on the news today

1. "unqualified"

i read the editorial titled "unqualified" on nancy binay. i bit my lip as i found it a bit of a stinging takedown on her candidacy. Here's the end part:

"Nancy Binay is running on a “Gaganda ang buhay” theme, taking off from her father’s successful campaign slogan. That’s easy for her to say: Life becomes beautiful, is made easier, if you’re someone’s daughter." - PDI

Ouch.

2. D. Harwell's "love letter to filipinos"

this marks the first time i posted a comment on a news website. right now, i'm absorbed in the activity of checking and refreshing the page for replies and likes to my comment. hihihi. ang loser ko lang talaga. here's what i posted. if you see it on the news page and notice my username, all i can is: wala na akong ibang ma-isip eh! and,anyway, one-time lang naman. :p

starglass said:

"I found this article very touching. It made me feel like crying. It was very nice. however, I don't know why, but for some reason, I also feel like throwing some grains of salt on it.

I appreciate that it highlighted the positive aspects of Filipinos and our culture - how we are hardworking, self-sacrificing, and family-loving. I especially appreciated how the article just basically gave recognition to the difficulties of being an OFW and how OFWs typically work hard to be able to give money to their families and the fact that, more often that not, difficulties, problems, and worries are probably glossed over well-intentionedly with smiles. It was a very true, tender, and understanding acknowledgment of their predicaments.

However, I also think that the general aggrandizing here should also be tempered with the understanding that Filipinos, like all other peoples in the world, also have their bad and unsavory counterparts. There are lots of Filipinos who are good and who are all that's been described in the article - competent, humble, tireless at work, etc. But there will also be those who do not fit this bill and are probably less than noble in their hearts and intentions. And moreover, they can also manifest the opposite of the traits praised in the article.

The second thing that struck me about the article is the quite harsh commentary on the American society. I am not an American, so of course, I don't really know anything about it. I have inklings about the alienation pervasively felt by people in America - I'd read about it here and there - but I don't really know it. Nonetheless, I found the generally incriminating statement about how families in America are not really much of a family kind of unsettling. Is it really fair to wholely indict the families in America in this way? What about those American families who might actually have very warm, loving, and close emotional ties with each other? If such still exist, are they really so marginalized from the mainstream that they can be legitimately written off in one sweeping, general statement? Just thinking and just asking.

Lastly, I just want to highlight this part: In America, our hands are full, but our hearts are empty. I must say: This is quite a damning statement. I appreciate how materialism is condemned here. I quite agree: material objects have never really made hearts full. The thing about the statement is not that I find it to be untrue, but I find the generalization hard to accept as true. I know I'm guilty of being found naive, and spouting off opinions on things I know nothing about, but I find it hard to accept the notion that Americans can generally be described as a people who are somehow going around emotionally lobotomized. I think the inner selves of people are often a mix of good and bad things, but that even when the bad and the wrong might tend to predominate, the good in people is still pretty hard to extinguish, even in a society given to so much materialism. I think that my point here is only that some nuance might be called for before unqualified statements about people, any people, can be safely made. I think that's where my skepticism is coming from.

That's all. I want to thank the author for writing this. I think the OFWs deserve every note of appreciation they receive."


and sshh, don't say it was me. :)

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