The hypocrisy in the way Filipinos ‘welcome’ the Rohingya boat people

I cringed when I read Patricia Evangelista’s The Rohingya and the port of last resort, a piece that reeks of the sort of perverted Pinoy Pride we once again put up with that all-too-familiar uniquely-Pinoy brand of pomposity.

According to Evangelista…

We know what we are. We are the port of last resort, and have little to offer beyond a separate peace. Yet I write this with pride, in the hope that there will always be a cluster of islands southwest of the Pacific, where no ship in need is called unwanted.

rohingya

What a laugh. Evangelista is referring to a people whose most powerful and influential live in communities with perimeters fortified by 10-foot high walls and its interiors patrolled by uniformed private armies far better trained and equipped than the police. Funny then that we celebrate with our renowned misguided pride the way we now supposedly “welcome” the Rohingya boat people — even as the elite among us treat their own compatriots like unwanted aliens within their own country of birth.

Out beyond our borders, perhaps, in this instance at least, “no ship in need is called unwanted”. But try to enter the gates of the tony residential enclaves that sprawl all over our cities’ prime lands and security procedure will assure that you will be presumed unwanted first before you are grudgingly allowed passage after you are “cleared”.

It seems Filipinos are at their best when in the game of building outward personas that are astoundingly inconsistent with their characters on the inside. Indeed, this timely tweet comes to mind…

“The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”

That is solid advise to every Filipino who believes that welcoming a bunch of boat people will change the truth about the country they had failed to build.

If only Filipinos and the society they comprise actually are what they pretend to be — a modern democratic and secular people. Unfortunately you cannot put all those words in the same sentence as “Filipino” without either rolling your eyes to the heavens or breaking out in a wry laugh.

The plight of the Rohingya boat people is, indeed, a tragedy. But so is the plight of the millions of Filipino poor that their fellow Filipinos are in better positions to help, but don’t.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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116 Comments on "The hypocrisy in the way Filipinos ‘welcome’ the Rohingya boat people"

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Guest

Great. Glad you wrote this. Saw that piece too and immediately got this funny feeling about its hypocrisy which highlights the dichotomy in the lives of Pinoys as a people and as a nation, except that that I could not put coherent words to it. You just did it perfectly.

Add
Guest

Love and charity has to have an order; they cannot be chaotic, otherwise… well, it shows hypocrisy. It should be like a ripple, like concentric circles starting from the center; you cannot give what you do not have in the first place.

But having said that, let us still help the Rohingyas.

Cossack_25A-1
Guest

I already held the belief that we cannot accept them due to realistic reasons – how can we accept refugees if we cannot even fix our own economy; what the yellow-government said is only to show-face to the international community.

In other words, pa-pogi lang ang ginagawa nila ABNoy.

d_forsaken
Guest

Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.

d_forsaken
Guest

Hypocritical humility is the highest form of lying. Honest arrogance is the lowest form self-promotion.

mark
Guest

I think you missed the point that it is our moral obligation to help these people regardless of our state of poverty. it is what makes us human to show compassion. you speak openly yet hide behind your computer. that is hypocrisy and cowardliness. does showing apathy to these people improve our way of life?

marius
Guest

I think you miss the point that Filipinos can barely help themselves – and in fact aren’t interested in doing do.

The boat people will be abandoned to their own devices, just as soon as the bragging opportunity is over.

mark
Guest
AS i have said in my statement regardless of our state of poverty. my point here Marius is compassion towards others where in the benignO has displayed lack of character by stating what is already obvious. we are a third world nation and poverty is high but that should not keep us from doing what is right . we do live in a just and HUMANE society don’t we? Not everything should be tainted with politics. it is the Philippines as a people doing what other nations should have done. not because of the opportunity to be showcased, but because… Read more »
marius
Guest

poverty is high BECAUSE Filipinos never do what is right. Again: poverty is the inevitable outcome of immoral acts. I’ve lived there long enough to observe people creating their own poverty, by repeatedly doing things that guarantee they will remain poor.

