#Proudnotproud: Exposing our collective hypocrisy
No, it wasn't the grades, it wasn't the identity, it wasn't the wow-factor that drew me into the Tiffany Uy issue. You know what got my attention? Weeks may have passed since the hype, but no, no one’s stopping the comments. Those comments. The hypocrisy that we Filipinos showed in this judgmental place called the World Wide Web.
An avenue for discourse, a place to practice our so-called Freedom of Expression, yes, the Comment Box. Imagine, finally, we are given a chance to say out loud whatever we want to say, we are given the chance to show the world how witty (and yes, most of the time, stupid) we are regarding whatever issue it may be. All hail the Comment Box!
The comment box
I know you are no stranger with the Tiffany Uy issue. How the media put the spotlight on this brilliant woman. How, in one minute, she's a no one and then the next day, she's a someone. Yes, the achievements are really admirable. Yes, the hype is really bankable. Yes, she is definitely worth all the attention, all the congratulations. But then, we can't help but feel sad, shocked, by some of the comments posted all over news outlets and social media sites. "But she's not a Filipino!" they said. "E Chinese kaya yan!" they muttered. "Kaya naman pala, di pure Pinoy" they shared. "Aalis din ng bansa yan at sa pinagmulan niya magtatrabaho!" they typed. "UP pero Chinoy!" they shared.
The Comment Box. The Comment Box filled with words all suggesting that we should not be proud, we should not celebrate Tiffany Uy's achievements just because she is half-Filipino, just because she's Chinoy. Yep, it's as shallow as that. That even if Tiffany Uy already shared that she's pure Pinoy at heart and she will serve the country and the countrymen (as if she even needs to explain this to us), we are still here, bashing her as if her small eyes and short surname is her choice. (READ: UP Prof: I wasn't bashing Tiffany Uy)
Isn't it funny, that when a half-Pinoy-half-some-nationality joins a singing contest abroad, or garners an international recognition, or wins an award, or appears on a popular show abroad, we Filipinos all jump to the Comment Box and type: "Proud Pinoy!", "She's half-Filipino", "He's from the Philippines" and more, more praises and more claims for that person. We are all there, all proud, flooding the Comment Box. Who cares about the foreign surname, the obvious difference in physical appearance, the accent when they speak, and more. We are, simply, very proud.
Isn't is funny, that even if that half-Pinoy-half-some-nationality doesn't even acknowledge his or her Filipino roots, here we are, flooding the Comment Box, claiming them as if they are ours. Mine. Dibs. Pinoy. Pinay.
I wonder, if we have no trouble accepting those half-Pinoy-half-some-nationality making a name for themselves on the other side of the world, then why can't we do the same for Tiffany Uy? Why can't we just be inspired by her achievement? Why do we have to look at the surface – her skin, her eyes, her surname – when we can all easily just smile, and write on the Comment Box "Congratulations!"
Why are we having such a hard time just being happy with someone's achievements?
No, don't give me that "Freedom of Expression" and all the other "I-can-say-whatever-I-want-to-say" blah blah stuff. Cliche as it sounds, think before you speak. The Comment Box exposes our hypocrisy, our double standards, our racism, and all the other issues that we hate—the issues that we detest yet we unintentionally commit ourselves.
Hypocrisy. Yes. We get butthurt by all the anti-Filipino comments but here we are, bashing someone on the basis of her ethnicity.
All hail the Comment Box. All hail us Filipinos. All hail Freedom of Expression.
But hey, it's not yet late to start anew. Yes, next time some half-Pinoy-half-some-nationality makes waves abroad, we can all still be proud. And, hopefully, next time a half-Pinoy-half-some-nationality (and even a foreigner) touches lives, makes a mark, here in the country, we can finally stop the bashing, stop analyzing, and just be proud and happy for them. - Rappler.com
Khatrina Bonagua is a writer, editor, sometimes Rappler Mover, and always an avid comment box reader. She was born with that letter H on her name, so do not judge.
iSpeak is Rappler's parking spaces for ideas worth sharing. Share with us your ideas by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org