Tuesday, June 3, 2008

the prize

"no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Eleanor Roosevelt, 'This Is My Story,' 1937

this would probably be one of the most powerful quotations I've encountered, if not the best. and it was just recently when i remembered and acted upon its essence.
I am seriously beginning to feel the toll of my upcoming semester. for i never thought that transferring to another school plus looking for a job that would not conflict with my classes or atleast, a day job was this exhausting. so i strolled inside a mall here in quezon city as a part of my usual regime whenever i am stressed out.
while i was walking and feeling the place, a chinky-eyed man, probably in his mid-30s, accidentally bumped against me. i knew it was nobody's fault since both of us didn't see one another coming. so out of politeness i immediately retaliated with apologies. but what i thought to be as a usual street bumps, was actually a nag from hell.
it was just that point that i determined that he was a foreigner (basing from the way he speaks) when he began shouting and pointing his forefinger to me. i've heard curses and prejudices in what was supposed to be an english litany. it was already just active listening and commonsense that was working in me to decipher what he was actually saying. but when i've heard the words: filipinos, stupid, dark-skinned and skin slugs, i knew it was already beyond the incident.


despite his attitude, i still allowed him to finish his monologue. i also noticed some passerbys pausing and sneaking in our lame commotion. but i didn't drop my ground. i remained silent and eyes directly staring at him. honestly, i was already thinking about more racist things inside my head, like i never thought your mind was more close than your eyes and etc. but i knew for a fact that i would not stoop down to his racist-ass level.
finally, he paused and before he could even open his mouth, i immediately owned the opportunity,
i even remember making a step forward and told him,
"from the way you reacted, mister, this would just prove to yourself and the rest of those who have heard that you are a hundred times worst than what you have foolishly said."
then i gracefully turned my back away from him and calmly walk away. i don't know if he just had difficulties understanding what i've said or did not at all. but he didn't actually chase me, as i have feared it to be.

i was already inside the train when everything began to sink in. it was a total disbelief for me, that i actualkly did that. considering i am not really the war freak or confrontational type of a guy.on the other hand, i knew from the moment he sounded racist, that iwas a major petpeeve that i wouldn't allow to pass.
i really felt good after the incident. i felt as if i have won the most victorious battle of my life: teaching someone that the foulest being is the one who throw foul things against other beings.


amicus said...

sana binatukan mo pa. the nerve, pare. siya pa ang galit e siya ang poreynjer.

cedeux said...

i will do the same thing. he's rude and he deserves that. you did apologized at makitid lng utak nya.

kapal naman nun. sang mall yan? maresbakan? ahehehe.

kaya natin ang coming school year. malalagpasan din natin to!=]

the donG said...

i think you just did the right thing. i'll definitely do the same thing. what he said is not worth the bump but what he said is worth throwing back to him a hundred fold.

Mugen said...

Had I been in your shoes, I would have hit the loser hard on his face. Bahala na kung makulong ako.

dabo said...

repa, proud kami sa iyo!

Princhecha Fiona said...

the nerd ov dat porenjer, heller!

way to go erik! :p

kung ako yun, duduruin ko sya sabi sabi with much drama in voice ng "you... have no right!" o kaya sasampalin ko na lng at sisigaw ako ng: "maniac! maniac! help!" ahihihi

Abou said...

ewik bilib ako sa yo!


Aracir said...

salamat naman, u spoke for all of us. buti nga sa kanya, sana naintindihan niya sinabi mo.

Anonymous said...

Is he american?

♥nova-san said...

That was definitely classy what you did. And difficult to do. I tend to explode at such situations hahaha. But I've also learned throughout the years that biting my tongue is better and not dignifying their low-life actions with an angry response is a much better weapon.

odin hood said...

wow galing!!! idol talaga si kuya ewik!!!

i think i would have simply ignored him,... if i was to say something back it probably wouldnt be as classy as what you said..

jericho said...

wow.. grace under pressure. I had an encounter with racist pig once. We cursed each other while walking until we reached the gate of my office. I went inside then gave him the finger once I was out of reach. 6-footer sya noh! hehe

WHITE said...

Ewik (LOL! sorry ha kasi I'm still amused with that), I'm proud of what you have done. I hope I would have the same grace and courage to do the same thing when that happens to me. :)


napunding alitaptap... said...

ahaha, i pity him. . .

i honor you. . .

kung ako naman yun, tinawanan ko lang siya. . . right in front of his face.

and if he gets more annoyed, panalo pa rin ako. . . nakakatuwa ka po.

Ely said...

bravo! unfortunately based from your description, he must be a Chinese or worse, Korean.,so most probably baka ndi niya naintindihan yung sinabi mo. Sana sinulat mo and asked him na pa-explain niya sa English tutor niya. hehehe.
Anyway, basta ako pag may nakabanggaan ako sa daan, ndi ako nag-sosorry!

Mel said...

you just made him weak... ewik! nyahahah! it really feels good to walk away knowing that you have vanquished your enemy with just a few words! apir!

