Saturday, November 17, 2007

Racism, Cheating, Philippine Culture, and Desperate Housewives

Okay, so probably I'm already one of the last to climb on the bandwagon of critiques regarding the controversial issue of that so-called racist remark stated about Philippine medical schools on the new season of Desperate Housewives.

I don't see why we're hopping mad about this. Yes, I admit that the remark was racist -- but isn't everybody? I mean, we Filipinos also have our own assumptions about people of colors other than ours. Heck, we're even racist about our own kind: Waray females being war freaks, Ilocanos being cheapskates, BatangueƱos being full of hot air...

Let's analyze events prior to this comment that may have given rise to such a remark. Case in point: the recent cheating in the Nursing Board exam. Lord knows how long this has been happening, and probably someone got sloppy which is why this thing was blown out into the open. How many cheats in nursing uniforms have we already exported to the US, Middle East, and other countries? And since we have been sending out below-standard nurses abroad, how many of these people have also manifested below-standard traits in their respective workplaces?

Because of this cheating in the Nursing Board exams, a cloud of doubt now hovers over other licensure exams given in this country. For all we know, we now have quasi-doctors, pseudo-lawyers, feeling-engineers, etc. who also earned their stripes from cheating.

Has cheating become so rampant among us Filipinos that it has now become synonymous with the term, "Philippine culture?"

On the lower end of the spectrum, cheating can be seen in the academe. Some start early as students who smuggle in the staple kodigo during quizzes and exams. If you think that examination time is the only instance where cheating is prevalent, let us not forget the copy-and-paste methods of some resourceful individuals in their academic papers. I know for a fact that one can survive academic life without cheating because I graduated from college without ever giving in to the need to cheat. However, there are those who simply go for more "exciting" methods. I just can't understand why people go through such lengths just to cheat when it's much easier, safer, and more correct to just study and do the research. Up to now, I have yet to hear a valid argument which states that cheating is good for one's scholastic life.

As for the high end, I'll just go for two words: Philippine elections. Enough said.

Going back to the Desperate Housewives issue, people are just so overacting about the whole thing. Last I heard, inspite of the ABC network apologizing to the Filipino community about the remark, the Filipinos still want to see blood. Now they want the whole episode rewritten and all. Aw, come on! People have already seen it: why make a bigger mess out of it? At the back of their minds, ABC network executives must be thinking that Filipinos are just trying to get as much media mileage from the issue.

Once and for all, why don't we just admit that we DO have many crappy med schools, we DO have many crappy nurses, and that we cheat to our hearts' desire? Why get slighted for something that's as true as George Bush's war on terror?

Sometimes I think it just serves us right for being the butt of racist remarks. Remember the one stated by Joan Rivers about Filipinos being dog eaters? If that's not true, then tell me what azucena means. I don't eat dogs, but I admit that I see other Filipinos eating dogs -- so why deny the fact?

Besides, in the anthropological sense, there are certain indigenous tribes in the Philippines that do eat dogs as part of their rituals. They even raise dogs just to use them as "offerings to their Gods." Please correct me if I'm wrong but I think it's these tribes in the Cordillera region that have these rituals (Igorots, Ifugaos, etc.). I cannot say that this is a travesty because their culture is different from ours. On the other hand, in their culture, we do things that may be offending to them. All we can do is to just accept their customs and rituals.

Igorots and Ifugaos are also Filipinos, and they eat dogs. And Joan Rivers is certainly right. If she thinks that we're barbarians because we do that, then that's her opinion. From one racist to another, I think her race feels that they're all that, anyway -- even when they're not. (Touche!)

And to further stress how racist I am, I believe that many Filipinos are better at the English language than the Americans themselves. They may have created the language, but WE ARE THE MASTERS OF THE LANGUAGE!

So to these fellow Asian countries who insist on hiring Americans, Canadians, Europeans, and other caucasians as English teachers in their respective countries, you guys should better think twice, you racists (like me)....

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