Two weeks have passed since we had experienced some national shame and embarrassment.
The hostage taking changed the way people viewed us Filipinos, particularly the tourists and those outside of the country. It’s all over the news -from the local to international media (newspapers, news reports, you name it).
We have never felt so embarrassed as a nation. Yes, we had numerous crimes, wars and some even worse, but this was something that opened everybody’s eyes. While watching the news that day, the first thing I asked myself was, “What will other people (outside of the Philippines) think of us?” What was really bad about this incident was that tourists were the victims. If ever this happened to ordinary Filipinos, it wouldn’t reach that “extent” or even become a national crisis. When we talk about tourists, we always want the best for them and show them all the positive things our country has. But this is a completely different story.
As a Filipino, I am completely embarrassed by what had happened. It changed the way people viewed us, in general. I have seen on the news that Filipinos around the world feel the outcome of this incident. But, I am not embarrassed to be called a Filipino -I am deeply embarrassed that Rolando Mendoza is a Filipino!
And of all, why the people of Hong Kong? (Well, I’m not saying it should have happened to another nationality; it shouldn’t have happened AT ALL!) I believe that they do not have respect one bit for us anymore. Knowing that the image of Filipinos in Hong Kong are DH or domestic helpers, this incident worsened our reputation, or whatever you may call it.
It is a such a shame that some Filipinos have no sympathy whatsoever -the pictures of college students wearing their uniforms having to had pose with the bus on their background like a tourist spot; police posing right behind it. I, being a Filipino, pity these countrymen for being so insensitive about this. But believe me, we Filipinos deeply mourn for the victims, their families and their nation. If there are some of us who are so insensitive, dreadful and pathetic, please don’t take it as a whole.
As for me, personally, I’m not so sure if I have been a “victim” of others looking down on Filipinos. I have penpals from Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan and I haven’t gotten a reply from any of them since what happened, considering I sent them letters two and a half weeks before the incident. I’m not so sure yet, but I’m hoping that they sent me letters before the tragedy, and they have not yet reached me. If that is not the case, hopefully, they reply, despite what happened.
I don’t take it against the Chinese when they look down on us, mock us, our government, our public servants, the country itself and all that. I’m pretty sure if the same thing happened to us, we’d feel the exact same way. But, I’m hoping that they, again, wouldn’t take this against ALL Filipinos -as the saying goes, “Damay ng isa, damay ng lahat.”