Here’s an income-generating idea that aligns beautifully with a natural Filipino cultural predisposition. A report published on The Telegraph tells of how the New South Wales (Australia) Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) recently issued a letter to a certain Ms Kristen Perry requiring her to cite “just cause” for continued use of personal license plates which bear the word “Kiki”, her nickname. This was after a member of the Filipino community lodged a formal complaint with the RTA citing the word “kiki” being the Tagalog (a Filipino dialect) word for “vagina” as the reason for the complaint.
Trust an Australian government agency like the RTA to be suckered into such ridiculous heights of political correctness.
“At first I thought it was a joke, but then I realised it was actually quite serious and that my number plates would be taken off me if I didn’t respond appropriately,” Mrs Perry said.
She said she was given the nickname Kiki as a baby in relation to her Greek heritage and had no idea of its other meaning. She was given the personalised plates as a gift from her husband five years ago.
Her family was also surprised when she told them the translation, she said.
“I rang my father last night and said: ‘Do you know you have been calling me vagina all my life?’,” she told her local paper, the Newcastle Herald.
Australians should live up to their hard-boozing footy (rugby) culture and start hitting back. Maybe issue similar complaints and call for restraining orders against Filipinos who introduce themselves as “Ding”, “Dong”, “Bong” or “Ding Dong”. Or why not ban that annoying Pinoy practice of going “sssst” when calling one another’s attention which, when done in crowded public places, catches the attention of every person within a ten-metre radius. Maybe sautÃ©ing shrimp paste at home should be outlawed as a terrorist act on grounds of this being tantamount to detonating a chemical weapon. Let’s do this right, mateys — the whole Nine Yards (Sorry, wasn’t that an Americanism? So sue me).
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But then I recall too that Canadian incident where a child of Filipino descent was reprimanded for eating his meal a-la Pinoy in school with a spoon and fork. The stink that was raised paid off handsomely with the boy’s parents being awarded 17,000 Canadian dollars in “moral and punitive damages” by a Quebec court.
Maybe Filipinos are on to something with this whole National Drama Queen act. Could it be that all those telenovelas and teleseryes (Filipino soap operas) that overwhelmingly dominate Filipino television may actually be a brilliant public education innovation? Perhaps with Osama Bin Laden dead and at the bottom of the sea presumably enjoying his 72 virgins, Filipinos will form the next global terrorist organisation. We can extort money from politically-correct governments in exchange for an advisory to our compatriots to desist from infesting public parks every Sunday. We can hold an entire suburb hostage by threatening to invite the whole expatriate barrio over for a burong talangka (fermented baby crabs) feast. Or how about restraining our cultural predisposition for chewing loudly with open mouths while eating lunch on our office desks in exchange for a fat raise?
It’s an industry that could be built upon the renowned dramatic “ingenuity” of the Filipino.
Just as Osama Bin Laden once led Al Qaeda to war with a tactic that exploits a modern Western aversion to sustaining heavy military and civilian casualties, Filipinos too can aspire to world domination by exploiting the new political correctness of the prosperous West. And we’ve got the army-to-end-all-armies to effect such an invasion — our 10-million strong expatriate community of “sleepers” who inhabit just about every corner of the planet. This new industry will be a bonanza for remittance-starved Filipino islanders.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.