Of writers,national pride, and the environment

 

Sorry if I’ll write one more on this but I really can’t get enough of the Chip Tsao issue or at least relate some things to it. So out of curiosity yesterday I asked my wife to get me a copy of the Philippine Star on her way home from work. My main purpose? Just to check if someone wrote an article about this most talked about shenanigan. Well, someone did and I was all smiles as wifey handed over the thick Sunday issue.

F Sionil Jose

F Sionil Jose

The writer was no less than the national artist for literature himself, F. Sionil Jose. And not only that, his article, “Why are we a ‘nation of servants’? appeared to be a well-revised composition (no pun intended) of my two recent post about the Chip Tsao issue. And here are some excerpts from that article:

“Such insults hurt profoundly but the pain fades quickly and soon after all that enraged outburst, we settle down to the same complacency, we continue sending more of our women abroad to be raped by Arabs, demeaned by Malaysians and Chinese, heckled by the Brits. What has our sense of outrage brought us?”

Chip Tsao

Chip Tsao

“Do not kill the messenger (referring to Chip Tsao) who comes to us to tell the horrid truth about us. Ingest his message, then [sic] turn all that outrage, that vehemence, to the Filipinos who turned this beautiful country into the garbage dump of the region.”

***

F. Sionil Jose’s words rang like ever resonant tuning forks in my ears. “…then turn all that outrage, that vehemence, to the Filipinos who turned this beautiful country into the garbage dump of the region…” He wasn’t after all just talking about how most of us reacted to this recent release of racial slur but it was as if he’s hitting two birds with one stone. He’s whipping most of us with what has happened to our environment.

It’s a pity, but while most of us are trying to defend our national pride by loosely attacking someone from outside, we failed to recognize the fact that within us, Christians, and some self-declared devout are people who blatantly made our surroundings like one big trash can. How many times have we seen plastic cups come flying out of rickety tricycles, and heck, even from brand new cars? This just goes to show that neither social status nor educational attainment doesn’t guarantee ones concern of the environment. Our love and respect for Mother Nature needs a conscious effort that we all need to do. And we need to start doing it now.

In my opinion, wearing a shirt with the three stars and the sun, or wailing as if on cue once we feel discriminated, isn’t one way of showing our nationalism. It is by recognizing and acting accordingly to the problems that we face right in front of us, that we earn the respect of other people – especially foreigners. Let’s not just get contented with being labeled as being hospitable, resilient (if this still counts), skilled workforce and religious. Let’s do more than these and let’s show the world that we aren’t a nation of servants, nor we are living in a nation of trash.

***

If you can still see us, then well do better next year.

Wifey, son and I on a candle lit alfresco dinner. If you can still see us, then we'll do better next year.

Looking at the bright side, it’s good to know that at least there are a million Filipinos who heed the call to participate in the Earth Hour celebration – and if it was by choice or not, I actually don’t care. For me, just to learn that most of us have “voted” for Earth even just for an hour is enough. Hopefully, we raise this level of awareness and be a part of the majority (is it?) who starts to recognize that something must be done about the environment.

***

Other tidbits from yesterday’s Philippine Star Sunday edition:

  • Finally, I read something sensible in Joey De Leon’s column. Hope he keeps it that way.
  • Until now, I still can’t stop feeling the hypocrisy over some charity drives. Bulgari is selling rings intended to help some children. 20% of the P19,000 they say will go to Save the Children campaign. You can do more than that, Bulgari. And why can’t those buyers just give the whole amount instead in the first place?
  • This I find alarming: Explosives chemicals were found in US baby formulas. 15 brands are in question for having perchlorate, an oxidizer in solid fuels used in explosives, fireworks, and rockets. Isn’t this the reason why our baby boy seems to act like the infamous coyote who has taken acme stuffs? Hmmm.
  • Demi Moore saved one man from committing suicide through her Twitter network. Great Job mrskutcher, crisn73 is now one of your followers.

 

 

 

Photo credits:

F. Sionil – Wikipedia.org

Chip Tsao – gmanews.tv

Carbonnyc

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Advertisements

More on the Chip Tsao Issue

Someone posted a very long comment on my recent post about Chip Tsao and I tried writing my reply on the comment field but it’s too long to be in there. And so this blog is intended as a reply to that.

Vlad,

Wow! I was overwhelmed by your comment, but let me try to answer one point you presented:

Your analogy about the reaction to the girlfriend-called-whore-incident may be valid…IF AND ONLY IF it was the first time that it was done to me. Obviously, and out of testosterone power, the immediate reaction could be as more violent than the act itself. HOWEVER, if, on another instance, I’m once again walking with her and out of nowhere ANOTHER guy comes along shouting and calling her whore for everyone to hear, then I might think, “hey, there must some valid reason why everyone is calling her a whore.”

This second scenario is where we are currently at. I can’t recall how many times we’ve reacted like most of us did with Chip Tsao but I can say that we’ve reacted very inappropriately.

Most of us attacked the BBC when the pinay katulong thing was shown. Later, we all learned that the Filipina actress who portrayed as the maid agreed to play the script. And so probably after that, the British have looked for other races to be cast in their shows thinking that Filipinos cannot appreciate their humor because we are too busy “protecting” the rights of our workers abroad.