Frankly, I suspect the Rohingya don’t know what they’re letting themselves in for.

mark
Guest

you say you have lived here long enough? and you suspect? obviously all you have are speculations and misconceptions about Filipinos and the “bunch of boat people” as the author called them.

marilou
Guest

I agree with Mark – helping them is the right thing to do regardless any argument. It is the humane thing to do.

marius
Guest

Of course it’s the right thing to do. Unfortunately, Filipinos are in no position to help them, are they? Will they be taught to speak tagalog, given an education, and set loose to improve the economy?

Of course they won’t. Like everyone else, they’ll be hamstrung, cheated, lied to, and dumped somewhere in the back of beyond to beg or scratch out a living.

77Toro0773Hayden
Guest

We will soon become “boat people”, also…Gated communities are everywhere. The rich are afraid of the poor, that are too many…

Mark
Guest
I don’t think the article was hypocritical. I don’t think the writer tried to hide or dissolution anyone into thinking we are a perfect society. The writer even wrote about what’s wrong with our country, the government and society. What the article was saying is that in times when we could have turned the other cheek due to the astounding reality that you’ve mentioned here and other factors, we went the other way around. The article is trying to celebrate what we are capable of doing and to let other Filipinos know, that we can do this. That we are… Read more »
Ilda
Admin
Did we even end up helping? We didn’t. But so many Filipinos were so quick to pat themselves on the back and proclaim our society better than the rest in the region. That’s just wrong. We shouldn’t judge other countries for their tough stance on human trafficking. It’s a different world we live in nowadays. The refugees wouldn’t have gone on that rickety boat if it weren’t for the human traffickers who promised them a safe passage in the first place. The situation is sad but we have to find a way to stop human trafficking otherwise, this will keep… Read more »
Gretchen
Guest
This is not the first time that our country is helping. Have you guys even read the other article? These issues are difficult to address. I used to be very negative about politics but these are tough situations. These days I try to not attack the people in power – they are just as human as any of us, some are trying their best, some have no clue where to start. Instead of nitpicking, why don’t we focus on finding solutions or even doing something – anything – to help improve the system? Change is not going to happen overnight.… Read more »
Ilda
Admin
@Gretchen Did I say “this is the first time that our country is helping”? No, I didn’t. What gave you that impression? We helped the Vietnamese and the Jews who were displaced by wars in the past. This issue with the Rohingyas, is less about those displaced by war but more of the result of the work of human traffickers who cash in on folks who want to jump the queue on immigration processing. You are mistaking me for someone who doesn’t want to help. I don’t have an issue with helping. What I have an issue with are people… Read more »
Gretchen
Guest
I initially thought against replying but I want to clarify a few things. Not for validation, but to offer a different perspective – which after all, is the purpose of this blog. Ok, so it looks like we agree on a few things: that human trafficking should be stopped, that we should help our own impoverished people, as well as provide assistance to displaced people that ask for help. In my view, these are all different issues with varying causes and solutions. Sure, they’re related, but they’re not one and the same. The issue being addressed here IS with the… Read more »
Ilda
Admin
@Gretchen Just read my article about the Rohingya refugees and the reaction of Filipinos like yourself to the issue. Here are some excerpts: “The sad saga involving the Rohingya refugees eventually ended with Malaysia and Indonesia accepting them into their shores. Meaning, the Philippines didn’t end up providing the aid they offered after all. But this fact did not stop a lot of Filipinos, including the so-called writer to laud the entire Philippine society and even credit the “happy” ending to Filipinos. Evangelista also believes the Philippines had “some influence in the sudden reversal of positions” of Malaysia and Indonesia’s… Read more »
Alexa Santiago
Guest

For all your ‘for-all-you-knows’, you seem to have forgotten the ‘bunch of people in a boat’. These are refugees at end of their ropes, trapped between the boat of death and the deep blue sea, up until a few weeks ago when the Philippines offered them refuge when other countries refused to take a definitive stand. Do you think the Rohingyas care about your politics or your conjectures?

