Wednesday, December 16, 2009

everyone has his own story

they grace earth with such color and elegance. redefining the word beauty as they strut their hips in such rhythm. their body nearly bare. clothes hanging almost on the edge of their souls. they laugh as if they were concealing something. they smile to atleast draw the same line on other peoples' lips (or atleast thats what their intentions were).

but despite their presence, no one really knew who they were or understood why there were there. and that even i, could not claim i know nor understand.

people, just like most people, only thought of one thing, that they are just sores that give their place a bad name.

someone once told me that eavesdropping and/or staring at someone is rude. but for me, judging them is far more worse.

the other night, we were having cups of warm drinks and a tasty conversation, when i noticed a group took the table just across ours. believe me, you'll never fail to miss them if you were there.

at first glance, i thought that they were just a simple group of friends having their regular afternoon tea. but then in an instant, i suddenly noticed how their eyes moved like winter birds and how their gestures caressed the air. it was an instant give away. but there was something more; their attention didn't settle to any man that passed them by.

it was as if they were into a hunt. a game that only the preys know.

suddenly the cafe's guard started walking away from his post. then i noticed the sudden but gradual change from his welcoming smile to every customer that walked in to an arrogance that could not be described, as he approached them.

in the table, one of them even raised his cup and took a deep sip. but it didn't stop the guard. then tension nerves appeared. the once fierce and calling eyes mellowed down to mere pairs of dark balls filled with fear.

i didn't catch what they were talking about. they were just too far from our table. but what i saw next, surprised me.

the guard checked and lifted one of their paper bags, with his arrogance still unmoved. i could see how difficult it was for them to answer and no one even tried to take back what the guard was holding. now, everyone is watching them.

what is the guard asking them? is he asking if they really bought those things? is he implying that they shoplifted it? why are they not reacting violently? why do they look so scared?

questions flew inside my head like papers being swept away by the afternoon breeze. i could think of a million possible scenarios from all the movies and stories i have watched and read. but it seemed like nothing really fit in. until the guard took the bag away and put it inside a box near his post. surprisingly, still no one in the table reacted.

so what's the real score?

when the guard put back his welcoming smile and stood beside the wide and heavy glass door again, the group started talking. they look like they were conniving and cooking something. one by one they stood up and walked toward different directions until only one was left.

then he stood up, went to the guard post and retrieved his paper bag. the guard took it from his shelf and politely handed it over to him. he then went back to his table and slowly finished his cup of tea. and the hunting game resumed.

after a while, i noticed a middle age caucasian passed by, went inside the cafeteria, ordered a cup of coffee and sat three tables away from us. it was no big deal since a good number of foreigners usually go to this mall. but that scene actually gave me, the huge piece of the puzzle that i am missing. and it was later confirmed when the caucasian walked pass us and casually sat beside him. then a transaction was made and they left the place together.
later that night, an acquaintance told us about how these groups are now being driven away by cafes inside this mall. despite the running courtesy rule of big coffee shops around the world, that prohibits them from doing so regardless if they are buying customers or not.

only in the philippines, he added.

in this kind of situation, i have only three things to say.

first, its agitating how people have devised ways to stereotype this kind of preference to mere act of prostitution, to a point that even celebrities or people with big names are of no exemption.
how we dress reflects only a part of who we are and not the entire story of our life.

second, its just sad to know that nowadays, a filipino can feel so alienated to his own country, whenever a foreigner is situated in the same place that s/he is. probably thats the problem of us being too hospitable to other people other than our own. we just keep on thinking foreigners are messiahs: great and kind. while us on the otherhand, are just any other brown skin guy up to something not good.

lastly, yes, i am against prostitution but not to those being prostituted (which i think should be more politically correct term for the word prostitute). thing is, not because someone does something immoral, makes us above them. the morals that we have, will never give us the right to do something bad against their like. there are proper venues.

now, i wonder. what if it will be a group of prostituted foreigners wearing the same kind of clothes and behaving the same manner as they do, will the guard still approach them? will the people around them think of the same thing against them? or will it be an entirely different thing?

come to think of it, all of us have our own flaws. its just that its different from others, for its based upon our own life stories. thus, this makes us not entirely different from them.

all of us have stories other people don't know and may not understand.

*photos taken from the movie irreversible


rudeboy said...

Ah, what a thought-provoking post.

I've often maintained that one should "Look the way you want to be treated." We can expand that motto to include "Behave the way you want others to treat you."

A gaggle of hyperactive people - regardless of their sexual preference - can be a great irritant especially in a public place. Yes, yes, bakit nga ba they're just having fun, and so on. While I agree that they are entitled to have their fun, other people are also entitled to enjoy their coffee and bagels in relative peace - especially in a coffee shop suck as 'Bucks or Coffee Bean.

"Decorum" is a good word here. It is defined at least three ways:

1. dignified propriety of behavior, speech, dress, etc.
2. the quality or state of being decorous; orderliness; regularity.
3. Usually, decorums. an observance or requirement of polite society.

In short, decorum is little more than basic courtesy, a tacit understanding that there is a time and a place for everything - even giggling fits and predatory eyes.

I'll say it: roving bands of loud PLUs annoy the bejeezus out of me. But I'm an equal-opportunity grouch and therefore will also say that a gaggle of loud office girls, or colegialas, or matrons, or rowdy boisterous guys are equally vexing.

