by Gel Santos Relos
MULI NA NAMANG NAGHATID NG KARANGALAN SA ATING MGA PILIPINO SI MANNY PACQUIAO SA PAGKAKAPANALO NIYA LABAN KAY JOSHUA CLOTTEY!!! Read the article and the letter below and tell me if what these Pinoys are shouting out about our "Pambansang Kamao" mirrors your own sentiments.
One thing about us Filipinos is that we love to laugh at our selves. We enjoy finding something funny in any given situation---probably one of the reasons why we are such a resilient, happy people. One of the things that tickle our funny bone is how we speak, and how different we speak our language and dialectscompared to others.
In the Philippines and here in the United States, we hear people break into laughter upon hearing jokes or anecdotes about Pinoys talking in either Filipino or English with their peculiar dialect’s accent. There are the Tagalog-Waray, the Ilocano-Tagalog, the Kapampangan-Tagalog, the Ilonggo-Tagalog, the Filipino-English, the Visayan-English, the Ilocano-English, and the list can go on and on.
We laugh at ourselves, we laugh at our neighbors and friends, we laugh at our kababayans, sometimes to the point of ridicule, whether here in America, in the Philippines, or everywhere else in the world! We even laugh at out heroes and icons and many of us think that there is nothing irreverent about it. It's just the way we are. And yes, we even laugh at Manny Pacquiao, our “Pambansang Kamao.”
We have seen him take center stage in and off the ring. How proud we all were to watch him knock out his opponents, earning the title, “The World’s Pound-for-Pound Boxing Champ.” We've also watched him with delight when he was interviewed before and after the fight, as well as when he became a guest in popular mainstream media programs, even on viral videos when he sang “Sometimes When We Touch”, and "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You" on American TV. We would beam with pride at the thought that he is one of us, but it's something that perhaps, does not apply to every Filipino.
I received a letter from a group that calls itself “Filipino People of America” , who requested that we “convey their message to all Filipinos here in the USA, around the world and in the Philippines.” Please read the letter and tell me if this "group" voices out your own sentiments.
Dear ABS-CBN Staffs,
We know that most of you are Filipinos or with a Filipino blood in you. Through you or with your assistance, we are conveying our concerns about how Manny Pacquiao (The Filipino Boxer) horribly and erratically speaks the English Language whenever he is being interviewed by the American Press and other People in the Media. Remember that it is being shown internationally not only here in America, and remember that Manny Pacquiao is carrying with him the whole country of the Philippines, and people of the Philippines are known for speaking English, not that way that Mr. Manny Pacquiao is always doing.
We can sense how people around United States are ridiculing and making fun of the way Mr. Pacquiao speaks in English, whenever he is being interviewed or asked by Mr. Lederman and other Reporters before, during, or after all his fights.
We do not know how or why Mr. Manny Pacquiao still insisted all the time to talk by himself, and he surely knew and feel that he is struggling so much in speaking English. He just doesn’t care or maybe does not understand the real consequences of his horrible talking. The question that we hear among viewers here in the US, “Is this the way Filipinos speak English?” and “Is there no one in the country of the Philippines who can be an interpreter for Mr. Manny Pacquiao?”
Please do not disregard our letter to you because this is very true and it is a potential bad effect to other Filipinos here in the US and other countries around the world!…
Very sincerely yours,
Filipino People of America
It is one thing that we be amused by our differences, and another thing to campaign for Manny Pacquiao to get an interpreter with all the underlying reasons presented. While I know this may offend some of our kababayans, I brought this up so we can have an honest conversation about this issue. This is not just about Manny Pacquiao. This is a debate about who we are and who some people even among us think we should be.
Sang-ayon ka ba sa sinasabi nitong nagpadala ng sulat? Pinapahiya ka ba talaga ni Manny Pacquiao tuwing siya ay nagi-Ingles kung kaya't wala siyang karapatang magsalita para sa kanyang sarili ng derecho sa media dito sa America at sa ibang bansa? Do you agree that because of his stand to speak for him self, he is actually doing our country a disservice and misrepresenting the Filipinos as alleged by the lettersender that stated, "Manny Pacquiao is carrying with him the whole country of the Philippines, and people of the Philippines are known for speaking English, not that way that Mr. Manny Pacquiao is always doing"?
Manny Pacquiao is a symbol for many of us Filipinos, here in America and around the world. What we think about this issue is a refelction or manifestation of how we look at our selves as Filipinos, our very own definition of our identity and self-pride. So......honestly now, do you really agree that Manny Pacquiao needs an interpreter???
PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS BELOW OR SEND ME AN EMAIL THROUGH
www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com CONTACT INFO PAGE.
Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel's “Balitang America”, Columnist of Asian Journal. Views and opinions expressed here are the author's alone and do not hold both ABS-CBN and Asian Journal responsible .You may also reach her through www.facebook.com/gelrelos, and www.twitter.com/gelsantosrelos .)