Gretchen
Guest
OMG I don’t think we’re speaking the same language at all. Anyway, the only reason why I even bother posting on here is to just give a different perspective for Filipinos who happen across this article. Honestly, I don’t think Evangelista said “we’re better than the others”. To you, it is “as if” she is. To me, it does not. And I don’t even know her. Frankly, I felt the quality of her writing is quite objective, I didn’t feel any bias. Again, that’s just me. You’re welcome to your own opinion as well. Let’s agree to disagree, shall we?… Read more »
Ilda
Admin
@Gretchen Frankly, I felt the quality of her writing is quite objective, I didn’t feel any bias. I’m sorry but are we talking about the same person? Patricia Evangelista has a long history of writing biased articles and propaganda against PNoy’s political rivals. She wrote a scathing article about Presidential candidate Dick Gordon before just because she didn’t like his views. He even called him a jackass for being frank and because she couldn’t handle the truth coming out of Gordon’s mouth. She didn’t like the way Gordon was critical of Philippine society. Evangelista is also into using ad hominem… Read more »
mark
Guest
The plight of the Rohingya boat people is, indeed, a tragedy. But so is the plight of the millions of Filipino poor that their fellow Filipinos are in better positions to help, but don’t. please see the ending note of this article. while it is true that there are millions living in poverty, will it change for the better if we didn’t help? Fact is, the author is implying we should have left these people to die because we are too “poor”. that just shows the writers “poor character” as well. Im sorry to say this article left a bitter… Read more »
WR
Guest

You mean the fault finding and whining you did several comments ago. That’s sweet.

Remember this isn’t a news website. This is a blog composed of opinionated writers. The writers have no obligation to cater to your sensitivities. Of course you could either visit blogs that conform to your opinion or do a blog of your own instead of telling people here how to present their observations/opinions.

mark
Guest

I’m not even gonna give credit to your comment WR.

Angel
Guest

On point WR! =D

WR
Guest

Nice to hear you again mark.

Yawn
Guest

After 24 hours in Manila they will want to go straight back out to sea.

Robert Haighton
Member
Dear guys, this is really the biggest problem on earth today, migration. In Europe we are dealing with “bootvluchtelingen” (Dutch) (English: rafters, boat people, boat refugees) coming from Lybia, Syria and other African countries. They pay a huge amount of money to human traffickers who puts them in lousy boats leaving Zuwara (Lybia) and entering Europe in the small island of Lampedusa (Italy) while crossing the Mediterranean Sea. While crossing that sea many boat people drown and hence die. Those boat people dont have any ID with them and they come to Europe for either fleeing their country (civil war,… Read more »
Lyco
Guest

Dude, can’t you just be appreciative of the fact that at this time, our nation did the right thing?

It’s just so sad that in this country, if you do a bad thing, you are condemned…do nothing, you are criticized…do a good thing, you are judged as hypocrite…Man, that is just negativity at its peak.

WR
Guest

Criticism is not about negativity.

Lyco
Guest

I didn’t say that criticism is about negativity. What I’m saying is we usually fail to appreciate the things that are being done “right” because our senses our clouded by some presuppositions, that lead us to always criticize.

Like what he said in his blogpost:

“That is solid advise to every Filipino who believes that welcoming a bunch of boat people will change the truth about the country they had failed to build.”

No one even said that helping these people “will change the truth about the country they had failed to build…”

Wow…that escalated so quickly.