If we were in a venue such as a bar or a dance club, then naturally, I accept that wild and noisy behavior is not only to be expected, but even encouraged.

As for cliches that Pinoy boys (and girls) who seek and keep the company of white men are just little Miss Saigon wannabes who dream of beig taken to New York and given dollar bills, well...there's a reason chiches exist. Because they're usually true.

Let the debates begin.

Anonymous said...

everyone has their own story.

everyone is for singular, so the their there should be replaced with his.

everyone has his own story.

wanderingcommuter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wanderingcommuter said...

hey. noted and edited. sorry. thanks!

Galen said...

"second, its just sad to know that nowadays, a filipino can feel so alienated to his own country, whenever a foreigner is situated in the same place that s/he is. probably thats the problem of us being too hospitable to other people other than our own. we just keep on thinking foreigners are messiahs: great and kind. while us on the otherhand, are just any other brown skin guy up to something not good."

Long before you were born Ewik, it has always been this way. We will always be the little brown brothers of the First World.

domjullian said...

we really don't love our own. we adore anything but pinas. we look up to foreigners with great dignity just because we think they are superior to us or can speak slang english.

engel said...

pansin ko lang you have a huge interest when it comes to these kinds of people.

Yj said...

@ Engel... malapit kasi siya sa mga tulad ko.... hihihihihi

hoy yan ba yung babatuhin ko ng suklay?

line of flight said...

i follow the feeling of your post and share in its discomfort. i'm just not sure that i completely follow the storyline of victim. prostitution has historically been an unsanctioned means by which women and the poor (throughout the world) could break free from socio-economic caste systems (which is why it has been so offensive to the system). the "rescue" industry created by wealthy Christians in the last fifty years, notwithstanding, I have found that most prostitutes have agency within their circumstances. the suffering of poverty and the choices it leads one to make, is something that is not unique to prostitution.

i happen to disagree with what Galen says. i believe we Filipinos have agency (even if highly circumscribed by our own collective complexes). therefore, the only people that can make us the little brown brothers of the First World is us. for example, it is our Filipino companies that sell and market gluta, not First World countries. it is us Filipinos who buy gluta, they are not handed out in bulk by USAID or the ADB.

wanderingcommuter said...

rudeboy: hey! well, thanks for taking the time of reading my entry and contemplating it. i appreciate it very much.

well, as non-normative and ideal as it may sound, i just find this definition of respect as quite selfish, conventional and very pretentious.

decorum is contextual and so is respect. for respect to be given and achieved, there are a lot of things to be taken in consideration:

1. parties should atleast share a number of common norms and mores.

2. the culture of the space.

3. and lastly, the existing prejudices and discrimination of a certain society in accordance to what they deemed as deviants is also important to be looked at.

indeed, the definitions of decorum are right and well researched. but i think its misapplied in the case. commonly, decorum is only limited within the boundaries of a formal, professional or in special settings (such as plays etc). in this case, decorum is not strictly required since it dwells inside a mall.

but assuming that decorum is needed inside such establishment, then how come there are other people who wear the same type of clothes? is it because if women wear such, they are deemed classy, sexy and sophisticated? and other than them, everyone are already deemed prostituted?

A gaggle of hyperactive people - regardless of their sexual preference - can be a great irritant especially in a public place.

in this case, i didn't mention that they were talking and laughing at the top of their throats. they were just there silently sitting in their table, having their drinks and actually checking out people. there were literally no noise coming from them. and if what their wearing could be the one that you are pertaining to. well, i just don't get how one's clothes may disturb someone from having his coffee and baggels. not unless, you are actually attracted to them.

isn't that stereotyping already? easily assuming that just because they are gay and cross dressers, they are already loud and pain to one's peace?

bring it on. hahahaha.

wanderingcommuter said...

galen: yun na nga kuya joms e. but it seemed like laging natin itong nalilimutan kaya dapat uling ipaalala.

belated ulit. yihee! :)

wanderingcommuter said...

dom julian: sad reality, isn't it?

wanderingcommuter said...

engel: namiss ko lang ulit magsulat ng ganito... its always a fresh breather kapag you voice out what other people want to say.

wanderingcommuter said...

YJ: ikaw naman ay hidni nagpapabayad, yj. so iba ka pa dins a kanila. hehehehe! joke!

wanderingcommuter said...

YJ:oo, sila ngayon! babatuhin dahil sa sobrang ganda!

line of flight: sorry, they're just too many things runninginside my head while i am writing this. and probably nadala lang ako masyado. hehehe!

sabi nga nila, prostitution is the oldest profession.

dabo said...

similar din ito sa pagsasalita ng english..

kapag non-english speaking na foreigner, okay lang kapag may accent at mali ang grammar, pero kapag si janina san miguel na..

suddenly janina is a laughingstock.

TheCoolCanadian said...

"Long before you were born Ewik, it has always been this way. We will always be the little brown brothers of the First World."

Well, this one is so 1950-ish!

Guys, nowadays, if you come to north America, you'll be surprised how this part of the globe is now multiculturalized. Brown, yellow, pink, blue, black, brown and white – are all the same in any level.

