Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Fissures Of Inhumanity

Stand on the side with your arms folded across your chest, peering curiously at the bloody set piece. Do not call the ambulance. But you have our permission to take photographs so they can be tweeted later with the caption: Hopefully another Pinoy has breathed his last on the little red dot. RIP.NOT.

Blood Stained Singapore Blog

It is not difficult to understand the insecurity, if you are a citizen of an autocratic state, whose realm covers a land area slightly larger than the entire Greater Manila. And whose highly urbanized but segregated society composed of Chinese, Malay and Indian immigrants don't have a common culture or history to bind the nation. With the influx of guest workers from other countries, and with a population in steady decline, the resulting imbalance, and the feeling of having your national identity being watered down by foreign influences spawn xenophobes - locals driven towards the complete expulsion of outsiders - all in the name of preserving the old ways.

Signs of disharmony began to appear long before the racially perverse blog created ripples in the social networks. Singaporean forums were rife with public discourse about the planned Philippine Independence Day celebration in the island nation. There is also this collective hatred for Jollibee - which was accused of showing preference in hiring Filipino crews. The fabricated story made rounds on Facebook. To this day, the misinformed who chomped on the bad press of a rival restaurant have never forgiven the fast food chain - and its patrons for the sins they committed to the locals.

The list of resentments pile up.

Given the social conditions there, an analogy can be recreated right here, in the very space where I conduct my daily affairs. I could just imagine another faceless person -  a mid-forties government clerk, a bachelor, whose undying patriotism rivals his desperation to find a suitable mate. No one seems interested as most of the women are either married, or have decided to dedicate their lives to the enrichment of their careers. And every day, as the city of his birth prospers tenfold, neighbors from other lands come to this place to find work. They hail from Kuala Lumpur - many of them bringing their old traditions, which day by day he is forced to shove down his throat and embrace as part of his cosmopolitan environment. And they are not alone - the Laotians, Vietnamese, and even the Thais have made his city their temporary home. He read on online forums how his Kababayans find it increasingly difficult to find work - or avail medical services - as these high-earning foreigners have the money to spend for hospital bills. Housing rates are up as tenement construction could not cope with the apparent diaspora of outsiders believing Metro Manila as their promised land.

And he knows, that at the end of the day, they would all return to their homelands with their wealth and experience - leaving locals to swim, where the economic and social currents would abandon them to their devices.  

This he remembers - including their native tongues, at how they get together and fill the local restaurants, (where he spots a few Manilenyo ladies minding their own business) their plans of celebrating their national holidays at Luneta, this lingering question as to why, for all the vastness of their countries, they choose to live here in his city state where they become fierce rivals for resources, livelihoods and even voices.

Thus he writes a hate blog to be read by those who harbor an unspoken indignation - and hoping to get noticed - not by the guest workers - but by the very government who allowed this social chasm to happen realize what they have done.



Jeki Merlin said...

interesting response. nonchalant yet direct. challenging yet persuasive.

Sepsep said...

Wow. Honestly, I never saw it that way, the probable reason behind the hate.

kalansaycollector said...

refreshing POV! there is always the other side of the coin, may ibang kuwento...

ako nag-amok nung nabasa ko yun. haha
pero yeah syempre may pinanggagalingan ang too much hate.

...though nakakainis pa rin ang hate blog. haha

SilverwingX said...

This person is just in desperate need of blog traffic. Unfortunately, our successful "kababayans" working in his native land, blue or white collar-wise, is an easy target.