Gypsy said...

i riddle people like him with canon balls in my mind... then just smile a wicked grin...although I make it a point to trip him at one point or another, immediately, 'tho... pero tama ginawa mo... pero sana, mas sinimplehan mo ingles mo, para naintindihan sana nya... kc tingin ko, hehe, lunong lang sha konte

Lance said...

I like this post. I'm so proud of you. You're a Philippine Hero! hehehe no kidding.. thanks for dropping by my blog btw...

Niel Camhalla said...


Ako siguro isasagot ko lang: "Could you speak in English, please?" Sabay ngiti, sabay cat-walk out.


it's my first time to read that quote, and i'd say I totally agree.. I might live my life with that dictum from now on...

Toilet Thoughts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toilet Thoughts said...

Gosh! I've always... I repeat... always wanted to do that. Let one stupid jerk (or bitch) go on with his/ her litany and in the end, get the upperhand on the situation and let out one wise comment making him/ her look stupid.

Naks Eric, kudos to you for having the right temperament, right timing, right attitude, right patience and right guts to do that.

I applaud you for being the more civilized race. naks talga. bow ako sayo.

Pathbinder said...

What you said was right and enough. If you want people like him beaten up. Let the crowd mob him, don't disgrace yourself with violence. :)

But I bet it was awesome how you delivered your words to him, he's probably speechless.

All in all, the real one at fault is him, good thing he wasn't mobbed and lynched by the crowd.

wanderingcommuter said...

amicus: inisip ko na lang: hindi kailangan ng violence. ang kailangan hard core diplomacy na kahit butas ng pwet niya magtatago sa bituka niya... wow, ang morbid! hahaha.

cedeux: hahaha. huwag na. konsensya ko pa yan. hahaha... oo tira tira pasukan (hahaha. bum na nanunuod ng my girl)

the dong: well thanks dude, sana pala nakita niyo para may standing ovation din ako ng ginawa ko yun. hahaha. biro lang!

mugen: bayolente? hehehe... naku, hidni na pinapatulan ang mga ganun tao, kuya joms...

dabo: naks,,,salamat!

princhecha: hahahaha!!! oo nga noh, magandang idea yun... para kinuyog siya ng mga tao1 hahaha. sige sa susunod gagawin ko yun!

abou: salamat!!! so sa ginawa ko ba my free trip at accomodation na ako papuntang bora? hahaha!!!

arcir: sana nga din eh. pano kung hindi pala. nasayang lang... pero palagay naintindihan niya, hindi nya lang matanggap. hehehe

bino: no hes not... i think he's more of a chinese than a japanese or korean... becaus eof tehir eye folds.

novasan: siguro nagmana ako sa iyo! hehehe

odin: hahaha... diplomacy for me is more hurtful than being violent.

jericho: hahaha!!! mas classy ata yubng sa iyo jericho! hahaha!!!

white: ayus lang sanay na ako yun ang tinatatwag. salamat po sa appreciaton! hehehe.

napunding alitaptap... tapos natakot siya sa iyo akala niya may sira ka...hahaha!!! jowk lang. salamat sa pagbabasa..

ely: kapag namukhaan kita sa daan babanggain banggain kita kahit sa nakahandusay ka na. makapag sorry ka lang... hehe. biro lang... oo nbga sana pala binigyan ko siya ng hard copy ng line ko noh!~

mel: sayang! hidni ko suot yung tshirt na yun nung nangyari yun.. hahaha!!!

gypsy: oo nge eh... but what can i do? hidni ko na malevel down yung english ko sa level niya eh. hahaha.. yabang. saka on the otherhand, ayus na rin yun para clueless siya at lalo siyang mabobother sa mga part na hidni niya naitindihan. hahaha!

lance: phil hero? reality show din po ba ito? hahaha... no biggie dude!

niel: hahaha... panalo!!! ikaw na talaga ang official "make-me-really-laugh" blogger ko. hahahaha!

kj: wow, atleast my nashare ako sa buhay mo... cause i care aboutob sir and i care about you!!! hehehe.

toilet thoughts: naku, ang laki na masyado ng ulo ko... baka matalo ko na si emilia earheart nito sa pagtravel around the world. pero salamat sa appreciation dude!!!

pathbinder: probably you will do the same thing if you ar ein the situation my friend!

Lydia said...

Oh kiddo, that black screen! But, once again, your excellent post was worth the agony...
What a great post! You did an amazing thing and I hope that your one decent and calmly-forceful act will spread from person to person. If we don't all start respecting one another and honoring diversity we endanger life on the planet.
This is amazing: I have a framed quote by Eleanor Roosevelt right here by the keyboard. It says:

the purpose of life
is to live it,
to taste experience
to the utmost,
to reach out eagerly
and without fear
for newer and
richer experience.

peter penducker said...

alam mo, you have all the right na sapakin siya. you're a local. he's a foreigner (from the looks of it). he's in YOUR HOUSE, YOUR LAND. it's his OBLIGATION as an alien to act politely and not bring his high-handedness from wherever he came from to his host's house.

but then again, you also acted with civility. bravo!

noel said...

Boy, that was perfect!

I'll memorize that line for future use, just in case...