Philippines: My Sacrificing Mother

Every website, blog and Facebook account has been tainted with articles and photos of the August 24 hostage crisis. I initially did not want to blog about that tragedy because I did not want to make my country look even worse than it already is. That proved to be an exercise in futility: A lot of Filipinos aren’t as considerate, if those students and police officers, who turned the crime scene into a tourist spot (photo ops complete with camera-ready smiles and poses), were any indication.

I grieve deeply for the people of Hong Kong. They suffered a great loss. I got alarmed, however, when my cousin Virna (firesenshi) pointed out that President Noy Aquino’s official Facebook page was being inflamed with threats like, “I will fire my Filipina maid!” or, “Just looking at my Filipino maid makes me angry!”

The alarm quickly escalated to horror when I saw both Filipinos and the HK Chinese calling each other names. Reduced to preschoolers. No educated person would want to see people resorting to barbaric tendencies online. No sane person wants to see cavemen behavior in new media.

What depresses me, though, is that the actions of one mad man seems to have completely overturned the sacrifices of countless OFWs. Shouldn’t our media concentrate on the good Filipinos have done for the world? Like these news articles:

We’ve heard stories of Filipino maids sacrificing their lives for the sake of their employers’ children, even using their own bodies as shields when their charges are in danger. What of them? Why can’t we put the spotlight on them? Especially when we can read articles regarding abusive employers.

Like every other nation, the Philippines has its share of rotten tomatoes. We also have abusive employees, thieves, cheaters and what have you. What country doesn’t have these? But we’re a good people. We are intelligent, hardworking, efficient, talented, caring and we do everything with a smile even when we are carrying the heaviest of burdens. Yes we suffer, but we endure. We are made stronger by our travails. You can put us anywhere and we’ll survive.

This song couldn’t have illustrated our plight better.

And while we grieve for the people that have been affected by a Filipino-induced tragedy, we should also remember that for every set of bad apples, there are thousands of us who are willing to risk life and limb to do good.

Written 7:47AM 08.29.10


  1. bleubug

    August 29, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I'm saddened by all this. It seems to compound the sorrow or what was already a tragedy. People can be petty and selfish and proving that over and over again seems to be the pattern of humanity in general.

  2. Andy Uyboco

    August 30, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Yes, before people start calling each other names and blaming other nationalities (us included), they would do well to remember that they have their own bad eggs in their backyard.

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