Jinkee Pacquiao says no to Ellen Degeneres because her English sucks


Pac-woman Ms Jinkee Pacquiao reportedly turned down an invitation to guest in The Ellen Degeneres Show recently “because she feared she would be criticized for her lack of fluency in English.” Specifically she was afraid of making a mistake on live television…

“Sabi ko ayoko ‘yong live (I said I didn’t want it live),” said Jinkee. “Ayokong magkamali… takot kasi akong magkamali, ayokong ma-criticize ng tao (I don’t want to make a mistake. I’m afraid that I’ll make a mistake and I don’t want people to criticize me),” she said.

Speaking good English is a national obssession in the Philippines. Ours is a society polarised by English language fluency. Government conducts its affairs in English, Philippine laws are written in English, and the business elite prefer their Power Point presentations delivered in English. As such, parents put an immense premium on learning institutions that hold reputations for churning out the best English speakers. And, indeed, the products of these schools tend to get first stab at job interviews for plum roles that pay higher-than-average wages. They get picked for promotions first and the boys among them get all the good chicks (thus the appeal of Filipino movies where the home-along-da-riles boys gets to bonk the otherwise out-of-reach colegiala — there is hope in fantasy).

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Also ironic is how the industries that offers the most hope for easing chonic unemployment in the Philippines — call centres and business process outsourcing — requires its employees to hold better-than-above-average command of the English language.

It seems the only words of comfort that can be given Filipinos who can’t speak or write English well are two: Tough luck. Filipinos who suck at speaking in English had been dealt an ugly hand.

But then being dealt an ugly hand does not mean you will necessarily lose the poker game.

And that is where Jinkee Pacquiao fails. Her reasons for declining an invitation from none less than the Ellen Degeneres is an epic irony when one considers she is married to a man famous for beating the odds and playing the ugly hand dealt him.

35 Replies to “Jinkee Pacquiao says no to Ellen Degeneres because her English sucks”

  1. yes, one thing that is truly admirable about manny pacquiao is that he has guts. it took guts for him to even partcipate in the rh bill interpellation.

      1. yes that’s part of his job, but a less gutsy person could have simply back out of it. do you know lito lapid, the silent senator?

      2. thats not guts. thats passion for a cause. he cares about the issue.

        what does lapid care about?

        i agree w B0 actually. language has nothing 2 do with it. theres nothing wrong w less than perfect english. he’s just passionate about something.

      3. huh? pacquiao had passion for the rh bill debates? what made you say that.

        passion for singing, for sure. passion for the rh bill issue, i doubt pacquiao has it.

        and yes, languange had nothing to do with it. pacquiao has guts that’s for sure.

      4. he’s passionate about the rh issue, of which the bill is currently important.

        in fact, he inserted himself into the list, didnt he? he feels strongly about the issue.

        i’ve always viewed guts/bravery as doing something you dont want to do, but doing it anyway. [i.e. going to war]

        it doesnt apply here. he feels strongly about the rh issue. as congressman, he can parlay that passion into his work.

      5. i don’t think it’s passion at all that motivated pacquiao to join the debates. it’s pure speculation to say that he is passionate about it. i really wonder where you got that idea.

        pacquiao is a gutsy person, that’s for sure.

      6. of course, anything we say is speculation, if only because we are not that person.

        but actions speak to our passions, do they not?

        but the facts are that, he stepped up to interpolate , when he didnt have to.

        he has gone on interviews, the focus of which has been his beliefs on the bill and the topic in general.

        he has appeared in fora espousing his opinions.

        if these actions dont tell you he really believes in his position, i dont know what will.

        in fact, these actions speak louder than a categorial: “i am passionate about church teachings on the rhbill”

      7. that is not passion. if it were true that he is passionate about the issue then he would have at least read up about it. if you watched the interpellation you would have seen that he wasn’t even aware of many things about the bill. that tells me he wasn’t prepared for it at all. if he were passionate about it he would have known more and his arguments would have been more sensible.

        i have my own speculation on why he involved himself in that exercise. it was a publicity stunt to show everyone that he was not neglecting his duties as a lawmaker. he was being criticized by some for spending more time on training and his showbiz commitments at that time, wasn’t he.

        but of course, as i said, i’m just speculating. that’s the only thing we can do if we’re gonna talk about his passion.

      8. he is being passionate the church’s position on reproductive health.

        that doesnt mean he’s prepared. there are many people who are excited to voice their positions without knowing what they are exactly, or why they believe it. the world is full of people like that. not your experience?

        interesting hypothesis! ok, if he’s after publicity (only), then …

        1) why argue against the bill when THE ONLY important thing is publicity?

        2) why worry about publicity at all? hes a multimillionare, people love him. those two things alone are enough to win higher office.

        moreover, as long as he pays attention to his constituents, why should he care about speaking in the plenary?