Also, despite the fact that everyone is accepted here by everyone, RUDE BOY makes sense. There should be decorum. Here, for instance, people love summer so much that we usually walk outside shirtless. But, hey. If you're going to a coffee shop, restaurant, etc., NOBODY WILL SERVE YOU IF YOU'RE SHIRTLESS.

Let's not be too overly melodramatic about this brown-white stuff. This thingy is no longer happening here. Even the US president is no longer white. The Asians here sometimes are even more arrogant than anybody else, for crying out loud – especially those ignoramuses from Hong Kong. Not all of them, but many are arrogant, as if they owned the whole world.

Rude boy, despite his rude name, is very prim and proper after all. True. Go to a night club or a bar and do your thingy and the devil may care if you do. But, if you're in a restaurant, coffee shop, church, community center, well, it's common sense, my friends. Common sense.

wanderingcommuter said...

cool canadian guy: exactly the point, you're in north america and we are in the philippines. common sense.

wanderingcommuter said...

dabo: bakit ang galing mong mag simplify at gumawa ng analogy in an ultra light manner?!


jamie da vinci! said...

i have always found it fascinating the immense will power one has to exercise in negating one's self value for survival. no one chooses to willingly sell one's body, but i guess on certain instances (too terrible for me to even imagine), one's body is a price one is willing to pay.

that's the story i have for these people. despite how deviant their professions may be, you cannot take away the fact that if the shoe was on the other foot, we might not even survive a day.

on the issue of decorum, i do have to agree that there is a proper place and a proper time for everything. respect is not freely given but is actually earned. though it may be frustrating for some, especially with all the stereotypes one have to overcome, i think the end result is much worth the upward trek. true, you will not gain everyone's approval... but then again, do you really need the nod from people who choose to think that popular opinion is tantamount to the gospel truth?

my bite from this deliciously baked pie, courtesy of ewik. hehehehe.


citybuoy said...

i don't really wanna think about prostitution or anything pero when that guard took the bag, i felt kinda bad.

Victor Gregor said...

Very nicely said. The thing with prostitution is that it operates and thrives on double-standards. And now, so does our coffee shops. Like everywhere else.

I hate it that coffee shops have become snooty places.

TheCoolCanadian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheCoolCanadian said...

"I hate it that coffee shops have become snooty places."

Is this the STATUS QUO in the Philippines?

From where I am, coffee shops are the friendliest places to enjoy your caffein.


What's going on in RP? The last time I was there was 25 years ago. The restaurants were friendly, I talked to the waitresses all the time, we joked, we laughed. We even exchanged telephone numbers sometimes.

Why is it that I seem to be getting another type of story here? Have the Filipinos turned into monstrous, snooty, rude, abusive, aloof, antagonistic, cold, uncompanionable, unfriendly, unreceptive, unsociable, impatient, cold-hearted, morose, ill-tempered, mean-spirited, hypocritical, noveau riche-minded, oppressive, assholes, piece of shit jerks?

Ayay, if this is the case, I'll never visit that country ever again.

I used to love it. It used to be friendly, amiable, laid back, humble, forgiving, happy, affable, affectionate, amiable, amicable, attached, attentive, auspicious, beneficial, benevolent, benign, buddy-buddy, chummy, civil, close, clubby, comradely, conciliatory, confiding, convivial, cordial, faithful, familiar, favorable, fond, genial, good, helpful, kind, kindly, loving, loyal, neighborly, outgoing, peaceable, peaceful, propitious, receptive, sociable, solicitous, sympathetic, tender, thick, welcoming, well-disposed.

What the hell happened?

Please explain before I run out of synonyms and antonyms!

line of flight said...

give me your address CoolCanadian and I'll buy you a bigger thesaurus and you can impress upon us monstrous, snooty, rude, abusive, aloof, antagonistic, cold, uncompanionable, unfriendly, unreceptive, unsociable, impatient, cold-hearted, morose, ill-tempered, mean-spirited, hypocritical, noveau riche-minded, oppressive, assholes, piece of shit jerks your command of an bigger English thesaurus....

Aris said...

friend, napakamapanuri talaga ng iyong mga mata at napakamakabuluhan ng iyong interpretasyon sa bawat nakikita. bow ako sa'yo. :)

TheCoolCanadian said...

Mr. Line of Flight from Mountain Province, I am serious. I might be trying to make the communication light by adding some humor that you didn't appreciate – obviously – but that's okay.

What's bothering me about RP these days is the upsetting news I get, and the young people's attitude in general.

1. A couturier demanded that a store clerk should kneel down in front of him just because the worker told him that the gay's credit card didn't work

2. A handsome Filipino got shot just because he was good-looking. But, what really shocked me was the RECTION of some young Filipinos in the internet. Many treated the incident a funny one. They laugh (LOL was just everywhere in their comments), as if they're CONDONING this evil act.

3. The massacre in Mindanao shocked the whole world.

And now, here's wandering commuter's complaint about the coffee shop incident.

I need some concrete and serious response to my question. I don't need any infantile, non-sensical answers. I am serious when I asked the question: Have the Filipinos changed into something else that they weren't?

Frankly, basing upon the young Filipinos' responses and opinions in the internet, I am beginning to conclude that many young people these days are becoming too self-centric, and the devil may care if others live or die.

