Sunday, 24 May 2009
Because We Do Have Mail Order Brides!
I know I endanger myself by saying this but I shall say it anyway. I do not think Alec Baldwin said anything inaccurate about "getting a Filipina mail-order bride ... or a Russian". Something wrong, maybe, that can be argued, but not inaccurate. First, it is a well known fact; mentioning it does not make the situation any worse (or not saying it, any better). Last time I checked, there is nothing wrong with mentioning facts. Should he have said Yemeni or Ecuadorian mail order bride instead? We all know the best ones are here (or in Russia). Second, he said that in jest. Do Filipinos not make jokes about other nations and cultures everyday? I would even say, to borrow Jimmy Santos' iconic phrase, "three times a day". Everyday, you hear people joke about Indians, Chinese, Arabs, Africans (or any dark-skinned fellow), and even our own kind. We are not exactly the model nation when it comes to battling derogatory remarks or "racism". Now, I know that Alec Baldwin is not a model for good values either, but that is not the point. You can argue about him being tactless or insensitive but he did not say anything that was not already begging to be noticed.
Filipinos, and especially that joke of a senator Bong Revilla, should not be so sensitive on the issue (and we all know how Bong is just desperately playing hero because of the nearing elections - said he intends to beat Baldwin if he would ever travel here - what shame). It just shows how improperly touchy we are. If one has dirt on one's nose, another is bound to notice it, and another to tell you. Natural course of things!
The Gods know I love this country. And that is why I do not want it to be thought of as something so pathetic as to readily place other nations in their jokes yet unwilling to be the matter of jokes themselves. Two words: balat sibuyas.
Perhaps it is in the manner that we say things that count. Argue Baldwin's manner of saying things, argue the manner in which we are presented in jokes, argue the context. But as for the facts within the jokes themselves, I believe there is no reason to overreact and no reason for Baldwin to apologise. Instead of whining about how he had the nerve to joke about our local mail order brides, why do we not do something about it?
"Let us make it clear to the world: Filipino women are not for sale. Not even for sale to Hollywood actors," Loren Legarda says. And I agree most definitely. So, let us fucking stop selling them!
When the selling stops, the buying will too. Duh.