Lyco
Guest

*are clouded

Irene
Guest
If I were one of the Rohingya, I’d be praying that the person I’d meet once I touch shore was more like the commenter, mark. Try, if you can, to put yourself in one of those boat people’s shoes. Which of the above commenters would you choose to meet you when your boat finally reaches land? True that there are many political, economic and social effects arising from this one decision to “help.” So let’s deal with them. Nobody is saying it’s going to be easy. Does this mean we, Filipinos, prefer to help foreigners rather than our own suffering… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member
Dear Irenem When I plan my vacation, I like to plan everything upfront (flight, hotel, weather forecasts, money, clothes, traditions and culture and what not), knowing I will return back home in 3 weeks time. But now, I am leaving my country for good (as boat person/people). Dont you think, even more in that situation, I would prepare everything. Like which country will welcome me and treat me as human being? Because, I will expect and know not every country will welcome me with open arms. BTW: those Rohingyas are a minority muslim group in a overwhelmingly buddhist country. And… Read more »
Lyco
Guest

In dire situations, i don’t think people would still have the luxury of choice on where to land and who to live with…these people have been out for months, with no food and water. Anybody who would welcome me and address my current hardship…either long term or short term, is help well appreciated.

Robert Haighton
Member

Lyco,
of course.

But what I understood is that one or more boats with Rohingyas were refused by Thailand and Indonesia. Resulting they were at sea for about 3 months (!) and about 10 (maybe more) of them died.

Ray
Guest

You expect them to plan their itinerary when their situation calls for them to just do something to survive?…Man, are you ever so dumb!

I am signng out of all these negativity.

CS
Guest

Maybe we need to see the positive light of this matter rather than always seeing negativity. It is through this that we start to drown in our own darkness. We always see others dirt but we never see our own. We may have little to offer but we have compassion to give. Even dogs are fed when hungry… Or some just dont have that heart. Oh how pity are those that dont have a heart spare… How can one face the Creator without putting one self to shame…

KVillaralvo
Guest

Oh yeah, Patricia Evangelista of Blonde and Blue Eyes. Pfft. I stopped reading anything she wrote after reading that classic.

Hebeegat
Guest

And don’t forget the government pledged to welcome only 3,000 Rohingya migrants. What happens to the rest of them?

Sick_Amore
Guest
Our government may help them but they can’t stay. At most the government can do is give them their most basic needs and send them back to their country and ask human rights organizations to assist them. Even if they leave their country because it’s dangerous or because they are unwanted, their country is still the best place for them. It is not the other people who would make it the best place for them though. They have to work hard to have a place in their country, as free people, safe and not oppressed. The best way is still… Read more »
ElYebay
Guest

All i can say is why not let the rohingya stay here? Once they have a taste of true “pinoy hospitality” and have a glimpse of the local poor life, they’d be clamouring back to their boats and search for other lands.

Quick Index Digest
Guest

after reading this up to the last comment i must congratulate myself for staying sane. Indeed i just survived a whirlwind of opinions. LOL

Alvin Amoguis
Guest

BenignO you know what you are, an alimango, a cancer to the society.

WR
Guest

Ad hominem

Attacking your opponent’s character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine their argument.

Ad hominem attacks can take the form of overtly attacking somebody, or more subtly casting doubt on their character or personal attributes as a way to discredit their argument. The result of an ad hom attack can be to undermine someone’s case without actually having to engage with it.

Example: BenignO you know what you are, an alimango, a cancer to the society.

mark
Guest

Regardless of how big a word you use WR… I concur with Alvin.

tomas
Guest

but of course you will.=)

mark
Guest
WR
Guest

Hello again mark nice hearing from you too. By the way, thanks for the link but it’s already redundant.

mark
Guest

Hello WR. i just showed them where you got your Ad hominem definition. you could have at least tried to put it in your own words.

Add
Guest
Quality around the world is no longer measured by percentage of defect/reject to total output. It has moved a long time ago from ppm (parts per million) to zero defect, which is now the standard. 100% efficiency is now the name of the game, or you are immediately out of business in this shrunken and very competitive world. This requires a different set of paradigm, a complete change of mentality from what “seems to work before”. From that point of view, I am still astonished at how a good many still see this site as being negative, and not a… Read more »
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