Please don't let me believe this completely. I need answers, real answers done in a more professional, serious way. I am editing a newspaper here in British Columbia, and before I publish this article on young Filipinos of today, I want to hear your voices first. So, fire those answers away. I'm listening. ARE TODAY;S YOUNG FILIPINOS TOO SELF-CENTRIC?

Take note that I am talking about being self-centric, not self-centered. I mean someone who clearly believes that the world spins around him/her. Not ego-centric or self-centered, because the self-centric person is not full of him or herself. He or she only believes that everything in the world has to do with him or her.

BTW, thanks for offering a Thesaurus for me. I actually have a library in my house, so no need for that. I suggest you donate that to an elementary school in oe of the poor provinces in RP. The school children will enjoy that. Also, I like your Igorot costume. Where can I buy one for myself? It looks cool. That – I will not refuse if you send one to me.

rudeboy said...

So, uhm, we still doin' this?

Told ya this was a thought-provoking post, ewik. I did have a reply for you but it turned out too long and I didn't want to hijack your Comments Section.

Anyhoo, I'll just take a crack at TheCoolCanadian's question:


The easy answer would be to issue a blanket statement and say that "self-centricity" is the province of youth. Unless one is living in some truly benighted place like Somalia and such - where the Maslowian hierarchy of needs is welded squarely at the bottom - I'd venture that young people worldwide are not just self-centric, but self-absorbed, as well. Or are they one and the same thing?

Ah, but you asked about FILIPINO youth, so let's focus on that. It's foolhardy to gauge a country's general temperature from AP headlines alone. That doesn't just go for the Philippines, but all over. I'm pretty sure young people still party and go clubbing and surf the net with wild abandon in places like Beirut or Jerusalem, even though headlines would often have us believe there is nothing but strife and car bombs going off in those places.

But back to the Filipino youth. Are they TOO self-centric? I'll go back to my original thesis and reiterate that all young people are self-centric. The world IS their oyster, after all. Introspection and selflessness often - but not always - come with maturity and a good helping of life's hard knocks.

From these blogs alone, one can glean that yes, a lot of today's kids seem to care only about their conquests, their gadgets, their desires, and their general bitching about life and love. But like those headlines you mentioned, I guess one has to scratch beneath the surface to discover all the human imperfections and frailties within. I'm not issuing any apologia for thinking the world revolves around one's self. It's just that with the explosion of the internet and the radical dissemination of instantaneous information, it's easy to assume that everyone's just more into instant gratification than ever before.

While that may be true to some extent, barring empirical evidence, I can only leave it to conjecture.

As Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr so famously wrote:

"Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose."

Anonymous said...

I'm back!!! :)

I'm ok with prostitution. It's business. Just like schools, hospitals and cafes.

Anonymous said...

Daan kayo sa blog ko. :)

TheCoolCanadian said...

Rude Boy:

"Told ya this was a thought-provoking post, ewik. I did have a reply for you but it turned out too long and I didn't want to hijack your Comments Section."

Ouch! I didn't realize posting a long reply is hijacking? If it is, then I apologize o all of you, most especially to EWIK (from Ewok?)

Merci. J'aime votre réponse. Sensible et franc, aucun mélodrama.
When I was a teenager living there in RP, most young people were so conscientious and selfless. This may sound like an argumentum ad hominem, but I am just overwhelmed by what I see, and your view seems to give me some idea on what's going on. I guess, an old Spansh expression still works: burriquito por delante para que no se espante.
Indeed, let the burrito walk ahead of you so it doesn't get scared.

In a capitalist society, one needs to have a capital to turn it into a profit. That capital can be "knowledge and/or expertise", and if you have nothing but your body, then that becomes the capital to generate more profits.

Sad, but true.

wanderingcommuter said...

just keep the thoughts going... i love the arguments we are brewing...

Anonymous said...

ang sagot sa tanong mo coolcanadian:

"We are trying our best not become who you are now."


dabo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheCoolCanadian said...

Anonymous said...

ang sagot sa tanong mo coolcanadian:

"We are trying our best not become who you are now."


... and that is: not be shocked by the giggling young Filipinos just because a guy got shot for being good-looking? Is this what you don't want to be? You are so callous then, anonymous, and a COWARD. If you want to be heard, speak up. Call a spade a spade and don't hide behind anonymous because it will never give weight to wahatever you say.

With your response, you're too ambiguous. You don't want to be like me who is shocked by the LOL reaction of too many young Filipinos regarding the senseless murder of an innocent person. Since you don't want to be like me, then you are cold, calculating and evil. Plain and simple.

I apologize for eating up your space here, Ewik, but I can see now that this is an exercise in futility.

line of flight said...

@CoolCanadian: There are over 90 millions Filipinos in the Philippines, 2 million OFWs abroad and several million ex-pats and dual-citizens. I find it difficult to accept your conclusion that because a few Filipinos behave badly, such behavior can be imputed onto all Filipinos or onto Philippine society in general.

Thank you for educating us on your self-help-book based model of narcissism by making a curious and seemingly meaningless differentiation between the terms self-centered and self-centric.

Your jeremiad on the moral decay of the Philippines based upon the actions of a few that you've read about in your armchair, is really a throw-back to the 1950s and a reactionary and puerile form of hysteria.

Let me answer your question: Yes. Filipinos are constantly changing. And isn't it desirable? Change and growth? If we weren't to grow and change, would we be hearing jeremiads of overseas Filipinos about how backward and regressive we would be as a people?

