The Filipino people have experienced so much up to this point. They have experienced invasions by foreigners. they stood tall and fought. They have withstood domination. They rebuild after every death, flood, fire, war, earthquake, eruptions, revolutions. They rebuild with a smile on their faces, always positive. That is how we see ourselves every time something bad happens. It begs the question: Are Filipinos masochistic?

To avoid obvious innuendos, I’ll define masochism as the enjoyment of suffering that is being inflicted on thyself. So are we?

I am personally starting to think so. Our resistance to change allows us to experience whatever disaster that befalls us. We pay taxes that is eventually spent on Disaster Preparedness, yet we still experience disaster. We vote for leaders who are corrupt, with knowledge of their actions and schemes. We disrespect nature. We don’t evacuate when authorities tell us to. Then these small mistakes eventually pile up to become one huge grave we are digging ourselves. Why? Is changing a little too much of a hassle? Is it tradition? or are we born this way?

Questions keep piling up as try to understand as much as I can on the Filipino Situation. One of the most obvious answers is we, as a people, are a mess. Now, no matter how much I complain about my country, and my countrymen, I cannot do anything about it. Change cannot simply happen because one man asks for it. Change in a society can only happen with when enough people start it themselves. To put more simply, to change this country, I must ask  the question”What are we doing wrong?”

There is no definite answer to that. What is wrong for some is right for others. It seems hopeless but it is not. We can always aspire as a people for huge changes. But individuals can only make small changes. Assume that the eradication of poverty is a 1000 peso bill. Then let’s assume that twenty thousand people want  that 1000 peso bill. But each one of those people can only have five centavos. They want that five centavo coin, but they want the one thousand peso bill more. But no matter how they belittle that mere five centavo coin, if there is twenty thousand of those who have a five centavo coin, you would have a full one thousand peso. Now assume that a five centavo coin is equal to studying well in school, or not jaywalking or voting properly. These small changes you wanted will amount to something bigger if enough people made small changes. A good change, no matter how insignificant, amounts to something bigger when people have that bigger goal as a common goal. Now if we want to change the state of our nation, we start small. We start by not jaywalking. Or not destroy a concrete pedestrian barrier so you would not have to use the footbridge. or keep your candy wrapper in your pocket or if you can’t, hang around trashcans all day. The list goes on and on. There is no shortage of what small thing you can do for yourself and others. Small changes lead into big changes. I believe in that

Rowell Macapagal II


“Djhay Bumbay”

Did you watch the new Star Wars teaser trailer? It was released last week and was generally well-received by fans except for two things; First, a lightsaber shown in the video had three blades. This is not really a real world issue, just a fandom thing. Second and final perceived problem was that a black man was in a stormtrooper outfit( a stormtrooper is a fictional soldier type seen in the film series who wears white armor and helmet). This caused an uproar amongst fans because according to them, black people can’t be stormtroopers. And that is in an imagined universe. It’s sadly hilarious to find people that cannot, and will not accept a real life “minority”(Black people(African-Americans) are a minority in the United States) from taking an imaginary job from imaginary people. In a film series that allows for different kinds of beings, black people can’t be stormtroopers. Sounds like a joke.

Before you say that it is messed up, or ridiculous, think about what you watched on local television. Think about the old telenovela antagonist, someone who speaks english and filipino interchangeably. or the comedic reliefs in the form of bisaya yayas or the preppy best friend( who may be gay or a female childhood friend). That is cliche. It might not be a bad thing but it is. TV stereotypes people that are being portrayed. Stereotypes are not an inherently bad concept. Stereotypes are formed from observations by a non-member of the group that was observed. Some of these stereotypes are considered positive like how filipinos are welcoming to their guests. But a lot of stereotypes are bad. How many bisaya(or any other perceived minority)  derogatory jokes have you heard or Bumbay/Intsik/Koreano jokes have you heard? As an example, try googling  DJ Bumbay.

For those who didn’t, it is a video of Michael V. dressed up as a stereotypical Indian man. He goes around town offering faulty goods at a discount to people. He raps about it. He offers 5/6 as a way of compensating for those goods. He wears a turban.  I am left speechless. An established comedian goes this way. Cheap humor at the expense of respect for people. Star Wars fans pale in comparison to this very insulting video. This is real life. Some might argue that this is the truth. Or, my personal favorite, “It’s just a joke”. It’s not a joke. It’s an insult to a group of people who live in this country. and yet, people do not find it wrong to do so. I watched the show from which the video came from. It’s called bubble gang. This show has been playing non-stop for nineteen years. That is a long time. This show bases its jokes on stereotypes about gay people, minorities, foreigners, men, women, and spoiled brats and yayas(“You’re such a loser”).  The sad thing is, the stereotyping is not exclusive to late night comedy but is also present in almost every show on local tv. From konyo kontrabida, to the bisaya yaya, these are present in television. The question is, when will viewers be eventually disgusted by this practice?

Rowell Aquila Macapagal II