-a sour soup. a distinct Filipino comfort food for the soul. as unique as its people. as diverse as its culture. a blend of ingredients prepared to its sour perfection, exciting the palate, soothing the nerves, rousing the senses, bringing back memories of scenic greens, warm sun, blue waters, and the solace of home.
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Thursday, October 18, 2007

UPDATE: Desperate Housewives' Remark Nothing But a Silly Joke!

Related Post:
Desperate Housewives Picks on Philippine Medical Schools
Cyberpunk's So-Called Life


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 believes 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 Blogger.com 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 Blogger.com 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. :-)

11 taster(s) say...:

boredmate said...

very nice read!!! whew!! tough thinking you got there, although we really can not tell all the people what is there to do right. you always know that Filipinos are really sentimental... we tend to act when were angry, and angry man thinks he can do things more than he can... Filipino, only in the Philippines... God bless!!! casted my vote on your blog!!!

Jake said...

All points covered! I couldn't agree more. Good job. BTW, I voted that it was nothing but a silly joke. Filipinos need to loosen up! I'm Chinese-American...

Tommy said...

I voted for you in Filipino Blog of the week! Hope you win it! You deserve it because your writings are relevant and insightful... I'm not even Filipino but you're pretty! Tom from New York.

eam said...

Hi Boredmate: i so appreciate your comment. i was hesitant to publish this right in the middle of the Filipino blog of the week nomination because you know, i might lose votes for my unpopular stand! hehe... makes me breathe a little that somebody's reading my blog and still get a vote. lol. God bless you too and i wish you well. thank you. hope to see you again...

Hey Jake: thanks for stopping by and showing your support! Please come back again for more "sinigang" leftovers... :-)

hello tom from new york: nice of you to have stumbled on my blog and voted as well! thank you much! have a great one!

talksmart said...

You won the Filipino Blog of the Week award (week 78). Congrats!

Claim your award!

Cyberpunk said...

hmm we seem to share the same opinion regarding this issue...

http://kaide.blogspot.com/2007/10/filipinos-vs-desperate-housewives.html

don't worry about the votes...it's better to be honest and open than to be a sheep just to get votes ;)

eam said...

maraming salamat, talksmart! you just made my week... :-)

eam said...

thanks cyberpunk. i took a risk posting that and i'm glad i did! i'm also glad you found my site and gave a link to your blog so others might read and realize that there are two sides to every story not just theirs... cheers!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that you have gone out there and voiced your opinion on the matter... So many people have posted up Blogs of anger over an infantile matter. There are more important matters in this world such as starvation and death --- why waste their energy over a silly joke on Desperate Housewives?

Of course it is a comment that can be hurtful, but there are a million comments about races, ages, and sizes all over the comedy network -- in the U.S., in the Philippines, in other countries. Why should the Philippines be singled out as the one country that cannot be made fun of?

Also, I'd like to point out that we are a Christian country. And one of God's greatest teachings is forgiveness. He has forgiven us for the worst of our sins, the worst comments we've made, and the worst things we've done. He asks us to show the same type of forgiveness for others -- over and over again. People pray in church, "forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us", yet they go out there and seek revenge for some useless comment on TV!!! It's nuts!

So, I thank you for painting a clearer picture of the situation. We need to be more realistic. We need to be volunteering our time to make the world a better place, instead of attacking a fictional character across the globe..

eam said...

You've certainly added some great points on this article, "anonymous"...

The truth always hurts but the important thing is we rise up and take what comes as a challenge. We can't be onion-skinned to every issue that is thrown at us.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the matter. It really added more open-mindedness on the issue. A lot of people were really angered by what happened but glad there are those who saw it differently as I did... :-)

Anonymous said...

That was a very good article...I really wish that our shows would stop being so racist, they aren't even funny. There's so many people who are racist to filipinos because of the racist shows that they put up in the Philippines...It's kinda sad...

But congratulations on winning best blog of the week. ^_^ I found your article very interesting.