Sinigang Sinigang For The Soul

UPDATE: Desperate Housewives’ Remark Nothing But a Silly Joke!
comment 13 Comments October 19, 2007 – 6:34 am

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Desperate Housewives Picks on Philippine Medical Schools

I placed a mini mock poll on my blog to run for 2 weeks because I just can’t believe, after reading tons of blogs, that I’m all alone in my opinion that the Desperate Housewives’ remark shouldn’t be taken out of context. In this blog’s poll, 22% finds the remark offensive, hence demands an apology, 11% doesn’t care on the issue while 66% agree that there’s nothing more to it but a silly joke. Sure, it was but a mini poll with only 54 people voting but points my case that there are two opinions to a story. Mine may not be a popular choice but it does not make it wrong, just because there are more people against it. It appears I’m not alone after all.

There are silent voices out there who thinks that we have indeed taken this issue out of proportion. Before you lambast me with your political correctness rhetorics on your stand on the Housewives issue, let it be known that I respect your view so please respect mine and my reader’s clear cut opinion. I doubt if many of those who found it a racial slur even watched the entire episode OR they just relied and formed their opinions at once solely on a one minute clip they saw on youtube! If you watched the entire episode you’d understand the events leading to the remark.

Let’s just stop the hypocrisy and double standard. We always laugh at other people or other nationalities’ expense but once we’re the object of joke, everybody stops laughing! We suddenly become pikon, balat-sibuyas and asar-talo (onion-skinned and sore losers). We only need to turn our cable channels to Comedy Central where stand-up comics of different races make fun of everybody else bordering racism and insults for an hour or so 24/7 and nobody’s boycotting the station. You must have heard of South Park! They’ve ridiculed every imaginable character, from Presidents to religious people, TV and movie stars, to religion. This long-running vulgar and offensive American show has a huge following, where the object of their parody and satire are directed toward Americans themselves. They have a contract to run til 2011 for its 15th season!

Here’s a one-liner from Desperate Housewives with the word Philippines on it, suddenly, it’s a racial slur against the Filipinos and Filipino doctors?! Think again. It so happened that Desperate Housewives is an international TV show syndicated all over the world but how many times does Philippine television get away with discrminatory remarks and racial slurs?! Philippine TV makes fun of other races all the time and we laugh about it! We even have songs so popular to the masses that it’s scary we haven’t been gun down by the race being made fun of (…and this other video is supposedly done by a Filipino!). We don’t hear the Chinese, Bombays, Indians, Europeans even Americans we stereotype, calling on their people to boycott the Philippines! They have better things to do than meddle with mundane things.

The Philippines’ knee-jerk reaction was to me an overkill. Only in the Philippines does a story like that get to be on the front page and headlines’ newspapers for what could be a short article in the entertainment section. Only in the Philippines does ‘respectable’ lawmakers and Senators join in the bandwagon and proclaim their distaste to a show they haven’t even seen in full. Only in the Philippines, does a congressman file a resolution that calls for a ban on airing of Desperate Housewives in the Philippines. Here we have a government whose power is engulfed with controversies left and right and impending impeachment issues anew; here we have insurmountable unending troubles on corruption, bureaucracy, cronyism, political dynasty, population explosion, waste control, educational decline to name a few- the list could go on! Must we really make a huge deal on a fake character on TV when there are more pressing reality issues at hand?

And on a recent news, Philippine Medical Schools plan to join in the legal battle. Please! Can’t we let this die down? ABC already gave their sincere apology and even noting to edit that episode. Plus, they are also inviting talented Filipinos with background on media and TV to come and work for them. What more do you want? Teri Hatcher’s head on a platter? Let’s be more civilized than that!

We are really making a mountain out of a molehill here because the general opinion of Americans and other nationalities here in the US with regards to Filipino medical practitioners and Filipinos in general are high and it hasn’t changed after watching Desperate Housewives! Filipinos are well respected in their fields here. Sure, there is a constant ‘pressure’ to prove what you can do and what you can offer in your field but that is true for ALL regardless of sex, race and or gender. It is not just us, Filipinos trying to make a mark in the world; everyone must prove their competence in their chosen fields.

In the real world, when somebody questions your qualifications (which happens all the time especially if you’re starting on a new job!), you don’t go to your boss and complain about discrimination- you prove your worth! In the workplace, you are judged not by your race but by what you do. Americans do NOT think any less of Filipinos. There is no discussion on that here. If anything, we are greatly admired for our intelligence and hard work!

So why are we pursuing this now becoming stale affair? To save face? Why are we so defensive? Why are we really hurt that bad? Why do we feel insulted? Why do we take it so personally? Is it because there’s truth in it? Why do we need to overreact and show the whole world our pettiness? Who are we kidding?

Our educational system is in crisis. It has been in a state of decline for more than two decades. We are not producing enough ‘highly-educated’ graduates anymore! Wake up Philippines! Majority of our college graduates can not even converse in straight english anymore without struggling. High school and elementary students can not spell correctly and the use of txt mesaging das not help at ol n mproving the studes skils 4 dey bring dis kind of riting n deir essays! These are our future medical practitioners, future nurses, doctors and physical therapists! To the many of us who still believe we’re the leaders in education in Asia, get the facts by googling key words like decline of Philippine Education, Philippine Education problems or Philippine education crisis on the web. Read and be informed on the real status of our educational system. Before we berate others of their ignorance for not seeing it as a racial slur, check how our students really are faring today because they will be our future professionals.

I am a graduate of some nursing school in the Philippines. Seriously. Oh shoot, will Davao Doctor’s College sue me for saying that? Are they going to boycott this blog? I’m just saying that my school didn’t make me who I am today. It is a part of me BUT NOT all of me! Not to sound ungrateful but we, OFWs have to rely on our own resilience– the ability to bounce back and recover from adversity, our adaptation– a slow, usually unconscious modification of individual and social activity in adjustment to cultural surroundings, our assimilation, the process whereby a minority group gradually adopts the customs and attitudes of the prevailing culture, and our hard work and zealousness to survive abroad.

Our own individual successes are not because we graduated from some school but because of our Filipino-ness. The traits mentioned are all Filipino traits inherent on all of us and for that I am most proud of. Nobody’s putting nobody down. Now, if only we can move on with our lives here while our Philippine government hopefully puts our hard-earned dollars and Philippine taxpayer’s money into good use like the Senate approving the House approved 2008 proposed budget where the largest share of USD3.332 billion is going to the Department of Education. Isn’t that better news than barging into the fictitious lives of desperate housewives in Wisteria Lane?©

Note: Polls on remembers IP addresses and computers so a person can only vote one time for the duration of the poll. One may change their vote at any time but one can not vote more than once. It also does not allow voting from someone using a proxy or hiding its IP address. I tried all those just to check! So in essence, polls on is cheat proof! It is impossible to manipulate to get the result you want. Just so you know, in case you have doubts on its validity. :-)

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