On Social Scents

Just before I went home yesterday, my officemate shared a link to a blog entry ranting about a certain Malu Fernandez. Her article from People Asia Magazine has earned the ire of a lot of filipinos because of how Malu wrote about having to spend a flight with overseas filipino workers (OFW’s.)

Much has been commented already so I’ll leave the ad hominems in that entry and the interested reader to go through each of them. As for me I don’t find it very surprising to find such bigotry in the magazine. I may have been vocal going against bigotry in varying degrees and different forms and political incorrectness in different forums elsewhere but I still have to admit that these still remain a big chunk of the taint in the filipino’s psyche.

Far more than still finding people looking down on other people belonging society’s lower strata, I still find common filipinos good natured and hospitable to expatriates yet downright rude to his or her fellow countrymen. I still find common filipinos equating terrorists with moslems without the same lot thinking twice about how much their Spanish conquerors used Christianity to terrorize a nation well off without them in the first place.

Far more than reading about people who judge other people by their scents, we still find present day Philippine society pegging the norm of beauty on the features of the white woman just as previous generations have looked up to the Spaniards and Americans as masters for more than three centuries all in all. To add more to the insult, we now find a growing number of middle and upper class parents discouraging their children from speaking Filipino as society, (and just recently, the government,) deems one who speaks fluent English more “educated” than one who speaks fluent Filipino. Nevermind if more prestigious Asian universities, at least compared to those bannering the Philippine academe, in countries where speaking English doesn’t necessarily put you at an advantage against those who can’t, have shown that human language doesn’t imply academic excellence and critical thinking. The average Filipino just won’t see himself as someone greater than any other race.

The list could go on to add up and depress and sadden the nationalist. The fact remains: bigotry in all its forms have found its way into the fabrics of the filipino culture so much that it has become a distinctive flaw of the national identity. Read a lot of the same people who expressed disdain and outrage over the read using a form of the same political incorrectness or atrocity in one way or the other. How these makes them any different from the thing they were going against, I guess only they themselves can tell.

What is it with a lot of fellow filipinos that makes it hard for them to respect differences of other religions, ethnic groups, ideologies and races, I guess I’ll never know. If only these same people knew how easier life has become when I learned when to keep my mouth shut a long time ago then maybe, just maybe, they could actually contribute a whole lot to society from lesser quarrels, disagreements, clashes, hatred or wars to maybe even the absence of such.

Sounds as far-fetched as Utopia? Maybe because it is.


One Response

  1. […] Google her? But… oh. Look… KILL THAT STINKIN PRETENSIYOSANG LECHON to do list part 2 On Social Scents Some news turns me red sometimes and this is one… ouch! A Must Read to Everyone. Let Them Eat […]

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