Ever had one of those days when you finish everything you had to do for the day faster than expected? Well, I had one of those days today and had a chance to go on an extended lunch when I came across your blog. I’m not surprised at all about most of the entries in this blog. I hope, based on the few postings i’ve read (so far), that it’s been a long time coming that someone or something start identifying the idiocy of not just those politicians perpetuating this nonsense but the obtuseness of the general public who keeps electing these people.
I want to share a story that happened a couple of years ago which i believe would be a perfect example of why I’m indifferent to Filipinos.
A little background about me. I was born in the Philippines, came to the States when I was 8 and have been living here ever since. My family lived in a mostly (85%) white neighborhood. Most of my friends and classmates from 1st grade to college are mostly white. I can still speak tagalog albeit not without the american twang. I’ve met a few Filipinos here and there but as i have stated in the beginning, wasn’t really interested in hanging out with them. I have my own friends and that’s that.
Fast forward to 2011. Im a structural engineer working for a medium sized company specializing in commercial and institutional buildings. I’m also the only Filipino in our company. During the summer of ’11 we were looking for a couple of part-time workers who can help us with some overflow work. As it turns out, the person they hired is from the Philippines who is fairly new to the States. They asked me if i’d be willing to help him for a couple of weeks to get acquainted with office protocol and introduce him to the rest of the staff. Everything went smoothly for a few days. I show him the ropes and i get to practice my tagalog. The only caveat is that tagalog will only be spoken after office hours.
After about a week he asked me if I’m a fan of Pacquiao or if I’m familiar with Jessica Sanchez. I told him that i know who they are but i’m not a fan. Simply because i don’t like boxing and i only knew of Jessica Sanchez from because she was a contestant in American Idol. Well, apparently that was the wrong answer because his reply to me was “Brad, youre also filipino, so you should be proud of them and their accomplishments”. I was a little shocked because i was being honest and i didnt expect that kind of reaction from him. I thought it was presumptuous of him to think that because im from the philippines i automatically have to like everything filipino. I’ve lived in the States longer that i did in the philippines. And since i left when i was very young, i didnt know a lot of what has happened in the Philippines and frankly, i didnt really cared about what was happening there. So to soothe his ruffled feathers, i suggested we watch Pacquiao the next time he fights.
What i found funny at the time is that whenever we talked about anything, the Philippines always seem to be better about everything. According to him, the colleges there are harder than the US; food is more flavorful, drivers are the best; and they are the most sought after labor force in the world.
He always referred to some people at the office by their race and would always find a reason to bring up the car someone drives or the brand someone wears. At that time, i kinda thought that he’s just passionate about his country and his fellow filipino. Until i researched some of the things he said and they were all BS, well, except maybe for the food. Colleges in the Philippines don’t rank anywhere, drivers are undisciplined and the so called OFW’s are sought after because they’re cheap labor who can speak english, a majority of native filipinos are racists and very materialistic. The term style over substance applies quite appropriately to the typical Filipino. After that revelation, i decided to take any and all of his claims with a grain of salt.
Then, a couple of days later, he approached me with the what i think is still one of the strangest request from any coworker/colleague in my professional life. After work, while walking out of the building we were chatting about the project he’s working on and about deadlines. Everything was fine until he made a comment i like “Pre pareho tayong Pilipino, magtulungan tayo dapat”. I didnt know what to say. How can someone who i dont know that well suggest that we “stick” together. I asked him why he would say such a thing and he brushed it off like he was kidding. Anyway, after that, I didnt really talk to him anymore. I didnt avoid him since its impossible when you work together but i kept everything strictly professional since he made that comment.
He’s no longer working in our company and i’m not really sure what had happened. Except that one day he wasnt there and another person showed up the following day.
I mentioned this story to my parents during one of their visits and they told me that that is the reason we lived in the neighborhood we lived in, had the friends we had and . Or maybe, i just met a really bad apple. Unfortunately, based on what i’ve been reading here, he appears to be the rule rather than the exception.Published in