You may have a serious point or question but the problem is that your overall tone is totally condescending and perhaps you need to do this because you yourself suffer from extreme narcissism and have to find a way to distinguish yourself from the narcissism that you occasionally read about.

I also can't send you a bahag. But you are invited to break your 25 year absence from our country and get one here -- if you have the time, we might also be able to teach you how to knot it properly and how to take heads.

rudeboy said...

@ TheCoolCanadian : De rien, monsieur, et merci aussi.

Well, looks like Ewik's got a real hot-button topic here.Gotta love it.

@ Ewik : Looks like I ended up hijacking your Comments Section after all haha. Considering how...ahhh...passionate some of the responses have been, i'm unsure whether posting my take on the main points of your post will lead to discourse or just discord.

Anonymous said...

it is not lol reaction. anu ka mo ha. i mean it when i say i won't strive to become someone like you when i could be myself.

personally kapag inaplay ko ang model mo ng mundo sa mundo ko, magkakaroon ng chaos, first and foremost, kasi relative ang mga bagay-bagay. pangalawa, you underestimate my peers. sure ka na ba na we don't care.

sa pagkakaalam ko, nasa batch mo nung kabataan mo ang nagpapatakbo ng Pilipinas. At doubtful ang claim mo na people back then are ganito ganyan, if they were, your so loving it, you have stayed in "that country." pero syempre iba ang spelling ng snow sa pinoy istayl hispageti (kapampangan eh), minsan ang snow ay spelled money din..kahit noon. when i say money i mean good life... a better life than what you have way back then when waitresses were friendly

isa pa, i've already made a draft blog entry tungkol sa mga kalabaw na nakatungtong sa snow bilang reaction sa mga retorika mo. ang gist ng entry ay: ano ang difference ng langaw na nakatuntong sa kalabaw sa kalabaw na nakatuntong sa snow?

wala na ko balak i-post kasi redundant na. dyahe na.

pero i admire ang pagiging family oriented mo.. kaso wag ka masyadong mayabang.

ano tingin mo sa sarili template ng tao na self-actualize. yaiks!

kuya naman eh..

Yj said...

OMG... bakit hindi nagiging ganito ka interactive ang comment section ng blog ko?

porke ba puro kalandian lang ang mga post ko hindi na kayo nagtatalo-talo?

it hurts ha!!!! bwahahahahahahaha

hoy Ewik... pang ilan na toh? hahahahaha


Yj said...

and by the way.... reading blogs from my link lists is so much better than going to university....

mas may natututunan pa ko dito... :)

Galen said...


You're the perfect example of a Pinoy Expatriate who after staying for a very long time abroad, has suddenly forgotten how Filipinos live in this backwater Islands of the Pacific. Please don't ever, ever, forget that despite your claims that "its so multicultural" in the part of the world, when the going gets tough, it is still the white people who would be given priority by their government.

Pardon us if we haven't gotten over the colonial thinking. You see, Millions of Filipinos still live below the poverty line and they see the white foreigners as the savior from their misery.

As for us who slave for a living appeasing the spoiled kids of the first world, well at least, our only consolation is that we have snatched their jobs, and we learn that we're not as stupid like their forefathers thought we were.

mel beckham said...

haynaku, totoo naman talaga mas iba ang tingin ng mga kapwa natin kumpara sa mga puti. kulang na lang sambahin and that's a fact and that's what we are seeing here.

anywhore, bottomline is mag behave habang nagkakape. wag umorder ng latte lalo na kung lactose-intolerant na gaya ko. haha

TheCoolCanadian said...

Okay, guys:

Let me cut clean.

I was never a Filipino citizen.
My parents were both foreigners and I only happened to live in the country in my early childhood and teenage years. I must admit that maybe what I saw in the young Filipinos when I was there was the antithesis of what's going now.
Maybe I was too presumptuous to conclude that most young people in your country are like what I said you are, but, this is the main reason why I took advantage of this blog to open this Pandora's box so I would get the real sentiment of the young people. Many of you are overreacting, maybe like the way I overreact to the response of too many young people LAUGHING at the death of that good-looking guy who got murdered. I lived in Spain for several year (my mother's homeland as she was French-Spanish), and lived a few years in Portugal (my father's homeland as he was Portuguese-Chinese), and when a horrific incident such as the one mentioned happens, all the citizens show their repulsion to it. In Canada, same thing. People don't condone such a heinous act, and when I see the comments in the internet from the young people of your country, I was just floored. Can you blame me for this?

And what is this: ano ang difference ng langaw na nakatuntong sa kalabaw sa kalabaw na nakatuntong sa snow?

I have never been a langaw or kalabaw (water buffalo?) because I was not from your country. Why can't you guys discuss things without being INDIGNANT? This is not the way to discuss an issue intelligently. Rude Boy should be your model on how to argue by the issue alone and nothing more.

Learn from him. You see, many of you are BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE. If you argue within the issue alone, you won't be resorting to ARGUMENTUM AD MISERICORDIAM.

