Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Here we go again, beating our chest and making hell out of a perceived racial slur made by American actress Teri Hatcher in her ABC Television Network show ``Desperate Housewives.’’

Oh! Come on, pusong mamon, we only make ourselves look ridiculous for being this sensitive. The more noise we create about this issue, the more we bring ourselves down and the bigger rating we are creating for the show. For all we know, the show’s writers might have intentionally cooked up such remark to trigger international outcry and to push their ratings up.

Making a big thing out of the supposed slur only reinforces the negative perception that we are a race of ``insecured’’ people prone to smashing the mirror and shooting down the messenger because we don’t like what we see, hear or listen from other races or from the international media.

Wake up people! We are living in an internet-linked ``global village’’ where any perceived slur can come our away any time of the day and from any Mang Tomas, Dick Gordon and Dirty Harry with a keyboard or IPod to push. We are indeed just a click away from any slur from any moron anywhere in the world; do we then have to do battle against all of them?

Look at China, we have no less than a highly controversial senator – the iron-tongue Sen. Mirriam Defensor-Santiago -- accusing the Chinese race of allegedly inventing corruption in the world and did we see Chinese all over the world raising a collective howl against it? What Defensor did was far worse; she insulted them in an official capacity as a Philippines senator during a Senate hearing and before the media of the world. Yet, that did not wake up the sleeping Chinese dragon.

Remember, the Chinese are known to be the biggest population in the world with Chinatowns sprouting in all the nooks and crannies in the planet; and a collective protest from them could drown us. Just imagine half of their population firing anti-Pinoy hate mails and blog entries our way? It could very well crash all our computer systems. No need for them to use their arsenal of nuclear weapons.

So what if Hatcher insulted our nurses and medical professionals, we may even deserve such kind of a wake-up call. Why? Just recall how we all reacted to the issue involving the nursing board exams leak? Did we all go out in the street to condemn and call for the public hanging of the nursing board officials and review centers responsible for the mess?

No! All of us where either quiet or most were even advocating for a no-retake for a misplaced pity for the nurses. We even blamed the media and those advocating for retake for the whole mess because it had already then reached the US and other international news fora. Did we ever lift a finger to damn the perpetrators? What did the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) do about it? What did you do about it?

Back then, I already had an inkling that one day we will pay for our sins of allowing the perpetrators of the nursing leak go unpunished by public indignation and ridicule. In trying to save the thousands of examinees, we have nailed the entire 80 million Filipinos to the cross of world public opinion.

Now we are reaping the whirlwind.

How can we expect Hatcher and the rest of the world to respect us and our nursing profession if we ourselves did nothing to help keep its integrity intact by joining calls and demonstrations calling for a retake and for the prosecution of the guilty? Had we done that then, it would have shown that Filipinos don’t condone cheating in the profession that is virtually keeping the Philippine economy from collapsing.

Now the few brave souls led by UST Dean Rene Tadle and the handful of students from Baguio City who brought the matter to the Supreme Court could only say: ``I told you so.’’

By keeping a collective silence or apathy over the nursing scam, we have condoned cheating. What does that make us? A country of cheats, of course! There is just no two ways to look at cheating, you either go marching to the depths of hell to condemn it or you keep quiet about it and in doing, help perpetuate it.

Hatcher’s scriptwriters clearly saw things as they are and wrote about it. So who then is to blame for creating the perception that we all allow cheating in our nursing examinations? Most of us did.

Instead of blaming Hatcher, I would rather we put the blame on the nursing board officials, the reviewers who continue to act as if nothing happened and all of us for bringing this slur upon ourselves. Let’s boycott the review centers involved in the mess!

Instead of flooding ABC with hate mails and blog entries, let’s all strive to stop letting people here cheat us out of our dignity and next time a scandal erupts, let’s go out in the street and show in no uncertain term our national disgust to it before the whole world. Please, let’s take this Pinoy image problem by the horn!

He who is without sin should throw the anti-Hatcher e-mail petition/blog entry first …


  1. Armand,

    First of all, I am a fan of Terry Hatcher and so I would agree with her if she says that she wasn't insinuating anything negative against Filipino doctors.

    Would you have the heart to refuse to accept an apology from Terry? Even if it were just an imagined apology, I'd still accept it. No harm done anyway.

    Maybe I'd even join other Filipinos protesting outside the ABC office if only to get an autograph from her. heheheh!

    Regarding Senator Defensor's comment that China invented corruption, let me add that may be the Chinese can say that Filipinos perfected it. On the other hand, just recently at the LTO in San Juan, I've seen Indians, Pakistanis, Koreans, and other nationalities paying bribes to some LTO officers so that they can get their drivers' licenses sooner -- without taking the required exams.
    It seems, no one country has a monopoly on corruption. In Thailand, they have practically legalized bribery. In Czekoslovakia, you have to pay twice or three times for every single government transaction. America also has its problems with corruption.

    However, when powerful countries like the US, EU, China, or even South Korea issues a travel advisory against the Philippines, we immediately feel the effects and our economy feels the shock of it.

    Remember the days of Oakwood?

    If these big countries are like giant oil tankers, the Philippines is a small boat. It may hurt our pride a bit to admit that what we say matters little and that what other countries say matters a whole frickin lot.

    ABC has 'apologized' for the Terry Hatcher thing, but they probably thought little of it. Besides, if we pushed the issue even further, we may find our countrymen in Quiapo and Divisoria being carted away for selling fake DVD compilations of the Desperate Housewives season 1 to 3. Huwag naman! Di pa ako nakakabili.

    Sometimes, by firing our mouths off, we end up shooting our own foot.

  2. Regardless of whether i agree with your statements, Armand, I do hope that you keep the same 'fire' and bluntness in your future blog entries. I especially like how frank you were in your Abalos anecdote.

    Anyhows, I really don't think the writers and producers of 'DH' even heard of the nursing exam fiasco that hit us last year. Nonetheless, it's regretful that the term 'Philippines' is being used globally as a kind of synonym for 'backwards.' Sort of the same way that 'Timbuktu' has been used to mean the middle of nowhere.

    Still, a demand for an apology and even demands for scholarships for Filipinos (which would actually perpetuate the idea of Filipino incompetence in the medical field) seems like overkill.

    It is plain to see that such comments from Teri Hatcher's character were ill-informed, and those who know better can at best correct such an impression, whether or not directly to the producers of the show. I believe an apology would have come from them either way and not merely to save face and keep up their ratings.

  3. As to your first comment paul, at least we agree on the fact that we'll be too happy being awakened by a dreamy-eyed Teri telling us: ``Morning na, sir.'' It's a wake up call we wanna wake up to anytime of the day or night!
    On the second comment, I assure you that I am fully committed to keeping the fire of truth and honesty burning because as I said in my first write-up, people deserves to have the undilluted truth that is most of the time mangled by media groups and personalities with their own agenda to protect and perpetuate.
    Please keep those comments coming. Thanks a lot.

  4. Hi Armand,

    This is Paul Farol.

    The second comment is not mine. It must be from another person, also named Paul. (Baka si Ben Abalos yan, nagpapanggap lang. hehehe!)

    Paul FAROL