Monday, September 06, 2010

A lot has been said about the hostage taking that happened a week ago. It is not that I do not have an opinion about the caper of one dismissed police but I think too much has already been said. Besides, I am plagued with too much work to make an entry in my blog. However, there is one news item which piqued my interest a little. This is about former Ms. Universe, Gloria Diaz, suggesting to would-be candidates in beauty contests to use translators during the Q&A portion of the show. Ms. Diaz has been receiving flak for her pronouncements and even declared as persona non grata in Cebu. I shall not comment on the intentions of Ms. Diaz for neither have I seen the original interview nor am I privy to her thoughts. She has already explained what she meant and it can be read here if you are interested.

I like to comment on is why people would be slighted by this remark. After all, we are not native speakers of English and it is not uncommon that there are some who can speak and write the language more proficiently than others. If we are to believe Ms. Diaz’ explanation, it is not entirely baseless. She said her idea was for a contestant to answer in a language she is more comfortable with, hence answering the question more adequately. And yet, I am almost certain that the anger felt by Cebuanos is not confined to them. There are more Filipinos who were angered, albeit even initially, with her observation/comment. My only guess is because our medium of instruction is English. As such, we equate being proficient with English as being highly educated. How many among us frown at people who can hardly speak the language? How many among us laugh at someone who mispronounced a word or two? How many among us raised an eyebrow when someone speaks with incorrect grammar. How many among us had a field day with that major major response of our contestant? That Ms. Diaz is the reason why your comment was found to be regarded as inadmissible. I wonder how things would have been had we not been colonized and just developed on our own?


I turn 53 tomorrow. As the cliché goes, time flies so fast. Two of my children who are now working surprised me yesterday by taking the whole family, including the maid, who is actually considered as a member of the family, to a sumptuous lunch in an Italian restaurant yesterday. Then, they took us to see the movie, Despicable Me. I am a very happy, contented man. I am so proud of my children.