The Web, the Filipinos, and Mr. Chip Tsao
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!"--I will take this literally not proverbially for the article below.
Filipinos are getting more and more equipped in using the internet. There is a necessity obviously, as millions of Filipinos are working abroad as professionals or skilled workers. Internet, aside from a more popular gadget, the mobile phone, has become a cheap medium in communicating with family members abroad. You can view your relative who's on the other side of the world in real time through webcam, and of course, it feels like you're together and the feeling of loneliness or home-sickeness if not gone is greatly diminished. This is the reason why we get news as fast as it happens though thousands of miles away. This is also the reason why when Mr. Chip Tsao published his article entitled, "The War at Home" on (http://hk-magazine.com/feature/war-home) on May 27, 2009, it was pulled out on the same day because it only took a couple of hours to enrage a whole nation, the nation which he called "the nation of servants", Philippines no less.
So what did he say that sparked indignation from my fellow Filipinos, migrant workers or not; in Hong Kong, in the Philippines, or in other parts of the world? Since the editor and the publisher of the online magazine withdrew the article; I researched some more to get the article. I was so sure a Filipino would post it somewhere. I was right, so here it is. Here's what Mr. Chip Tsao wrote. I ask, "is he really just being satirical?" You tell me cos this nation of servants may have misunderstood his use of a literary device.
The War At Home
March 27th, 2009
The Russians sank a Hong Kong freighter last month, killing the seven Chinese seamen on board. We can live with that—Lenin and Stalin were once the ideological mentors of all Chinese people. The Japanese planted a flag on Diàoyú Island. That’s no big problem—we Hong Kong Chinese love Japanese cartoons, Hello Kitty, and shopping in Shinjuku, let alone our round-the-clock obsession with karaoke.
But hold on—even the Filipinos? Manila has just claimed sovereignty over the scattered rocks in the South China Sea called the Spratly Islands, complete with a blatant threat from its congress to send gunboats to the South China Sea to defend the islands from China if necessary. This is beyond reproach. The reason: there are more than 130,000 Filipina maids working as $3,580-a-month cheap labor in Hong Kong. AS A NATION OF SERVANTS (my highlight), you don’t flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.
As a patriotic Chinese man, the news has made my blood boil. I summoned Louisa, my domestic assistant who holds a degree in international politics from the University of Manila, hung a map on the wall, and gave her a harsh lecture. I sternly warned her that if she wants her wages increased next year, she had better tell every one of her compatriots in Statue Square on Sunday that the entirety of the Spratly Islands belongs to China.
Grimly, I told her that if war breaks out between the Philippines and China, I would have to end her employment and send her straight home, because I would not risk the crime of treason for sponsoring an enemy of the state by paying her to wash my toilet and clean my windows 16 hours a day. With that money, she would pay taxes to her government, and they would fund a navy to invade our motherland and deeply hurt my feelings.
Oh yes. The government of the Philippines would certainly be wrong if they think we Chinese are prepared to swallow their insult and sit back and lose a Falkland Islands War in the Far East. They may have Barack Obama and the hawkish American military behind them, but we have a hostage in each of our homes in the Mid-Levels or higher. Some of my friends told me they have already declared a state of emergency at home. Their maids have been made to shout “China, Madam/Sir” loudly whenever they hear the word “Spratly.” They say the indoctrination is working as wonderfully as when we used to shout, “Long live Chairman Mao!” at the sight of a portrait of our Great Leader during the Cultural Revolution. I’m not sure if that’s going a bit too far, at least for the time being. (http://www.pinoyunderground.com/showthread.php?t=178360) originally on HK Magazine.
Like many Filipinos, I was so hurt by his Filipino-bashing statement. He was/is ungrateful for the service his "servant" gives him and his family. BUT WHAT SADDENED ME THE MOST, AND WHICH ALSO BROKE MY HEART, IS THE FACT THAT HIS HELPER IS A UNIVERSITY GRADUATE, WITH AN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS DEGREE. INSTEAD OF GETTTING A JOB RELATED TO HER COURSE, SHE IS IN HONG KONG "SCRUBBING TOILET" AND SERVING A RACIST JOURNALIST.
HOW MANY MORE UNIVERSITY GRADUATES WILL END UP AS DOMESTIC HELPERS AND GET BEATEN, SLANDERED, RAPED, OR HUMILIATED IN A FOREIGN LAND? THE REAL ISSUES ARE YET TO SURFACE.