Friday, July 03, 2009


This was the contention of a British man I had an encounter with lately: that “shit” for him is kind of bad-bad … but not really baaaad? I answered him that the use of profanities may not be “bad” for him but for Filipinos like myself it’s a big no-no especially with our children!

This exchange transpired when this foreigner, who is also a parent in my daughter’s school, brusquely said to Abby and her classmate, “You're talking about shit! Get out of my way!” I went cold with rage when Abby reported this incident to me. For a foreigner to act in this haughty manner to two little girls right inside their school campus is absolutely and totally unacceptable!

I could not take this kind of behavior sitting down. It’s bad enough that some foreigners treat Filipinos with disdain, but for this man to actually act in such arrogant and high-handed manner to children right in their own turf (not to mention FILIPINO children right in their own country, THE PHILIPPINES!!!), and to my own child at that, almost got me choking with fury!

I marched up to him and told him in no uncertain terms that we do not tolerate that kind of language or behavior towards our children. He reasoned that saying “shit” is normal to him, that it didn’t really mean anything. To that I countered that he is in the Philippines and that being such, he should respect the fact that we have different sets of values and sensibilities that he should abide to.

He may be used to dealing with certain kinds of Filipinos, but these Filipinos are different! I wanted to pound into his head that these Filipinos do not use profane language in our homes nor do we allow our children to speak, or be spoken to, in that way. These Filipinos expect their children to be treated with the respect that is due to them.

Our children are not mere clutter lying around for this man to kick out of his way!

Civil people in this country say “excuse me” to people blocking their way. We do not say “get out of my way!”

I say this to all our foreign guests out there: I know that some of you see your Filipina wives and their families as leeches sucking up whatever money they could get out of you. I am honest enough to admit that this could be true in some cases. This is very unfortunate but there is nothing that I could do about it!

But do not ever think, even for one moment, that all Filipinos are the same, and ergo, are to be treated in the same way. In the other side of the fence are Filipinos who keep their distance from you, Filipinos who do not come to you with palms up and arms outstretched.

As guests, you conform to our ways and not the other way around!

We treat you with respect and we expect to be respected in return.

But most of all, we expect you to respect our children!

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