was exacting revenge. Revenge for being rejected from the exact same thing Chikatime ripped to shreds. Society. Bryanboy longed to be part of the Gucci Gang and Manila’s High Society or rather Celine Lopez’s world as it was back then. And when the top tier socialite banished Bryanboy, it gave him all the impetuous he needed for his caustic brand of wicked payback.

I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody. ~Benjamin Franklin

Normally and traditionally, the Philippines' young hottish ‘jet set’ would write about each other in the most glowing of fashions in the lifestyle columns of the leading newspapers. The ‘best friends forever’ club would devote what seemed like a million inches of column space to each other week after week. These were the very same people that Chikatime attempted to annihilate.

I’m under the impression that most people believed that there was more than one person responsible for Chikatime as the gossip site itself clearly and openly declared. There is no question that bravery and a massive dash of courage was required by the 'supposed' creators of the gossip site who ultimately ended up being fabricated people who claimed to have an axe to grind against society and the ills of Manila. But it was really just Bryanboy being very clever and he managed to fool 100% of the people 100% of the time. He was a fractured genius.

Bryanboy was/is a well known fashion blogger with an ammo belt packed with toxic bullets aimed squarely at society figureheads and showbiz starlets and Pinoy hunks who were the very people who banished the fashion blogger into high society obscurity during a now infamous incident on Boracay.

Bryanboys's predecessor, Soozyhopper publisher Raul Manzano

In Manila, Chikatime truly was a ground breaking earth shattering 'woken up with iced water in the face' reality call that many 'innocent' people were sucked into, never ever aware of who exactly it was who was destroying their lives, one explosive detail at a time.
Manila truly was paralyzed with fear for the longest time due to the bomb shell revelations and I'm sure that a few of Chikatime's victims experienced more than one heart palpitation. As soon as Chikatime developed its wings and finally took flight, so did the search for it's mysterious anonymous creator.

There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true. ~Winston Churchill

Whether it was a cocaine snorting "somebody" in the toilets at Embassy or erectile dysfunction afflicting a leading fashion event organiser, everything was covered and exposed on the acid splash blog which kept Manila riveted and furious for many months, until it closure.

But I knew who was systematically, one by one, tearing down the exact tier of society the gossip blogger longed so deeply to be a part of.
High society.

Bryanboy was on a rampage and he asked my opinion many times whether or not I thought he was going 'overboard' with the delicious destruction of his friends and fellow fashion anomalies.

Before Chikatime, no one person had ever enjoyed such a prolonged period of slice, slash, hash, bash and dash like this new blogging medium offered the creator of the gossip blog. And did Chikatime ever love to gossip!

But people should never forget that before Chikatime, Manila DID indeed have another gossip driven blog called Soozyhopper which was penned and published by a well know Manila identity who thrived in the publishing world for some time. Before Chikatime, there was former ABS-CBN executive, Raul Manzano who held the Philippines captive for some time with his own blog of treachery, which also rendered many Manilaites helpless when the devastation and truth hit the proverbial fan.

This question was asked over and over again in both cafes and cocktail bars. Unsuspecting people were woken with a jar when their picture appeared with some disastrous revelation, which lead many to tears and many others to scream, WHO IS CHIKATIME?

Some people were caught looking at their computer screen and literally screamed with a combination of helplessness and rage. The Chikatime missiles tended to be nuclear, relentless and unforgiving which always inevitably found their intended targets.
It was a long series of ka-boom after ka-boom after ka-boom! And as a result Manila would never be the same.

But then a strange thing happened and the very people who were terrified of being on the gossip site became addicted to the demise and destruction of others (in many cases close friends), and the Chikatime roller coaster lost its brakes. Carnage was always inevitable. After a while road kill was everywhere you turned.

If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me. ~Alice Roosevelt Longworth
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