Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Still proud to be Pinoy despite major-major blunders

Note: This article was written at the height of the issue of Manila hostage crisis but was left out in the inner recesses of the writer’s laptop. Apologies for the late posting. But regardless of the publishing date, the stand still remains: I am proud to be Pinoy.

Thanks to late Captain Roland Mendoza and Venus Raj. The Philippines is in the world map again – albeit in a bad light.

Since the dreadful August 23 hostage-taking of several Hong Kong tourists by disgruntled ex-police captain Mendoza, the Philippines is reduced to:

  1. being unsafe and can be forgotten in the holiday lists of non-Filipinos;
  2. not to mention the sheer madness of the incident.

Its post-mortem: the incompetence of the Philippine police; the flawed justice system for allegedly not hearing Mendoza’s case properly; the free hand of the media on the hostage-taking coverage, which to some experts, jeopardized the police operation; the lack of control of President Noynoy’s government in the hostage crisis and the lame answer of Miss Universe fourth runner up Venus Raj in the Las Vegas pageant all seem to support these assumptions though.

But, are we? Hearing the “s” reference is unsettling. The Philippines being unsafe is a fact with unquelled rebellions of red and Muslim fundamentalists; end of discussion. But the Filipinos’ sensibilities being questioned is something that cause rage in me. Mendoza was at fault; Raj was lame. But the Philippines has a lot of reasons and people to celebrate with the likes of CNN Hero of the Year Efren Penaflorida, International Designer Monique Lhuillier, The Incredibles Animator Virginia Cruz-Santos, Hot Shot Lawyer Kiwi Camara and 2004 Best Public Speaker Winner in London Patricia Evangelista.

Sure I am on a defensive stance. But this is my way of looking at the brighter side, my way of standing firmer on my ground as a Pinoy overseas worker. I have no choice but to accept the gaffes of Mendoza and Raj, which were unfortunately covered by the global media; but taking these isolated cases as a general view on the capabilities and sensibilities of the Filipino people is equally ridiculous and falls short of the thought process.

Update: As of posting date, the Philippines had filed administrative charges to government and police officers held accountable for the hostage crisis and released the second report of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee, which was received by the Hong Kong government with disappointment. See more reports here.

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