Insulted much? Talaga lang huh!

The viral issue at www.hongwrong.com smacks of cultural ignorance on the publisher and on the educational system disseminating it. We are at an Age where Diversity is being embraced by the enlightened and I could have easily snapped back with this highly suggested “Widow” edit : “I am Chinese and my government is Asia’s bully, that’s why we take what can be taken when no one’s looking.”

So angry are we that a primary textbook and, even a few years before, a dictionary has defined our nationality to be synonymous to maids.  Insulting much? Is it really?
So angry are we that a primary textbook and, even a few years before, a dictionary has defined our nationality to be synonymous to maids.
Insulting much? Is it really?

Then what?
Will doing that belie the fact that majority of the Filipinos in HK are INFACT Domestic Helpers? Not only in HK but in the Middle East and Italy, for that matter.

So angry are we that a primary textbook and, even a few years before, a dictionary has defined our nationality to be synonymous to maids.

Insulting much? Is it really?
Is that more insulting than having a BS Education degree but one is relegated to scrub bathroom floors and tend to children not their own?

Is it more painful than having to work stay-in with a family of complete strangers miles away from one’s own?

Couple those instances with the threat of abuse and maybe death even by one’s own hand

A risky trade off isn’t it?
All thanks to the lack of opportunities in our country, our educated do not earn what should be rightfully ours yet those who work around our dysfunctional system are living high.

Add the many local employees who face “endo” just so, companies can save on their OPEX.

Ah the disparity of the rich and poor widens yet tolerant aren’t we of the abuse of the politicians we elected into office and the companies we patronize rabidly.

We sleep consoling ourselves with the delusion of being a Proud Filipino yet the truth can never be consoled with lies. It haunts until we awaken and grasp it.

English butler, French maid.
Popular references to old world jobs that has found its way to new world pop culture in Batman’s Alfred and in a Cosplay costume but why aren’t the Brits or the French taking offense?

But with us Flipinos, we take on full metal gear online and annihilate ANYONE who dares slap us with the truth that we are trying oh sooooo hard to deny.

What is the use of independence, if the slaves of today will be tyrants of tomorrow. " says Padre Florentino to the dying Simon in Rizal's "El Filibusterismo"
Suck it, kababayans! This is what Rizal has written about a century hence: “What is the use of independence, if the slaves of today will be tyrants of tomorrow. “; We were not ready for independence because we know not anything of who we are.

Suck it, kababayans! This is what Rizal has written about a century hence:
“What is the use of independence, if the slaves of today will be tyrants of tomorrow. ”

We were not ready for independence because we know not anything of who we are. Our pride is based on arrogance and not on merit. Our identity based on the dictates of the powerful, not owned and never understood. Thus, we hunger for POWER WITHOUT MERIT. We see it in our government, we feel its debility in our system, we breathe it like air and pass it off as normal. Like drugged prostitutes we go by, we exist but we know not anything about living.

We are here but we are not.

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About Ms. Mike Portes

Mike is the author of "Minsan may Isang Puta", an allegory which has been circulating since 2004 and with over 50,000 likes and shares in social media alone. It won a film grant in 2010 to be included in the multi-narrative Indie film "Ganap na Babae" (International title: Garden of Eve). The teaser, reviews and commentaries are here. The movie was honored as Cinemalaya 2010's opening film and has won international and local recognition. The royalties from the initial 150 copies of Mike's first sole-authored book, The Dove Files, went to a Project Malasakit scholar who graduated Cum Laude in April 2013, the rest was also paid forward to baby Mark who underwent a liver transplant in March 2013. Part of the royalties of the "Minsan may Isang Puta" book at Barnes and Noble Online goes to support the education of a young Yolanda survivor taking up B.S. Accounting at U.P. Tacloban.

33 Comments on “Insulted much? Talaga lang huh!”

  1. So much noise about a textbook for children from another land, which is true anyway.

    But what about the textbook for children in our own country? The Aquinos from Ninoy, to Cory, to Noynoy are hailed as some sort of heroes. Why is there no noise there? This is clearly misleading our children or is this some sort of indoctrination? People in DepEd responsible for this are all assholes!