I’ve been to numerous Filipino blogs and the inanities of the young people’s comments are appalling, to say the least. I’ve read the most nonsensical comments out there. Rude boy should be emulated by many young Filipinos. He speaks with conviction, defend his side objectively sans melodramatic emotion – unlike most of those silly Filipino telenovelas we see nowadays here in North America. Sometimes, I feel like hurling a steel ball onto the TV screen to put an end to all the inanities that these two horrific TV networks are feeding these young Filipinos. Everything they show on these TV dramas are junk, not the Filipino lifestyle which is wonderful, but instead, we see the western lifestyle or even the Korean way of life – both have nothing to do with the Filipinos’ daily existence. Enough of fantasy, guys. Let’s face reality and confront them head on. If you don’t confront the massive corruption everywhere in your country that’s causing massive poverty, then you are not doing your share to improve the situation of too many Filipinos suffering right now. You are the young. You will be the ones responsible for the future of your country. Live and learn, and listen to other people viewing your country from the outside window. You might just realize things that you don’t see from the inside.

You see the reaction when you open Pandora’s box? The young people’s imagination is triggered. You should do this often. And rest assured I will give my comment to trigger more reaction from your readers.

And I think this is the most appropriate time to greet you all: A MERRY INTELLIGENT CHRISTMAS AND A MIND-STIMULTING NEW YEAR!

A votre santé, young Filipinos.

line of flight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Galen said...

Canadian Guy:

So now you're telling us you're not a Filipino?


Anonymous said...

Mga 'pre:

Mdyo masakit nga ang mga sinabi ni CC, pero ang malungkot nito, puro totoo. Aminin na lang natin. Nasa atin nga ang mga pagkukulang.

- Alvin Iglesias

line of flight said...


I think he's saying he's Filipino when he wants to talk, but not when he ought to listen. lol.

Victor Gregor said...

I feel that all these confused disagreements stem from the fact that we have interpretated Ewik and each other's comments in our own completely different terms, which should have been harmless, had we been also wary of each other's different backgrounds and intentions.

I may be wrong, but I believe Ewik's point in his post is to lament the double-standard way society operates on. He used his particularly Filipino experience, but this should not have been a basis for generalizations on the Filipino attitude. Indeed there is even a question if such a singular Filipino attitude is even possible.

Even conceding that a snooty coffee shop culture may mean that Filipinos have lost their trademark warmth and friendliness (among other synonyms and redundancies a thesaurus might offer), this still does not mean that this culture is entirely left unchecked. The mere fact that there are people who are indignant at this supposed double-standard culture actually suggests otherwise. I guess that answers Cool Canadian's initial question "Have Filipinos Devolved?" (Translation: NO.)

It actually is taxing to reconcile everything that everyone has so far said, and maybe I am courting more disasters. But I have a feeling that though all of us are coming from different perspectives, I think we will all agree on a few things:

1. Discrimination happens anywhere and everywhere, and to everyone, regardless of race, nationality, sex, gender preference, profession, social status;

2. It is useless to limit arguments with culture because human condition and human nature is ultimately and essentially the same everywhere. All of us feel the same desires and fears, though we show them in different ways.

3. And finally (and this sounds a little bit too magnanimous that I must apologize in advance) when we, young people, notice things that should not be happening in the first place, we can feel consoled that, being young, we are gifted with the zeal needed to make things just a little less like the shit they are now.

I hope, honestly, that I made sense. Kasi nagutom ako bigla pagkatapos kong itype ito. :D

Anonymous said...

Please moderate... ty.

Nagutom rin...

TheCoolCanadian said...


Now that I've told you exactly who I am, you're even rejecting it.

It's all plain and simple. My parents were foreigners. And as far as Filipino citizenship goes which is jus sanguines, I was forced to elect my mother's citizenship which was Spanish. Mind you, I lived in Bicol and learned the Bicolano language. I lived in Forbes Park and learned the tagalog language. This is the reason why I became multilingual. I speak Spanish, Portuguese, French, Bicol and Tagalog. But, because I treat Filipinos as cousins (you are truly endeared to me), I care about what's going on in your country. However, if you think I am intruding in your own business, then, no big deal. I still enjoy the Filipinos here in North America. I am editing a Filipino newspaper in English called the Vancouver Times.

In my youth, I wanted to elect Filipino citizenship, but I left the country as a minor person to study in the USA so I didn't have that opportunity anymore. Now, I am a Canadian citizen and happy being one.

I've been to different countries, and I used to find the Philippines the most loving, most friendly, most enduring. Now, I am not sure anymore. You all seems to sound like the country's politicos. And please stop taunting me in Tagalog. My tagalog might not be as perfect as that of Balagtas, but I surely know the language. Remember? I used to write TV dramas in the 70s for Channel 2 with another foreigner director, Mario O'hara.

Have a good day, guys. It was fun chatting with you all.

Though it would not be the last time you'd hear from me. If Ewik would tackle another topic that is worth discussing, why not? I'll come back and will surely join the debate.

line of flight said...

iboto ko si Victor Gregor para sa partylist. lol.

Anonymous said...

Grabe kayo. Mabuti na lang sumabat si Victor. Ang masisisi ko lang dito, yang si Rude Boy. Bakit kasi hindi nag-agree kay Ewik. Kung nag-agree siya sa una pa lang, hindi na sana umalma itong si Cool (hot?) Canadian. Ke pogi pa naman, kakagigil.

Hayz, salamat naman at natapos na rin ang balitaktakan.