      9. now that’s strange. if you’re passionate about something wouldn’t you immerse yourself in it? kahit 50% lang?

        people do weird things for different reasons. who knows why pacquiao would want such publicity (if my speculation is even correct). besides there’s that other possibility that such a publicity stunt might have been recommended to him by one of his advisers. who knows chavit singson probably advised him to do that.

      10. yes, i agree. if ur passionate you immerse yourself. you participate in activities that reflect your position.

        this is what MP has done.

        however, “immerse” doesnt necessarily mean being knowledgeable, smart, or even prepared.

        now, if he was put up to interpolate, was he also put up to make media appearances, interviews and go to events. where he’d talk for several minutes about his positions/opinions?

        thats a lot of man-handling by singson. you’d have 2 think that MP cant think on his own.

      11. when you’re passionate about something you seek out knowledge about it. you would naturally expect that especially in this situation where pacquiao the lawmaker is passionate about something that clearly requires some knowledge.

        passionate or not it doesnt change the fact that he had the balls to interpellate. no doubt about it he has guts.

      12. i can easily, EASILY, give you examples of people who are passionate, but dont wish to learn about the thing they are passionate about (or against).

        see, you can be passionate, yet CLOSE MINDED.

        EX: the intelligent design folks. at any,every turn, they will explain to you what is “wrong” with evolution, and what is right about intelligent design. you’d be lucky to find an eloquent defender of intelligent design, but it would be nigh impossible to find an OPEN MINDED one.

        another word you can use is PARTISAN. if you are partisan, you dont care about the other side, merely your own.

      13. let’s try to bring the discussion back to where it started.

        you wanted to say that it didn’t take guts for pacquiao to interpellate and that he was simply passionate about the issue, yes?

        well, both of us could be correct. i do think though that my claim that pacquiao had the guts to interpellate is quite accurate and less speculative than your claim that he is just passionate about the bill.

        another thing if you really think about my saying he had the guts to interpellate does not not in any way negate the fact that being a congressman it was his job to interpellate. i think you thought it did.

      14. no, my original thought was:

        1) he’s a congressman. one job is to interpolate, among several. he could choose NOT to interpolate.

        2) he did interpolate. but why? your claim is that its coz he had guts (which i interpret as, he’s brave).

        but that is a strange conclusion. there is no danger for him. whatever he does, his career will not suffer. like i said originally, you are brave when you dont want to do something, because of fear, but do it anyway.

        what does he have to be afraid of? nothing.

        3. my thought then is, if you see him fighting the bill, that means he WANTS TO.

        if he wants to, there is no guarantee he’ll do it well, or be informed, or whatever.

        but he would use his job as congressman, as sports star, to push for his advocacies.

        which is exactly what hes doing!

        4) to counter, you have a theory that he took risks in pushing something he doesnt really care for, pushing it several times in several avenues, because of publicity — despite the risks!–, orchestrated by his political friends?

        this is less speculative? by occam’s razor!

      15. no, let’s keep it simple and back on track.

        i said pacquiao showed guts when he decided to interpellate. you said it was his job and that he was passionate.

        when i said pacquiao was probably advised by someone to participate in the interpellation i did say that this was all just a speculation of mine. so, no issue there. no need to nitpick on that.

        anyway, what i said was “less speculative” was my statement that “he had guts” and i was comparing it to your line that “he was passionate about the issue.” hope that’s clear.

        as to what you wrote here:

        “2) he did interpolate. but why? your claim is that its coz he had guts (which i interpret as, he’s brave).”

        i’m not sure how you made the conclusion that my saying he had guts is an attempt to provide a reason (why) he participated in the interpellation. if i did that then i must really be strange. fortunately, i didn’t do that.

        my statement that he had guts has nothing to do with pacquiao’s motivation. it was merely an observation of the person’s character. I hope you see the difference.

        indeed it would be quite strange a conclusion to say that he interpellated because he had guts.

        my original statement:
        “it took guts for him to even participate in the rh bill interpellation.”

        i think it’s quite clear, is it not?

        as for your claim that he’s just passionate about the issue and the succeeding explanations you have provided so far, what i’m getting is that for you passion has more to do with the degree of involvement. you did cite that pacquiao attended various fora had many interviews about the bill and you used that as your basis for saying he is passionate about the issue.

        well, allow me to ask you then, is a person who eats more than 5 meals a day passionate about food? if you say yes then you’re probably right but then again it’s also a known fact that some diabetics need to eat small yet frequent meals to keep their sugar levels in check. i doubt if diabetics are being passionate in this case. the point is there are many reasons why anyone would do anything. unless you actually know their reasons you’re just speculating.

        your claim that he is just passionate about the issue, which you clearly presented as his reason, is clearly pure speculation.

        in comparison, my claim that he has guts (which doesn’t even refer to the why or the reason for his participation) is just an observation, based on something that is clearly discernible.

        everyone knows pacquiao has guts. why you simply can’t accept that detail is beyond me and i’d rather not speculate on that.

      16. it’s I-N-T-E-R-P-E-L-L-A-T-E, gabbyd! interPELLATE!
        in, ter, pell, ate!
        interpellate interpellate interpellate interpellate interpellate!

        look it up for pete’s sake.

