Nice one, Belize! This is how government officials should play it when your country is not-so-flatteringly referenced in pop culture (ahem, Dan Brown, yoohoo!). Philippine officials (special shout out to MMDA chair Tolentino!) should take note — instead of being thin-skinned and crying foul.
Translation: “Your campaign jingle is cute, and copied from Justin Bieber, One Direction and other pop songs, but what I really want to hear are your plans so my mom and dad don’t have to go abroad to earn a living, and how you’re going to provide me with a quality education so we don’t end up destitute.”
I hope the Philippines votes wisely this coming May elections.
It’s my second day of purging my room of all the crap that accumulated for the past year or so. Yesterday, I started with my closets and now, on to my books, accessories, old cosmetics/toiletries, etc… I guess it’s also my version of a renewal. Tomorrow is Easter, after all.
And Easter always makes me think of summer. And summer book lists. And the beach or the pool. And warm weather (not that we don’t have that here in Singapore!). And vacations. And fun. And not doing anything…. and it’s making me homesick.
This is a topic that friends and I sometimes talk about when we’re out gorging on Filipino food — why our homegrown cuisine never gets the same kind of international publicity/recognition Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese and other Asian cuisines get. My own theory is that our cuisine, like us as a people, can adapt or blend into its environment. Filipinos are great adapters, a survival skill we have honed to perfection especially since so many of us work outside the country. Same way with our cuisine. I love Filipino food, not just because it is my own, but because I personally think that it can compare with the best in the world. But why has it not been publicized more often than it should? Because it is adaptable. Add a few ingredients here, replace something with another, and you have a familiar dish that might have come from somewhere else. It frustrates me sometimes — which is why it always gives me a kick to see Filipino food getting attention in the international press, like these reviews in The New York Times of Pinoy restaurants thriving in the Big Apple. Hey, it’s New York. If we can make it there, surely we can make it anywhere.
[photo of Pig and Khao, one of the Filipino restaurants]
[image borrowed from the article in The New York Times]
[Thank God for smartphones! This wait would have been torture for everyone otherwise!]
I was at Lucky Plaza last night to send money home and the long, snaking queue in these pictures is what greeted me at the remittance place I use. Because it was the end of the month, Lucky P was packed with overseas Filipino workers (like me), who would queue up every month for hours on end just to send money home to loved ones. Last night was particularly epic. I joined the queue at around 8pm and was able to get to the counter a little before 10pm! (Which of course, begs the question, why I don’t just send online? Because I always forget to register to send online! That’s another story for another day…)
To me, these pictures represent the best and the worst of the Philippines. The best, because we think nothing of queueing for hours, with hardly a complaint just to send money home and give our families a better life. I didn’t talk to anyone in the line last night, but I doubt any one of us would begrudge the time we spent standing there, knowing that the money we sent home would be put to good use.
It’s also the worst, because millions of Filipinos have had to work abroad just to be able to provide their families with a decent life. And what is the Philippine government doing? Nothing, it seems. From statements by politicians, it seems that they fully expect the diaspora to continue. Remittances are, after all, a rich vein of foreign exchange and a major contributor to the country’s economic growth. Never mind that there will be several generations of kids who will grow up thinking that working for other people in another land is a good thing.
Been spending a lot of time in io9.com lately. I used to read this site all the time then kind of forgotten about it until Karen reminded me of it (Methos!). Anyways, I’m really proud of these writers — proof that our lit landscape is vastly underrated and undiscovered. So here’s doing my bit to push Pinoy talent out there.
Giving everyone the finger, hehehe…Voted last Saturday. I had to get up early on a Saturday to do it, but I figured, a little lost sleep for my crazy, chaotic, in-a-class-by itself Philippines is a small price to pay so she gets the leadership she needs. I hope I made the right choices.