I COMPLETELY AGREE!
But there is something else that I noticed during the aftermath of that awful, awful tragedy that happened on Monday: a fundamental lack of empathy. It was extremely evident on my Facebook feed, where amid the messages of outrage and disbelief and anger were far more common sentiments of “nakakahiya na naman ang Pilipinas” or “Only in da Pilipins” or “What a shame for our country.” I found it really galling that instead of thinking of those poor victims of that bus hijacking, the pain and the torture that they must’ve went through, those tense hours of what must have been extreme mental and psychological stress, the first thing in a lot of people’s heads was “What will this make us look like to outsiders.” What a lack of concern, and what a misplaced sense of “saving face.” Oh yes, we’re awash with self pity and pathos and inundated with a flair for drama. We’re very good at being critical when it comes to how our standing is being perceived by outsiders and exaggerating our faults. But at the end of the day, we really don’t care much about other people.
Do continue to read the rest of her post as I couldn’t help but nod in agreement while I was reading her entry.
My gad, I was completely aghast to find Twitter posts with the tag #ManilaIsSafe immediately after the massacre, together with pleas that not all Filipinos are like that hostage taker, or that it was an isolated incident, or that we are intrinsically peace-lovers—terribly obnoxious. At the same time, I don’t think we should keep beating ourselves up, trolling hate pages by Hong Kong nationals on Facebook and posting on their walls, profusely apologizing for what we had not done. (As perfectly summed up in this quote: “Ako ay narito nang naganap ang napakasakit na trahedya. Nakita ninyo wala akong kinalaman doon.”; see Pinoys in HK to forego Sunday celebs to mourn hostage victims.) And the third kind: As I tweeted yesterday, we’re supposedly a nation that hates Kris Aquino for being KSP; why, isn’t everyone being KSP these days with their finger-pointing and ‘expert’ opinions?
As far as the Kübler-Ross model is concerned, they are still on the second stage. Let them grieve;
if your tweet/post can’t help repair Filipino-Chinese relations, then shut the fuck up let us keep silent.
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On the same topic but different perspective, here’s a Filipino expat’s take:
As a Filipino working overseas, I am a relentless cheerleader for our country, often replying to questions like “Are you from the Philippines?” from foreigners with “Yes! Have you been? You should visit!” I take the pains to send detailed emails full of suggestions and advice to acquaintances who tell me they are considering a visit, and I often tell coworkers about life back home, not just all its absurdities, but all the things I love about it.
Sinisikap kong maging magaling sa trabaho para makilala tayong mga Pinoy bilang magaling, masayahin, mabait at mapagkakatiwalaang mga empleyado at katrabaho. And all it takes is one rotten egg to ruin all the efforts I, and many overseas Filipinos like me, have made.