Am in Baguio for a conference, but here’s an article I’ve been long wanting to point out: Beyond Binondo and Ma Ling by Clinton Palanca. His essay, the fruit of his research for a Master’s Degree in Sociology at Oxford, tackles the question of how different generations of the Chinese in the Philippines have approached the idea of integration into mainstream society. He points out that Chinese Filipinos, and Chinese in the Philippines, are confronting this question all over again at present:
THIS IS not intended to paint an overly rosy picture of the situation, though, and neither the ethnic Chinese nor the mainstream Filipino population should be lulled into a complacency regarding their situation. The ideal of the ethnic Chinese who is integrated and thinks of himself or herself as Filipino while retaining Chinese cultural identity does exist, but so does the bigot who sees Filipinos as inferior and adopts a “sojourner” mentality and an instrumental attitude toward the Philippine economy. These two figures form the endpoints of a spectrum along which the Chinese in the Philippines are ranged. A fragile coexistence and acceptance exists now, but may not continue to do so. It is of more than theoretical importance to understand what the factors are, or were, that allowed the Chinese who did so to integrate into Philippine society at a structural level.
Read the whole thing.
The Business Mirror editorial explains what’s fishy about the ZTE deal.
In blogdom: Ricky Carandang says Suspect Number One in the Hello, Garci business is no other than Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita.
Has the Bastille moment’s arrived? Tingog.com and Now What, Cat? (who originally opposed calls for a boycott, but joins them now, for reasons she explains in her blog) vows a battle to the death with The Manila Standard Today. The icon of the new campaign’s already been posted by Touched by an Angel and Stacked. This is a battle royale Vic Agustin, chair of the paper’s board of editors, will relish (to be perfectly frank, this escalation makes me worry for the column security of MST columnists I follow, but all three post their columns in their blogs or websites). The Philosophical Bastard is not impressed.
Malu wrote something politically incorrect. She did not write hate speech.
…It’s obvious Malu did not incite violence or prejudicial action against OFWs who preferred Axe and Charlie to Jo Malone, so she didn’t deserve to be banned like some hate-mongering swine.
Political incorrectness is offensive when it’s not making us laugh; but its opposite, political correctness, is lethal when it’s not merely stifling.
He then makes a connection between Malu Fernandez and Jose Ma. Sison:
Take the case of Joma Sison, who tried to impose political correctness on his party during the 1980s. His rigor may not mean much to us noncommunists, but imagine censors board chief Consoliza Laguardia and Manoling Morato with guns instead of scissors and you’ll see the diabolical side of political correctness.
Returning to his initial point,
Political correctness is the reason why so many people were outraged by Malu’s mocking remarks about OFWs.
Our government says OFWs are the bagong bayani… so, in a manner of speaking, Malu was guilty of the most extreme case of political incorrectness: lese majeste.
But I dont buy this bagong bayani stuff. OFWs are Filipinos who were faced with a choice between a job and no job, a measly salary at home and a better-paying job abroad. There is nothing heroic about the choice they made. Sorry.
Besides, the concept of Bagong Bayani does disservice to Filipinos, who, for whatever reason, continue to work here at home.
Bagong Bayani is a cheap political gimmick concocted by cheap inept politicians who cant create jobs so they make heroes out of the victims of their incompetence.
For every hero abroad, there is a heel in Malacaang who lies and steals credit for the strong peso.
The truth is money will flow from abroad whether its Gloria Arroyo, Noli de Castro, or Kim Il Sung running the show, because OFWs will not allow their loved ones to starve to death
Speaking of Sison… .Manila Bay Watch has an interesting take on Jose Ma. Sison’s investigation and the national characteristics of the Dutch (a spirited defense appears online by Gary Leupp of Tufts University: it’s certainly more coherent and possibly, convincing, than other defenses: but as reading Conceptual Stunt Double indicates, it requires accepting certain basic premises, e.g. the undesirability of the Philippines being “capital compost”, or the wrongness of the US anti-terror efforts, in one of the few countries on earth that still likes Dubya and America very much). And here’s an interesting entry in in Literature in a Hurry, a blog by a Filipina TV journalist recently moved to the Netherlands:
My brother was actually the one who told me that the Dutch embassy issued a warning to Dutch nationals in the country and to those who would like to go for a visit. The embassy is afraid that the NPA will retaliate against the Dutch nationals. This after the NPA issued a statement that they are not planning to harm nationals coming from The Netherlands.
My sister teased me saying that story is following me wherever I go. I never actually thought of it that way. Maybe that’s callousness on my part. Or just insensitivity to the importance of a story due to a long relationship with the government network. They don’t want stories about Joma. Because as they say, it just makes him famous.