Most of us were also angered and demanded public apology from Teri Hatcher when she mentioned something about not wanting any doctors coming from the Philippines in of the episodes of her show, Desperate Housewives. Once again, wrong person was targeted. She was only saying what was written in her script. Secondly, we got so offended but most of us are fully aware of the existence of diploma factories in Carriedo. That I attribute to corruption. We really need to do better come 2010.

I also remember we we’re all out when Claire Danes commented on Manila being a land of cockroaches. Yes, that may be wrong generalization, but then again, let’s face it, there is truth to that. And such is the same with Chip Tsao’s article. Let’s be frank, how many of us will disagree that we send to Hong Kong a lot of domestic helpers? I’m neither being sarcastic nor offending, but yes, we send a whole lot. In fact, I know one and I’m proud of her.

Once again I will make it clear that I recognize the fact that a demeaning remark was made by Chip Tsao. What I just don’t understand why there’s so much negative hype, emotion and effort (like writing this comment) being wasted on such issue. And I can’t think of a better comparison to what we are currently doing but we’re like one big mob. We only join forces when we are stirred. Matapang lang tayo kung may kukuyugin. Once the issue subsides, we are all back to our own old ways not until another one calls or writes something derogatory about us. That to me is really pathetic.

Let’s all start identifying the main problem first before we make solutions. It’s just basic problem solving. If we don’t do this, we make loose actions that do nothing more than aggravate the problem, sever our diplomatic ties and lessen our life expectancy. Finally, I’d leave with this, which I know every Filipino will understand, “And hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan, di makararating sa parurounan.” Let’s remember and learn from the past. Let’s face the truth and deal with it. And if we don’t we might as well start appreciating more articles like what was written by Chip Tsao.

Thanks once again for dropping by, reading my blog and giving your well written argument. I’m not offended by it.

Hopefully, this will be my last post on this issue; although, I like the fact that it has boosted my blog hits. Isn’t this what they call, bad publicity is still publicity? Hmmm.

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

We need more Chip Tsao

 

I was in the gym last night trying to lose some weight and stress when this news about Chip Tsao caught my attention. I knew it; this one will be on air for some time. Filipinos are once again pissed and we are once again united.

This news has been all over the networks and yet the memory of my Bloody Bisaya blog is still fresh in my mind. Call me insensitive and unpatriotic or even someone coming from Hong Kong, but I’m actually not. I’m just once more amused about how most of us Filipinos became suddenly defensive of what was written. For the nth time we cry foul.

We once again resent the fact that someone from abroad wrote a discriminating article against us. We readily get angry. And most likely, I bet, some militant groups are once again wasting their time painting their white or red banners and forming the ever pitiful effigy to be burned in front of the erring nation’s embassy. The words ban, persona non-grata, and my ever favorite, apology, will be in every news, editorials, blogs and other media there is. Once again, this for me is pathetic.

What’s even more pathetic is the fact that even our politicians whom we expect to display diplomacy and composure during times like this has lose it. I saw on Mr. Golez, on TV, who even wants this issue get over with by having a boxing match with the infamous Chip Tsao. Why? Is it because such act will immediately get approval from what he considers masa? Hmmm. We might as well expect more politicians to jump into the bandwagon and get down to this level…election is just around the corner, remember? What a perfect issue to get voters’ sentiments. Chip Tsao has just become a cheap (and even effective) campaign material.

That’s why I see the need to have more Chip Tsao. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Obviously, “we” are once again united. We are now quick to stand up and say we are discriminated – as if we don’t and haven’t. What was written by Chip Tsao is like an early Holy Week reflection material for us. For a moment, let’s look in the mirror. If we can’t honestly say that we haven’t discriminated or ridiculed someone (especially other races or minorities), then stop that false patriotism and stop being offended.
  2. With election time fast approaching, we now can clearly see how our politicians will deal with this issue. If we have the proper discernment we’ll easily spot those doing nothing but politicking. Let’s cross them out of our list. If we don’t, sooner or later, we’ll read or hear from someone saying that we are a nation of dumb voters.
  3. This issue is a wakeup call to everyone. Let’s face it. It doesn’t even matter what nature of job we have, whether you’re an engineer, nurse or a decent caregiver, we are still working for others. It gets even clearer once we get out of the country and start working for other nations; we basically have become their servants. Just in case you don’t know, your manager is someone else’s servant. Yes, even your expat boss is someone else’s servant (though he gets way higher salary).

I know and feel that having someone write something downgrading against a nation or race isn’t any good. It is an uncalled generalization that pierces each and everyone’s ego. But this for me isn’t a reason for most of us to fret over it. Going to the streets, calling for public apologies, banning products, etcetera, for me is counterproductive. It exposes even more how emotionally frail we are. Writers such as Chip Tsao must see something we don’t or have chosen to ignore. So instead, of crying and shouting like babies with tantrums, let’s take the criticism openly and do something worthwhile to correct it.

 

  • **

I heard Chip Tsao has apologized already. Now, being a nation known for as the only Christian nation in Asia ready to forgive? Just something to reflect on while we enjoy the beaches during our vacation next week.

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!