Thursday, August 23, 2007
National (as of 10:30 PM)
Society columnist quits over OFW bashing
Complaints sent via the Internet and through othery types of media led a Manila-based society columnist to resign from her job following her negative comments about overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau reported Thursday.
Bureau chief Dindo Amparo reported that Filipinos in the Middle East proved they can make a difference by uniting for a cause against columnist Malu Fernandez.
In her column titled "From Boracay to Greece," which saw print on "People Asia" magazine, Fernandez detailed her unusual and spur of the moment Holy Week vacation in Greece.
Fernandez said that following a friend's advice, she flew on economy class to Greece. The plane made a stopover in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. It was her written observations during the flight and while in the city that got Fernandez in trouble.
“I forget that the hub was in Dubai and the majority of OFWs were stationed there. The duty-free shop was overrun with Filipino workers selling cell phones and perfume. I wanted to slash my wrist at the thought of being trapped in a plane with all of them,” she wrote.
Fernandez said this was aggravated when one of her fellow passengers spoke to her and said, “Hey there? Where are you from? Are you a domestic helper as well?"
The columnist went further by insinuating that due to the large number of OFWs in the plane wearing cheap perfumes, the expensive brand she had on immediately evaporated into thin air.
“I had resigned myself to being trapped like a sardine with all these OFWs smelling of AXE and Charlie cologne while my Jo Malone evaporated into thin air,” Fernandez said.
Based on prices from the Jo Malone Web site, a 100 ml bottle of cologne ranges from 30-59 British pounds (around 2,800-5,500 Philippine pesos).
Who's the diva?
Fernandez's statements spread like wildfire on the Internet and earned the ire of communities of Filipino workers abroad, especially in the Middle East.
The migrant workers immediately issued statements and sent e-mails to blogs expressing their anger against Fernandez.
The statements can be found at this special blog (http://selvo.wordpress.com/2007/08/08/mahaderang-matapobre-sa-ofws/#comment-1042).
To make matters worse, Fernandez wrote in her succeeding column in the "Manila Standard Today" that she was only being true to herself.
"Many people often find my direct attitude to be rude or obnoxious. I really don't mean to be anything but true to myself," she said.
"Now, I seriously ask you, am I being a diva or are people around me just lacking in common sense? Perhaps it's a little of both!" she added.
Her statements further enraged the Filipino workers. She later apologized.
“I am humbled by the vehement and heated response provoked by my article. To say that this article was not meant to malign, hurt or express prejudice against the OFWs now sounds hollow after reading through all the blogs from Filipinos all over the world,” Fernandez said in her latest statement on the online version of Manila Standard Today.
She added: “I am deeply apologetic for my insensitivity and the offensive manner in which this article was written, I hear you all and I am properly rebuked.
It was truly not my intention to malign hurt or express prejudice against OFWs.”
Fernandez admitted being insensitive and offensive, as she apologized to the OFWs for whatever she had written.
Sought for an interview by ABS-CBN, Fernandez declined.
She, however, sent a letter, saying, "I take full responsibility for my actions and my friends and family have nothing to do with this. To date I have submitted my resignation letters to both the Manila Standard and People Asia, on that note may this matter be laid to rest.”
Not yet finished
Meanwhile, abs-cbnNEWS.com received dozens of feedback e-mails against Fernandez after news broke out about her anti-OFW statements.
“We are already having a hard time here working under the hot climate, then we get a strong below the belt blow by our own kabayan who has totally no idea on being an OFW,” Francis Sangalang wrote from Dubai.
Another OFW, who declined to be named, said: “I seldom come across articles that bring my blood pressure up to a record high. This article by Malu
Fernandez has led me to set a new personal record. To say that this is ‘nakakakunsumi’ (troubling) is an understatement of the highest degree.”
The special blog was also created to compile comments against Fernandez. The comments ranged from defending her column as being about perfumes to to downright below the belt statements.
Contract worker Florencio Laron wrote from Saudi Arabia and said, "All I have to say is that may breeding siya (masama nga lang) (only, it's bad) and she [doesn’t] deserve to be a Filipino.”
An anonymous e-mail sender, meanwhile, said, “Her side comments were uncalled for. She should have kept them to herself. This is bigotry at its purest. What’s worst is she did it to her fellow Filipinos. The bad part is her pathetic attempt to justify what she wrote.”
Information from the Web site of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said a total of 462,545 OFWs or 58 percent of the total number of Filipinos employed abroad were in the Middle East as of last year.
Last year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said OFWs sent a total of US$12.6 billion in remittances to their families in the Philippines.
I am humbled by the vehement and heated response provoked by my article entitled 'From Boracay to Greece!' which came out in the June 2007 issue of People Asia. To say that this article was not meant to malign, hurt or express prejudice against the OFWs now sounds hollow after reading through all the blogs from Filipinos all over the world. I am deeply apologetic for my insensitivity and the offensive manner in which this article was written, I hear you all and I am properly rebuked. It was truly not my intention to malign hurt or express prejudice against OFWs.
