Last night, Chairman Cris Castro, VP Alex Lagula, Rael and I attended MAGFI’s weekly meeting to discuss the magic community’s unified response to the TV exposure on Channel 7’s Imbestigador.

Representatives of the Bulacan group of magicians and Salamangka Filipino were also around.  The room was packed with concerned magicians from all over Metro Manila. If the exposure brought about one thing good, it was that magicians from different groups gathered as one, big community of brothers to take a unified stand against the latest assault on the art of magic.

Anyway, in last night’s meeting, MAGFI, Inner Magic Club, and Salamangka Filipino agreed to tone down the reaction or the rhetorics. Doc Moraleta and Nap Perez even suggested that we desist from reacting at all.

However, since Rannie Raymundo is a personal friend of Mike Enriquez, we finally agreed on writing the show’s producers a polite, non-confrontational letter appealing to their sense of fair play. The letter will also ask a meeting with Mike Enriquez and suggest how the program can report about magic without exposing its secrets.

The groups decided not to go the legal route or mount strident protests. Doing so will only create a controversy that will feed the hunger of network people for more exposure.

Surely, that’s what happened in the case of Valentino’s The Greatest Secrets of Magic Revealed.  The magic community reacted noisily then. The result? The network capitalized on the program’s gained notoriety by airing more episodes.

Coming from the entertainment industry, Rannie facilitated the group into taking the perspective of not burning bridges with media. In the past, the network handed out shows and TV appearances for magicians regardless of affiliation. In many ways it has helped propagate magic in the public’s consciousness. So going to battle with them legally will be counter-productive.

In our analysis, media was just doing its job—which was to produce a show that would rate. They would try to accomplish that task no matter what. It’s a job they have to do, and they would do it the best way they can.

Unfortunately, the “best way they can do it” encroached on the inner sanctum of our sacred resources, namely, our trade secrets. So we felt violated.

However, if we get right down to it, the blame can be laid at the yard of the magic community. Somebody betrayed the art. He is one of us. He moves among us. He is probably a friend we have known for a long time.

Sad but true…

And since the problem emanates from our end, we need to address the problem from our end and not from media’s end, of which we have no control.

This means that once we unmask him, we must have the resolve to discipline this traitor. Expulsion from our groups (if he is a member of any of the groups) is the least we can do. Surely we don’t need his companionship anymore.

Next, let us give him a lesson that other future masked magicians can learn from. Let’s make revealing secrets on TV extremely expensive or prohibitive for those who will sell out.

Judas, after betraying Jesus, couldn’t get back to the good graces of the other apostles. He couldn’t preach anymore. In short he lost his job. The 30 pieces of gold meant nothing. He suffered more than he gained. He squandered his chance to become a saint. He ended his career.

If we can make it clear that betrayers of the art of magic will suffer a career-ending consequence, I think that would be a strong deterrent against anyone thinking about revealing the secrets of magic.

Stay magical and keep the secrets of magic,


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