    1. It is as misleading as having Aguinaldo as this Republic’s first President. Textbook history is often written with political color, it is then up to the standards of discussion an educational institution upholds so discernment is employed. Unfortunately, we have but a few that commit to enlightenment.

      1. 2016 looms and the facts that our inept textbook history do not share are again being repeated. Different casts and scenario but the bottomline, A REPLAY every elction:

        “In 1897 Aguinaldo accepted a substantial bribe from Spain to remove himself to Hong Kong, but he returned in May 1898, with Admiral Dewey’s assistance, to help the Americans defeat the Spaniards.” (Reference: http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/filipino-insurrection-against-us)

        Was it really a REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES that Aguinaldo was jubilant about when in truth, the yielding of Manila was staged to benefit Spain and America despite the fierce Anti-Imperialist criticism from the U.S. mainland.

        Notable that in just two weeks after Aguinaldo’s proclamation in Malolos on January 23, 1899, an American patrol shot a Filipino guerrilla.

        “General fighting broke out and the Filipino fighters resisted bravely, though their leaders had all gone casually off home for the weekend. Aguinaldo tried to stop the fighting, but the Americans pressed on, the nationalists resumed their guerrilla tactics and the conflict dragged on for three years. When President McKinley announced his determination to ‘civilise and Christianise’ the Filipinos, Andrew Carnegie sourly remarked that about 8,000 of them had already been completely civilised and sent to heaven.

        Aguinaldo was captured in 1901 at a secret headquarters in northern Luzon and soon swore allegiance to the American regime. He said he realised that the majority of Filipinos wanted peace, and he was ‘confident that under the protection of the American people we would enjoy all the liberties promised to us…’ He was rewarded with a US government pension and retired from view until 1935, when he ran for president of the Philippines and lost.” (Reference: http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/filipino-insurrection-against-us)

        An oh, Aguinaldo eliminated Bonifacio and Antonio Luna.
        Luna allegedly entrusted the funds of the government to his alleged fiancee Ysidra Cojuangco. Does that last name ring a bell?

        And the pageantry of Philippine politics commenced.

        Filipinos were given a democracy with fine prints favorable to a few. Our dear “Puta” prostituted from one patron to another.

        Ah, Rizal just keeps on being validated at every election.

      2. Say a person does not have the means to witness an enlightening discussion they know nothing about, can you recommend them any historical books or websites to get started?

  2. Like the author says, the vast majority of Filipinos in other Asian countries are domestic workers, truck drivers or restaurant workers. That is simple fact and something Filipinos should be ashamed of as a nationality. One problem is that college “guidance councilors” either are non-existent or incompetent. It is just plain irresponsible for a high school graduate to study nursing or elementary education when they should know damn well that there will be no job for them when they graduate. They end up being one of 6 people trying to sell 1 person 1 shirt or 1 pair of shoes.

    When they get tired of working 6 months and then being fired in favor of another crop of incompetent retail help with the same BS degrees, they turn to trying to find a job in Hong Kong, Singapore or the Middle East where even male nurses become truck drivers because there are not enough nursing jobs available for all the graduates.

    Filipinos themselves are responsible for this sorry state-of-affairs, not the Singaporeans who recognize that most Filipinos in Singapore are, in fact, domestic helpers or in other non-skilled occupations.

    1. I would rather not take shame in taking blue collar jobs when this is the only means to make a living. What is shameful is having a government that oppresses the very lifeline of our country’s economy and an electorate that keeps on empowering the same government over and over.

      1. I think you misunderstood me. It is no shame to take a job below one’s educational level, but it is a shame that so many people study courses for which they should know there are no damn jobs! Maybe if people studied such things as electrical engineering and commercial farming they might actually have a skill they could sell locally rather than going abroad to work sweeping floors and changing diapers.

        1. Thank you for the clarification. I agree with you on that. Philippines is supposedly a “developing” agricultural country yet our educational system churns out nurses by the hundred thousands, who often end up underemployed locally and abroad. Our government exports manpower like there’s no tomorrow but most contracts are at the detriment of the “product” who eithergo illegal to escape oppressive work conditions or are returned to sender packed in a box.

      2. @MS.Mike You are correct, there is no shame in feeding ones family and doing whatever it takes to aCCOMPLISH THAT TASK.

