I think we brought it on ourselves
I think I have kept silent for too long. I have passed on several issues that occupied a lot of bloggers recently. I have no intentions of just jumping into the bandwagon. The reason is simple - if I feel I cannot make a good contribution on the subject. I'd rather not talk about it. Recently, a certain segment of the premier showing of this season's Desperate Housewives created quite a stir with Filipinos when Teri Hatcher's character wanted to check a doctor's credentials to make sure that it wasn't just "from some med school in the Philippines". A lot
of Filipinos took offense as they claim that it questions the credibility of medical schools in the country. Even government officials had joined the fray and demanded for an apology from the producers of the show which, to date, has already been given.
After the first onslaught of attacks, the air is still filled with steaming fury, I rise up from the smoke and would like to give my two cents worth.
While the remark was intended to be a joke or a witty remark from the character, it turned out to most Filipinos as a criticism in the end, hence, I am treating it as such. When being criticized, which is quite often too, the first thing I do is to do some honest soul-searching and after I have licked the wounds of my battered ego. I ask myself if there is truth to the criticism. If there is even a hint of truth to the criticism, I try to mend my ways.
To be offended at a certain remark or gesture is the easiest way to confront a similar situation. But now that we have made our point, why don't we do some introspection? I wonder what the writers of the show were thinking when the country suddenly crossed their minds. Why not another third world country, I ask. Why do they think that would have a comic jab to the situation? What was their basis, if anything at all? Surely, the name of the country did not just pop in at random.
Flashback a few years back to a scandal that happened in the medical world. The Fatima Medical School rocked Manila when allegations of cheating in the exams resulted in the questioning of the licenses awarded to its students. Much recently, the nurses had fallen prey to people who were out for a quick buck out of their vulnerability. What about the diploma mill schools and the Recto give-aways? News of these events had come from our shores. Let's go a lot further in time when during the 80's, young boys who went to the US for the little league turned out to be not boys at all! And of course, the very rampant cheating during elections just strenthen one thing - that we are living in aa country full of cheaters. Now, can we claim that the potshot remark is without basis?
While there is reason for us to be angry that we are being pictured in a bad light, I think the more important question we shoul ask is how do we correct this image? How do we erase a tarnished image strengthened throughout the years? It is hard but even a mighty boulder lying passively along the shore yields to the contstant beating of the waves.
Am I angry at this episode of the Desperate Housewives? Hell yes! But for another reason. I am angry because my elders way down to my peers have erred in shaping this nation. I am angry because some individuals have made this country vulnerable to attacks by some foreign show. I am angry that we lay prone and open to criticisms made defenseless for such may border on the truth and it stings to the core of my being. I am angry because while I live on a day to day existence these shenanigans are scot free continuously wreaking havoc on our very being.