      17. “i’m not sure how you made the conclusion that my saying he had guts is an attempt to provide a reason (why) he participated in the interpellation….
        my statement that he had guts has nothing to do with pacquiao’s motivation. it was merely an observation of the person’s character. I hope you see the difference.”

        uh, no. you were the one that linked his guts (character) and his action –> “yes, one thing that is truly admirable about manny pacquiao is that he has guts. it took guts for him to even partcipate in the rh bill interpellation.”

        see? it took guts to participate. his character is intimately linked to his actions.

      18. sorry gabbyd. the fact remains i did not try to provide a possible reason for his involvement. i merely said he had guts.

        you on the other hand said he is just passionate about the issue.

        between me saying he had guts and you saying he was just passionate, who really is speculating?

        you’re trying to twist my words but it ain’t working. in fact why don’t we simplify it and just focus on our first comments.

      19. i have guts to debate with you on this matter but my reason (the why) for doing so could be any of the following:

        a: i’m a serial debater (which i am not actually)
        b: i hate your guts (which i don’t)
        c: this is fun (it is somewhat)
        d: i’m bored (not really)
        e: someone’s paying me to engage you (i wish)
        f: i’m just passionate about debating with you (sorry, passion has nothing to do with it
        g: i just ate paksiw and i decided must be a good day to debate with gabbyd (i don’t eat paksiw)
        h: (insert random reason here)

      20. thanks gabbyd for having the GUTS to admit you learned something new (the word interpellate), because you’re really PASSIONATE about not having to. 🙂

    1. Manny’s fighting spirit most likely transcends boxing. I notice with other cultures that don’t speak English much, they seem to have no qualms about going head-to-head with fluent speakers without a trace of self-consciousness. If you think about it, there is nothing really wrong with bad English. It becomes bad only when the speaker is visibly self-conscious or embarrassed of his or her accent or lack of command of it.

  2. smart girl

    she knows how much of a pintasera we are as a culture. people are just itching to take her down a peg or two out of sheer crab mentality

  3. well said… I remember one of my readers in my financial blog ridiculed me for grammatical errors. who cares if my English is not perfect, for as long as people understand what I said and they learn something from it, then its fine…not to mention that my blog is earning money.

      1. hey, gabbyd, check my first comment. i didn’t say it was brave of him to go against the rh bill. i said he had guts to participate in the interpellation.

        the difference in case you don’t see it is that. i was merely talking about participating in the exercise of interpellation. that might seem like a small detail but better to be clear so no one gets misled.

  4. Sinulat ni Rizal ang nobela niya sa lenguaheng espanyol dahil ang salitang Pilipino ay nangangapa ng mga salita.Ang salitang Filipino ay bata pa sa larangan ng literatura kumpara sa mga salitang espanyol o ingles na mayaman sa mga salita at matagal nang panahon ginagamit sa pakikipagtalastasan.

    Money can’t buy knowledge, but it can buy books. Jinkee can’t buy knowledge to speak english, no matter how much money she have.

    Kaya kung papa piliin ako, yaman ni Paquiao o Talino ni Rizal? ang pipiliin ko ay talino ni Rizal.

  5. How is this relative to the use of the English language in the business scene?

    For starts, Ms. Jinkee is not from the business sector. Why would you relate the business scene of the Philippines to the decision Ms. Jinkee has made? Are you stereotyping Filipinos to be fluent of the English language? Seriously? All of us? That each and every Filipino out there is capable of speaking the English language fluently? I think that THAT is not a smart opinion at all.

    Second, we all know of her background right? So why is there a need to compare her decision to the benefit of making her an icon on other country’s TV show? Just because she got invited to a TV show doesn’t make her obliged to actually go there, right? THE CHOICE WAS GIVEN TO HER AND NOT TO THE FILIPINO PEOPLE. So why is there a need to contradict her decision well, in fact, it was hers to make.

    Lastly, to those who say that she turned down a good opportunity, SO WHAT? Even if she said YES, would that make a BIG difference to you? I’m sure some of the people here solely think of having another Filipino recognized by the whole world through a famous TV show.

    The truth of the matter is, the decision was never ours. So can you just please stop complaining about her decision?

    PS: I still think that her disapproval to the invitation and the Philippine’s use of the English language in the Business Sector was a bad comparison.

  6. with all that money she ought to take english speaking lessons then.

    pacquiao needs it more though, i cringe whenever he gets interviewed in the ring post-fight.

    filipinos who suck at english are dealt an even uglier hand in getting filipino-dubs when local stations screen them.

  7. Jao C, I think you have made some good points and perhaps everyone should give Mrs. Pacquiao a break for crying out loud, I can understand why she might have been so concerned more so about how she will be ridiculed by her own countrymen and women, folks can be brutal here I have noticed. After all everyday each person here makes choices in their own lives to do or not to do something based own personal reasons, aren’t you lucky it does get revealed to the rest of the world!

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