        The well intentioned Mr.Lynch blames the ‘guidance counselor’ but that is not where the problem lies. It is the half-ass degrees that are churned out by alleged ‘Nursing’ schools that are blatantly stealing tuition from hard-working students and a gov’t. bureaucracy that then picks their pockets before sending them to far off lands to be “NURSES” when the the fact is the ‘education’ they PAID for doesn’t educate them enough to pass a ‘NURSING -BOARD’ EXAM anywhere in the West(where they could get a decent paying job as an actual “NURSE’ if they’d got the pre-requisite education that they initially PAID FOR from the fraudulent “NURSING SCHOOL” to beging with, repeat ad nauseum for any other trade ‘school’. ).The education system is failing the student, the gov’t. is abusing the student and the economy at home abuses everyone. A vicious cycle that could be stopped by better schools for OFW’s going abroad. What a disgrace and humiliating experience it must be when an ‘OFW’ thinks they are going to be a ‘NURSE’ when they arrive in LA/NYC/LONDON/PARIS/MUNICH wherever, and only to find the degree they got is worthless toilet paper and they are mopping floors, or worse, instead.

        The schools just laugh all the way to the bank.

  3. Since more than 60% of the Philippine population are poor and only having access to redundant reading materials, it’s no wonder that our workforce is under-skilled, hence the need to go overseas to find a better employment opportunity.

    1. Given the better access to information nowadays, students should not confine their education to what can be learned from textbooks and within the four walls of the classroom. They are limiting their skill set that way.

  4. People from Hong Kong typically distance themselves from mainland China and its government, so your first paragraph trying to get back at them by insulting China just shows your own ‘cultural ignorance.’ Learn from HK’s example and at least make your racist jibes accurate!

    1. This is hilarious! So I am dismissed as culturally ignorant based on that and to think this article.isn’t about the Hong Kong residents/Chinese at all.

      Ok you say Hong Kong permanent residents aren’t Chinese? So please tell me, Hong Kong history aside, what nationality do they hold? I haven’t been to HK for years. Has anything changed since the CNL or the Chinese Nationality Law was adopted by the HK system since their turn over to Beijing?

      1. You don’t need to be so sensitive, my last line was obviously a joke. I meant your response about China’s government being Asia’s bully wouldn’t be received as an insult by the average Hong Kong local, who would probably agree with you. Insult something they actually hold dear if you want to make an impression (or rise above it and just don’t).

        1. This just gets funnier and I am saying that not to insult but out of amusement.

          Where in the article did I ever give the impression that I ever felt the insulted? If such is none existent then to throw back an insult just doesn’t compute, would it?

          It’s a textbook page that is viral and not a rant page thus facts, regardless of the culturally ignorant stereotyping, are what are needed as inputs not insults. I just took the textbook author’s lead in being “perceptive”.

          Besides, is this about China at all? This is about a HK textbook. Did it ever occur to you that I am aware of the sour relationship that HK residents have for the mainland? If that is so, don’t you think that rebuttal was infact a challenge for HK to do away being affiliated with the ignorance of China?

          Post something of relevance aside from the name calling and the condescending attitude, answer the questions I posed.

  5. Because it’s a fill-in-the-blank questionnaire, and the “correct” answer is supposed to be “Filipino”, it most certainly is offensive. And to Jerry, your comment “That is simple fact and something Filipinos should be ashamed of as a nationality” is not only insensitive, it’s off the mark. While the test itself perpetuates a stereotype, that stereotype isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. Sure, Filipinos would probably rather be known for something in a more educated-related field, but they in no way should be “ashamed as a nationality” that they are able to procure employment overseas as domestic helpers. Speaking of them rather being known for something more educated-related, the Singaporeans could have alternately made the correct answer as “call center operators”, as one must be able to speak some modicum of fluent English and be able to negotiate between multiple proprietary software programs. Recently the Philippines overtook India as the world’s leading call center hub, with nearly half a million employees in that field. Food for thought.

    1. Oh how we would love to break free from the oppression but I guess until my people learn to embrace the lessons of our rich history and take some wisdom from it, maybe then, we can claim a new world definition to our nationality. Until then, many are like cattle marked for the slaughter.