Anonymous said...

*nagugutom din

Anonymous said...

LOL! Pati mga anonymous sasali yata! Eh, kasi naman... Nandyan naman ang SWS o PulseAsia o UP Pop-I para sa mga napakabroad questions kagaya ng natanong...

The Constant Bonsaist said...

Me and my officemates, together with our Canadian boss, went to a high-end mall here in Makati for dinner and some coffee when a band of tranny prostitutes suddenly popped out of nowhere and circled my ex-pat boss repeteadly saying (and in one point even harassing):

"Hey you! Wanna have some fun?"

I was offended, really. It was not the kind of Filipino "hospitality" and representation I was hoping for.

Good thing though that my boss is a kind man and understands very well Filipino history, culture, and current events. He just brushed off the incident.

The trannies that you saw that night were more "behaved" actually. I frequent that place for years now and I can assure you before that those trannies would go from ex-pat's table to table just to get some men buy their "goods".

Like the title of your post "Everyone Has His Own Story", yes these people has their story to tell why they're doing what they're doing: poverty, childhood abuses, money, etc. But we should also think that the security guard has his own story to tell why he did what he did: direct orders from management that if he doesn't do it he might get fired, perhaps?

We all have our own story to tell, especially regarding this issue. =)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, kung gusto mong makoryente sa mga information tungkol sa Asia, Pulse Asia ang gawin mong guide.


-Alvin Iglesias

Galen said...

Constant Botanist:

Like I said in one of my comments, Filipinos tend to see foreigners as their salvation. You know, milking cows.

It's colonial mentality.

Wait. Its one of those post-colonial psyche scars.

Sad but true.

wanderingcommuter said...

i have a feeling that the hot comments of this entry was the reason why my laptop died earlier... but i guess its all worth it.

tama si viktor, nawala tayo sa theme ng entry. but on a positive note, we were able to tackle an interrelated sets of ideas, opinions and concepts (minus the subjective and personal grudges we have for each other).

sisihin talaga si rudeboy for provoking the debate. hahaha!

next post, balik ako sa mushy and cheesy love and sex entries! hahaha!

line of flight said...

wanderingcom: I have deleted one of my posts that I feel did not appropriately address the topic. My apologies. I also would like to apologize to CoolCanadian for calling you a liar. I do not have an adequate basis for that assertion at this time.

dabo said...

cool canadian:

i claim the first two anonymous comments.

and i'll stick to it.

i will be damned if i've tried to become who you are right now.

out of relativity of course.

and i can't follow rudeboy's ways..

rudeboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rudeboy said...

My, my, oh my, what have we here?

You sure know how to throw a party, Ewik.

And lookit that - 60 comments thus far! I'd never get that kind of commentary if I posted a pic of myself naked humping virgin carabaos on the front steps of Sto. Domingo church.

*golf clap*

Still unsure whether to respond to your original post. The resulting fallout might be more than your laptop can bear hahah.

Then again, a healthy debate is an invigorating thing.

Let's hold that thought while I go drinking for a while.

@ TheCoolCanadian : Encore, merci beaucoup, et je suis désolé. Passion, like self-centricity, is also a mark of youth, and surely you understand how passions runneth over. Still, I much prefer that my compatriots get their hackles raised rather than remain indifferent, although I must agree with your take on argumentum ad misericordiam.

Still and all, thoughts were provoked, and that is always a good thing, methinks. Also, don't you just love internet debates? J'adore, j'adore.

@ dabo : Awwwww. No one has to follow anyone's ways. That's the beauty of all of us being sentient and yes, civilized.We can all share our opinions and perspectives - no matter how contrary - and still be friends.

Trip said...

so this is the entry that dabo has been telling me and it already got 60 comments. i dont want to read the comments before il make mine in order not to influence my thoughts.

first, the author as he wrote this piece has already given his judgment/opinion ("it was an instant give away.", "it was as if they were into a hunt. a game that only the preys know.", etc.) to the experience. thus we are commenting on a judgment/opinion in itself wherein we are led to certain reactions and counter-reactions (the idea of prejudice, double-standard, discrimination, xenocentrism, etc.). good enough, it triggers intrigue and attention.

second, "how we dress reflects only a part of who we are and not the entire story of our life." true but there are occasions that we need to pass judgment on certain behaviors on a specific time and place, and it deosnt mean we are judging the entire person. the fact that the guard decided to sort of "reprimand" the group, it means that he evaluated the situation according to the parameters that he was instructed. the guard's behavior i think is valid and i think he took the situation professionally.

third, "its agitating how people have devised ways to stereotype this kind of PREFERENCE to mere act of prostitution,". i hope what you mean here is really the behavior of the group and not necessarily the preference because if it is, then the "preference" is in great trouble.:)

fourth, "we just keep on thinking foreigners are messiahs: great and kind. while us on the otherhand, are just any other brown skin guy up to something not good." unfortunately, filipinos are still xenocentric, not only that we are also passive people. however, i would like to believe that we are on our way to become assertive considering that we are already interacting with different nationalities and culture.

lastly, i salute the author to bring a highly intriguing post. it doesnt fail to elicit different views.

i'l read the comments next time. :)

chyng said...

oh my, never ko pa yan napansin gha. next time nga maging MATANGLAWIN! haha

wanderingcommuter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wanderingcommuter said...

