This blog article is already rather late. For those of us who are familiar with Philippine affairs, we know that issues don’t disappear; they are simply buried by more recent and more overly-sensationalized issues. A controversy in Philippine politics has a shelf life of a week, on average then dies a natural death, to a month, at most, when it involves sexually transmitted diseases contracted by famous stars in show business or kidnapping of a high profile witness in a case against the spouse of the president charged with corruption involving a sum of money that can scandalize the rich of Forbes Park Makati. It seems that the flavor-of-the-week is expected to disappear in the cloud of non-material pretty soon.
I will neither react acerbically to this column by this racist Chinese guy nor will I mouth invectives, which we Filipinos are so fond of, against the columnist from Hong Kong. These responses will not do any good to the Filipino ego, the Filipino sensibility, the Pinoy pride. Inasmuch as his column has not really added new insights to this self-deprecating view we have of ourselves, with or without the column, before or right after it saw print.
He, with all honesty, in spite of the supposed satire he used to defend his racist stance, voiced out a tautology that Filipinos know deep inside but are grimly scared to do any vocal admission-
We, for the longest time, have assumed the post of the world’s servants.
Ours is a sad case of a country with an unsure identity; a country that relinquishes its right to determine its fate on other people simply because our people have gone tired of doing something that is of import in this stage in nation building, that is, finding our true identity as a nation. And we’re left with the easier, albeit our pride rebels against this, made-up-for-us self identity: being the world’s servants.
I bewailed the words said by a Singaporean acquaintance who told me how she pitied her nanny who had a degree in English Literature and can discuss with her stylistic differences in English prose but will forever remain her nanny because the Philippines, who considers the woman a modern-day hero, will disown her in the event she comes home vowing never to be a housemaid again.
We’re a people working as personal domestic assistants in Hong Kong, housemaids in KL, English-speaking nannies in Singapore, and prized house helps in Beirut.
This thought is akin to a contagion that seems to eat us daily. We’re bound to be subservient forever to any race that can afford to pay our impeccable service plus the extra service that are not covered by the salary we receive: our identity. We bow to Americans, English, European, Saudis, Lebanese, and yes, even that moron of a writer on the other side of the South China Sea.
We’ve become like this because we’ve allowed ourselves to be in this position, we’ve surrendered whatever pride left in us in exchange of foreign currencies that keep our family comfortable and our country’s economy floating, and we succumbed to the destiny we think we can never escape.
But who says we’re stuck?
Fuck that idiot Hong Kong columnist.