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When Racism Strikes you, STRIKE BACK!

Filed under: Features — admin at 2:13 pm on Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Louis Vuitton blog entry has virally spread over the internet. Thank you, bloggers, for spreading it like fire. Hopefully this one does too:

I just watched Bruno, the funniest movie in my life written and starred by comic genius Sacha Baron Cohen, creator of Borat.

After being the  7,148,170th viewer of this trailer, I knew I was going to laugh sooo hard that I brought my entire gang of amorous laughers (that will be my brothers and sister-in-law who are not ashamed to laugh out loud) and chose a relatively new mall (the new Eastwood mall) so that we could laugh to our heart’s content.

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I was so afraid that my “Power Plant movie experience” was going to have a sequel because I was discriminated by the elitist moviegoers in Rockwell for laughing so loud. You see, it’s very difficult to live in the Philippines when you don’t go with the norm. You will be looked down and be ostracized. In short, if you don’t go with the norm, you will be a victim of  discrimination.

You have to follow certain rules like: In an elitist atmosphere, BAWAL ANG MALAKAS TUMAWA. HINDI KA SOSYAL KUNG MALAKAS KA TUMAWA. MAY MASAMANG MANGYAYARI SA IYO KUNG MALAKAS KANG TUMAWA.

Matthew Estabillo, a “YS” writer for Philippine Star would agree with me because he wrote a  similar experience while watching the same film I watched two weeks ago in Power Plant mall.

Two weeks ago, I watched a very funny flick Hangover in the said mall’s cinema. It was very appalling because the movie was full of people watching yet I was the only one laughing so hard. The movie contained so may punchlines, I was laughing almost every five seconds.

Komedyante ako, e, masaya akong tao. Mababaw ang kaligayahan ko. The bad thing was that when the lights opened, everyone was looking at me like I was some kind of freak who was bothering their “serious viewing” of the film.

I looked back at everyone and said, “What? It’s a comedy. You’re supposed to laugh!”

What was worse was the Caucasian guy behind me kicked my chair three times every time I would laugh so hard. This pissed me off. To kick me once could be an accident. Caucasian men do have long legs, he was probably stretching. The second time was a harder kick but I thought, maybe he was just irritated with my loud laugh. But on the third time, he made me get up from my seat, turn to him, and point directly at his face.

I said: “Please stop kicking my chair. You did it thrice already. I’m warning you!”

He stared back. The “Burgos chic” wrapped around him like an accessory stared at me as well. (Burgos chics are dark, exotic Filipinas picked up by foreigners on Burgos Street near the Power Plant mall).

My 5’9″ tall husband aided me and joined the staring game, so did his six foot tall brother and my sister in law. Caucasian guy and Burgos chic were outnumbered. Add the fact that he’s in the Philippines!  Ipa-deport ko kaya siya?

This was not the first time I stood up and defended myself from Caucasians who think that they are above you just because you’re Asian.

My husband Emil, Tifanny (a friend), and I were leaving from our holiday in Malaga. We were in line to board  the plane to Guangzhou, China,  when suddenly an elderly posh French couple, who were both wearing white with matching hats, cut the line. Being schooled in U.P. (University of Pila), I usually don’t have the patience for people cutting lines and tell them to fall in line. But I was also brought up to respect elders. So, I gave the French seniors the benefit of cutting the line even if Mrs. Sosyal looked at me condescendingly from head to foot before rudely cutting in.

I could read her thought bubble, “I’m French, youre Asian. I can cut your line.” If she could only  read my thought bubble, “Kung di ka lang matanda, di kita pasisingitin.”

To my amusement, she was in economy just like us and was seated directly behind me. Akala ko pa naman sa First class siya kung makabihis at makatingin sa akin, pweh. I was into deep sleep when the attendants began serving meals. Mrs. Sosyal probably wanted me to pull up my seat because her meal was being served, but being a  bigot, Mrs. Sosyal slammed the back of my seat instead of asking me nicely.

She slammed it so hard I thought our plane crashed and I stood up from my deep slumber shouting, “Haaa!” Then I realized that the plane didn’t crash.

It was Mrs. Sosyal who crashed after my speech. I turned my back and pointed my finger in her face. “You! Apologize to me now or have your guts stabbed when you’re out in the streets of China. You don’t know who my parents are. Apologize!”

The husband and wife started to panic and started talking in French in a very apologetic way. Hanggang French 100 lang ako sa U.P. at sampung taon na ang nakaraan kaya di umubra. “In English! Aplogize in English!” I shouted. By this time, two flight attendants were already trying to calm me down. I didn’t stop until they said the word “sorry.” Wala ako pakialam kahit mag-desolee (sorry in French) sila ng 100 times! When I sat down, I thanked my husband for not stopping me.

Emil:  “Okay sa script, ha, ano dating mo, anak ng Chinese mafia?”

Giselle: “Mukha naman ako Chinese, di ba? Malay ba nilang Pinoy ako. Para matakot ‘yang mga lecheng ‘yan paglabas ng Guanzhou airport. Tignan mo ngayon, sorry sila ng sorry. Natakot masaksak. Akala talaga nila Chinese mobster magulang ko. Kung alam lang nila na Bisaya magulang ko at anak lang ako ng pobreng ut*n. Hahaha!”

Tifanny: “Bilib talaga ako sa ‘yo, girl. Hindi ko magagawa ‘yan. Kung sa akin nangyari ‘yan, mananahimik na lang ako.”

I told Tifanny what Korean-American Margaret Cho said in her stand-up comedy DVD Notorious:

“If you are a woman, a person of color, if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, if you’re a person of size, a person of intelligence, a person of integrity, then you are considered a minority in this world……When you don’t have self esteem, you will hesitate to do anything in your life. You will hesitate to ask for a raise, you will hesitate to report a rape, you will hesitate to defend yourself when you are discriminated against…For us, self-esteem is truly an act of revolution, and our revolution is long overdue. I urge you all today to be yourselves without reservation and to love each other without restraint. Unless you’re into leather….”

I was lucky to be brought up by parents who raised my self-esteem to the highest level despite the fact that we were poor. So parents, I urge you, love your children, never put them down, always praise and build their confidence. So that when your children go out in the real world, they can defend themselves from being ostracized. Because no matter how rich you are or how powerful you are, you have no right to belittle anyone.

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