and i never had the most number of comments deleted din.

trip" aba mukhang you finally brole your silence. parang medyo busy ka ata lately. hehehe.

well, when it comes to the guard issue, i just thought and as i said in my entry, what if they are indeed trannies but only having their cup of tea? what if they are not prostituted? for me, the mere passing of judgment will be very critical. how they identify one from the other is very delicate that it is standing on this thin line of being offensive and being professional. and ofcourse, how will the guard delivers it.

wanderingcommuter said...

reaction to eternal wanderer's post re: the entry

the cafe, and even the mall itself, is a business run by individuals, who, by virtue of ownership, is entitled to run their business as deemed fit.

indeed, such establishments have the say on how they will operate their business. but it should not also be taken out of consideration that such call is still subject to the regulations of a larger economic entity. as far as i know, when it comes to businesses, there is this concept of a target consumer and basically, it speaks of any individual who has the capacity to purchase such commodity or render such service, regradless of class, gender, race, sexuality or preference. what basically natter is one's purchasing power. thus, imposing exclusivity, that springs out discrimination, for me, opposes that very virtue of business.

The end result is that the information is already processed in such a way, that it is still the truth, but not necessarily the entire truth. Caveat emptor, so to speak. And I rejoin, reality is always best perceived experientially, rather than being dependent on vicarious accounts.

thus, i posted this entry to challenge the validity of the accounts on multiple perspectives; if what the guard did was valid or if what those customers experienced are truly offensive in their part. for truth has always been a problematic arena. we can never claim that one is right while the other is wrong. it is always contextual. in this case, what i am really addressing is that how the guard addressed the other party? how he delivered his orders or his job? which i think is very unprofessional and discriminatory.

lastly, regarding dabo's comment. as a reader, we posit our opinions and how we read an article based on our experiences and values. in short, we read them subjectively, regardless how we try to be objective as possible. and i guess, that you and dabo are reading it entirely in a different horizon.

you chose to dwell on how an individual faces challenges; on how to express or communicate oneself to other people, which involves the choice and fluency of a certain language. while on the otherhand, dabo tackled on how the audience reacted on what janina said or how she delivered it; that is why the concept of double standards among filipinos was raised.

i believed both of you have a point. thus, personally, i cannot say what he commented is entirely inappropriate (or atleast thats how i read your comment).

wanderingcommuter said...

reaction to constant bonsaist's post:

But we should also think that the security guard has his own story to tell why he did what he did: direct orders from management that if he doesn't do it he might get fired, perhaps?

indeed, everyone has his own story to tell and the guard is also just following orders. but like what i have reacted in tripper's comment, it is how the guard delivered his orders that bothered me. how he aggressively approached those customers which i find very offensive and discriminatory. i guess, his aggression and actions will be justifiable, if the customer reacted violently after he "politely" interroagted them. but in this case, the guard opted in doing the latter as an initial and immediate response to them. now, now, am i being too sensitive with the topic? i guess.

but basically, what i am trying to point at is that in every task we make, we should try to be as professional as possible. i am not accusing the guard as homophobic or prejudistic in general. rather, i am only dweliing to his behavior and action on that certain instance alone.

Brent a.k.a. yourkidatheart said...

I love the dynamics of this post's comments. :)

It evoked mixed feelings and thoughts.

It makes me sad because blog posts like this contribute to make a negative impression of what people (indigenous to the islands or not) may perceive to be the Philippines and the Filipinos as a whole.

Pero nakakatuwa at may mga ganitong post din kasi kahit papaano ay napapaisip ang mga tao sa kung anu man ang nakikita nila o tingin nilang nakikita ng kapwa nila na realedad ng Pilipinas.

It's almost like watching a play where the audience takes center stage. Well, dont they always? Heheheh.

Anyways... About the post itself... the people above said it all. :) All I say is propriety. Propriety. Propriety.
To prostitutes and patrons: do your transactions in the right places, please. We dont want prostitue-looking non-prostitues being im/politely asked to leave cafes.
To cafe security guards: I feel for you, man. Better keep on doing your job or you'll lose it.
To patrons looking for prostitues in cafes: be careful about who you approach in cafes. :)
To the wandering commuter: ipagpatuloy ang mga ganitong post. :)
How I wish topics like this are being discussed in real life. Oh yes. They are. :)

red the mod said...

Oversimplification is a grave error easily committed. Also, onomatopoeia cannot be applied to human behavior or cultural norms.

Valuating another's opinion on the sole basis of freedom of speech in a way undermines the democracy of this channel. Despite the gravity, breadth and merits of an argument, it will unequivocally fail once the dialectic transcends focus, and becomes a game of verbose insults.

Do not feign comprehension on what you have not experienced, nor evaluate what you cannot perceive.

Media dwells on the very tenet of controversy. It is it's nature. One cannot suppose the totality of a situation founded on clippings of skewed opinions, filtered facts and biased extrapolations. Not all media is like this, investigative journalism runs the gamut of mediums, but its rarity is a truffle amidst the thicket of publications.

The entry was a narrative. Contemplative and analytical, but a narrative regardless.

To quote the author; someone once told me that eavesdropping and/or staring at someone is rude. but for me, judging them is far more worse.

It's Christmas. I hope that still means something.

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