As the recent recipient and target of death threats, hate blogs, and deeply personal insults, I now truly understand the insidiousness of discrimination and prejudice disguised as humor. Our society is bound together by human chains of kindness and decency. I have failed to observe this and I am now reaping the consequences of my actions. It is my fervent hope that the lessons that Ive learned are not lost on all those who through anonymous blogs, engaged in bigotry, discrimination, and hatred ( against overweight individuals , for example )
I take full responsibility for my actions and my friends and family have nothing to do with this. To date I have submitted my resignation letters to both the Manila Standard and People Asia, on that note may this matter be laid to rest.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
got a container of san miguel purefoods new frozen food product, Mom's Kitchen. they have adobo, callos, patatim.
i got the adobo. you could either microwave it or re-fry it. i re-fried mine. the cooking directions said that you add a little oil but i didn't coz i know that adobo already has oil in it. i fried it until it was a bit dry, that way it becomes a bit crispy. what i also did was i sprinkled some oregano and rosemary on it and it smelled and tasted great!
it's a great product for those who want to eat right away and can't cook, either at home or at the office.
check it out in your suking grocery.
true to his word, Mayor Lim aka Dirty Harry took down all of the bars located along the stretch of the baywalk area, which were enjoying good business during the term of former Mayor Atienza.
yesteday morning, after i dropped off my wife at the US embassy for her interview, i drove down the boulevard on my way to cavite. as i was driving, i remembered my friend's post and decided to take pictures of the now empty baywalk. using my nokia N70 and using the 'sport' setting, i took some pictures as i was driving by.
here are the pictures that i took:
now, if they took down the fake hanging shark and the dinosaurs, how come the giant coffee cup of cafe puro hasn't been torn down yet? same goes for the coffee/snack bar at the end of the baywalk towards the manila yacht club.
when i used to work at the manila hotel, i knew how terrible traffic was along the boulevard, especially on saturdays when bro. mike velarde and his "fan club" would hold their prayer meetings at the quirino grandstand. it's good that they've moved their gathering to the land owned by bro. mike along sucat road, not far from sm sucat. the baywalk then was dark and you would think twice if you wanted to take sunset or early evening stroll.
when former Mayor Atienza allowed bars to be set up along the baywalk, the place came alive. lots of people suddenly appreciated the area at night. the place lit up. as a hotelier, i too learned to appreciate the idea of using the baywalk as an entertainment area. it attracted both local and foreign tourists to the area. it was a place to be for some beers and stories among friends.
Mayor Lim said that it wasn't political, he was just implementing the law. we don't know the 'real' reason behind the demolition but we hope that they would reconsider what they did.
for P245 per person, you can have their all-you-can-eat mongolian barbeque. you fill up your bowl with egg and/or vermicelli noodles, veggies and meats; then you could either make your own sauce combinaton or choose from their own combinations (regular, sweet, spicy or sweet and spicy).
aside from their all-you-can-eat, they also have the quick bowl, which is one serving of their mongolian menu. you load up your bowl with noodles (egg and/or vermicelli), rice and veggies, and then you hand over your bowl to their attendant and they put your choice of meats (beef, chicken, pork), squid, fish balls and squid balls. then they ask you what sauce you want (regular, sweet, spicy, sweet and spicy).
then there's the quick box which is a smaller serving of their quick bowl. they do the toppings for you and they ask you for your choice of sauce.
they also have other items on their menu like sze chuan rice toppings, friend chicken, pork bbq, grilled squid.
unfortunately, i'm not the same buffet eater i used to be. halfway through my second bowl, it was becoming a challenge to finish it. back in my days, i could go for a fourth bowl. the last time i had a mongolian bbq all-you-can-eat was at summer place bar in boracay, when i was still working in the island.
although their range of ingredients is not as extensive as kublai's rock, it's still a good alternative, especially since it's not as crowded and you don't have the lack of parking slots compared to magallanes center.
so, if you want to satisfy your hunger pangs and go on an eating binge, check out mongolian quick stop.
Monday, August 13, 2007
i am a member of quite a few email groups, 14 to be exact. i moderate 3 and i own 4. and i post or forward a lot emails to these groups.
i have been visiting a lot of blog sites especially when the subject matters are food, travel, movies, gadgets, photography and music. one author even encouraged me to put up my own after i left a comment in her blog site.
so to those who are 'veterans' in the blog world, a little advice, some words of encouragement or tips and tricks would be appreciated to help this newbie.
And I got a C! My good friend and cabalen, Spanky aka Manila Boy (http://spankyenriquez.blogspot.com/) got a B-.
Here's my map. Check it out and get your grade
My Lakbayan grade is C!
How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!Created by Eugene Villar.