    2. Well duh on your last statement. India rode on the bpo bandwagon and have advanced on different services than tech support call center hub. Philippines is just feasting on scraps of a job market that exploded in asia years ago. Food for thought but scraps for you.

      1. “And to Jerry, your comment “That is simple fact and something Filipinos should be ashamed of as a nationality” is not only insensitive, it’s off the mark.”

        Perhaps it is a bit “insensitive,” (because the truth hurts?) but it certainly is NOT “off the mark.” Again, The Philippines as a nation and Filipinos as a nationality should be ashamed that they cannot do something about the sad state-of-affairs at home. They constantly reelect the same thieves and corrupt/inefficient politicians to office. Those politicians do nothing to solve the rampant educational, unemployment and other work related cultural problems. That forces nurses and teachers to go abroad to work in those blue collar jobs and create and perpetuate stereotypes. Women, regardless of their educational achievements or level, generally work as house keepers, maids or domestic helpers of some description or other.

        Men work as truck drivers, laborers, waiters and hod carriers rather than doing something they really want to do in some field they might like. I have traveled much of the world and met Filipinos in almost every country except Japan and Viet Nam. With the exception of a few nurses, all the women I met have been some kind of house helper and the men have been truck drivers, laborers, stock boys or welders.
        In America the only Filipino men I have ever met were porters in airports or waiters in restaurants. I DO credit all the Filipino OFWs for having the work ethic and ambition required to navigate the onerous Philippine Government maze of requirements and to at least WORK for a living. However, when the vast majority of them are engaged in those mostly unskilled jobs, then the stereotype will persist and Filipinos have themselves to blame for it, just as I said in my original post response.

  6. When people are called names because of their occupation…it is really sad; but it is the truth. Most of our OFW are servants. Some are mistreated , overworked and not paid fairly.

    Our economy is an Aquino Hacienda Luisita Serf Plantation economy…Aquino is the main slave trader…

    Truth is truth…it is very hard to accept it. However, it is what we are: servants of the world.

  7. The problem is stereotypes. While sometimes, it is unavoidable, it still should be overcome, because stereotyping is a fallacy no matter how you see it. Yet, while I would criticize this book as too dependent on stereotypes, it is not really something worth ranting about. It’s based on some fact as well.

    1. Exactly! That’s why I didn’t bother reacting to it at social media but when my feeds was filling up with that “Proud Filipino” defensive mode AGAIN, I just had to shoot down the ignorance.

  8. So ofws are bagong bayani but when another country reinforces da stereotype, butthurt ensues? I mean this IS an identity the pinoy politicos and media agree on. Yet the common people have double standards on.

  9. um Jay, BZZZZZ! wrong! the Phils overtook India as the world’s call center hub precisely because of poor performance by Indian reps who couldn’t speak the English language as well as Filipinos and couldn’t connect with their western customer base. The Philippines workforce can and does. What makes me say that? Because I was an executive in that very field. An expert.

    So sorry your sophomoric rejoinder doesn’t apply in this case. Better luck next time, JAY

  10. Ans to Jerry Lynch, you’re just way too all over the place to from any logical thought. A living, breathing contradiction. Try editing your thoughts to the bare bones, it would serve you – and everyone else – better.

    1. @MS.Mike You are correct, there is no shame in feeding ones family and doing whatever it takes to aCCOMPLISH THAT TASK.
      The well intentioned Mr.Lynch blames the ‘guidance counselor’ but that is not where the problem lies. It is the half-ass degrees that are churned out by alleged ‘Nursing’ schools that are blatantly stealing tuition from hard-working students and a gov’t. bureaucracy that then picks their pockets before sending them to far off lands to be “NURSES” when the the fact is the ‘education’ they PAID for doesn’t educate them enough to pass a ‘NURSING -BOARD’ EXAM anywhere in the West(where they could get a decent paying job as an actual “NURSE’ if they’d got the pre-requisite education that they initially PAID FOR from the fraudulent “NURSING SCHOOL” to beging with, repeat ad nauseum for any other trade ‘school’. ).The education system is failing the student, the gov’t. is abusing the student and the economy at home abuses everyone. A vicious cycle that could be stopped by better schools for OFW’s going abroad. What a disgrace and humiliating experience it must be when an ‘OFW’ thinks they are going to be a ‘NURSE’ when they arrive in LA/NYC/LONDON/PARIS/MUNICH wherever, and only to find the degree they got is worthless toilet paper and they are mopping floors, or worse, instead.
      The schools just laugh all the way to the bank.

      Mr. Hardy, thank you for the “well intentioned” comment. I really DO have the best interests of The Philippines at heart. When I made my comments in various expat Facebook forums I’ve gotten nothing but criticism from expats for “hating the Philippines” for agreeing with the writer. Obviously I am not Filipino, but American and here is what happens in an American college or university. Freshmen have a basic set of required courses that are mostly prerequisites for all other courses.

      Many students do go to college with a particular career or course of study in mind, but most change their minds once they get out of their insular family and high school environments and learn there are things they have never heard of or thought of before. Usually students do not declare a major until their sophomore (second) year of college. In my sophomore year I declared a biology major and was given an advisor from the biology department. Had I wanted to be a doctor he (actually it was a lady) would have advised me to take certain courses that would qualify me for Pre-med, but had I wanted to be a geneticist, I would have been advised a different set of courses to take.
      Since my freshman year was in 1970, had I wanted to be a teacher, I probably would have been advised to study and take courses that would have lead to a BS in Secondary Ed/Science because there was a glut of elementary school teachers and there would not be any open positions upon graduation. Does any of this sound familiar in The Philippines? My answer is that there is a glut of elementary school teachers, but here I would never get that advice and would just go on paying for courses that would ultimately lead to me selling household appliances in SM.
      Eventually I left college and entered the military during the Viet Nam War and learned that I had an affinity for mechanics, and after leaving the military, became a professional mechanic for many years. At a time when jobs were lacking I eventually returned to school and got a degree in English, which eventually lead to management positions in the mechanical field. When I became physically unable to work as a mechanic I decided I would go back to college and get a degree in Secondary Education/English and teach high school English. At that time I learned from my advisor that I needed almost 3 more years of English because the majority of the English courses I had taken previously were not the correct ones for the change of major from a BA/English to a BS Sec Ed/English.
      Currently in much of America there is a shortage of nurses in rural area so if a person does not need to live in a major urban area, then nursing is a job worthy course of study. It is NOT of much value in The Philippines where not only is the education itself suspect, but where there are very few open nursing positions even for those who do manage to pass the board exam. Herein lies the importance of the “advisor” or “guidance counselor,” the latter of which is usually a high school position. Those advisors need to actually DO something rather than just blather on about how nurses and teachers and computer techs, (another overloaded field) can go abroad upon graduation and just get a magnificent job. They CANNOT just go get that job until, in the case of nurses especially, they have worked here for several years first.
      The entire system is flawed and because I have 2 young Fil/Am children and several stepchildren, I have a vested interest in seeing that things change for the better. How is it that my 13 Y/O stepdaughter is a Straight A student, but she can only attend school 3 hours a day and only 1 day a week because there are not enough classrooms and apparently not enough secondary education teachers while thousands of elementary school graduates sell shirts at SM?

      1. Jerry Lynch,

        I fully agree with you.

        “… only to find the degree they got is worthless toilet paper…”

        My Filipina partner is a University San Jose – Recoletes (Cebu City) graduate but her knowledge is at such a low level that she wouldnt stand a chance to get an appropriote job in my country based on her diploma. At one point, I told her that and all she could do was cry (no joke). She was and is so proud of graduating from that university. It really makes me wonder what students are taught in your country. I am afraid that if the – Philippine – curriculum is in lign with western curriculum then almost nobody will graduate in the Philippines.

        Universities here are much more scientific based.

  11. Great article. Even the words “pinoy pride” itself is a symbol of stupidity and hollow egos. You insult pinoytards and they’ll hunt you down with every curse they have. What amazes is that pinoys can laugh when someone tell them ulol or putang ina ka but they get insulted with bobo or stupid when pointing out their mistakes. Best examples are tito sotto, mar roxas and noynoy. This nation is too sensitive with nonsense but too lazy to improve important goals.

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