Alben meng manyaman, boy!

December 30, 2007

Senator slams ‘ethnic slur’ in Juday movie

Allow me first to say that I am laughing with all what's happening, as I am one of the people, if not the original person, to report the racist scene in Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo to concerned citizens, as the general moviegoers, in my opinion, are least likely to see the politico-linguistic dynamics of that certain scene in the movie. Below is one of the articles now circulating the news media.

I would like you to see Jose Javier Reyes' rebuttal with the issue. Isn't it so... lame? It proves no point and evades the question. It's like asking a person "why did you ruin my dress" and he answers "I hope you take time to check out my bathroom."

It's not about being too sensitive. But we should start being politically correct, especially regarding ethnic relations, IF we want this quasi-nation called the Philippines to be a real, strong one. If not, then let's all bomb the local Imperialists.

Some Manilenyo producers are just insensitive. Those not affected by the issue are selfish brutes who enjoy hitting on their fellow non-Tagalog Pinoys. They don't see the effects of such portrayals, especially to non-Tagalog children who are still on their years of self-identity formation. And it makes me hate Manilenyos in general more.


Senator slams ‘ethnic slur’ in Juday movie
Gil C. Cabacungan, Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines -- It is supposed to be a joke but the Visayans are not laughing.

A Mindanao senator denounced on Thursday a scene in the Judy Ann Santos starrer "Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo" that suggested Filipinos who spoke the Visayan dialect were second-class citizens to the Tagalog.

The movie, written and directed by Jose Javier Reyes and produced by Star Cinema, is one of the top grossing movies in the ongoing 33rd Metro Manila Film Festival.

Senator Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr. said the scene "smacks of an ethnic slur" and "offends the sensibilities of the Visayans and other non-Tagalog speaking citizens."

In the movie, a character played by Gloria Diaz, scolds the nanny of her four-year-old grandchild by saying: "Bakit pinapalaki ninyong Bisaya ang apo ko? (Why are you bringing up my grandchild as a Bisaya?)."

The child’s mother, played by Santos, butts in and tells the nanny: “Speak to the kid in Tagalog. Para Pinoy. (So he grows up Filipino)."

Pimentel said the conversation was "insensitive'' and "arrogant" and called on the Lopez-owned Star Cinema, to apologize and delete the scene from the movie.

Reyes, the director of "Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo," said he was thankful Pimentel went "out of his way to watch ‘SSS’ and for being supportive of the movie industry."

"I wish he would also watch the movies of Senators (Ramon) Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, his peers in the Senate," Reyes, who also wrote the movie script, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Thursday, "After that, magpahinga na siya (he should rest). With the country's many problems, I'm sure he'd be really busy after the holidays."

Pimentel, who was acting on numerous complaints from viewers offended by the slur, said: "The film is conveying a wrong message to Filipinos by denigrating the use of the Visayan language, which is most widely spoken in the Visayas and large parts of Mindanao. It offends the sensibilities of the Visayans and other non-Tagalog speaking citizens by making them feel they are less Filipino than the Tagalogs. It creates useless hatred in the nation."

He added: "The Tagalog [always] joke about how the Bisaya speak Filipino and English with a funny accent. That's fine, we can live with that but to come out in the open and say that the only real Pinoys are those who speak Tagalog is wrong."

Pimentel said Filipinos, both Tagalog and Bisaya, should be outraged at the film's ethnic slur. "It should elicit the same, if not a louder howl of protest [than the one brought against] American television series ‘Desperate Housewives’ wherein one of the characters made remarks maligning Filipino health professionals."

In the said episode, aired in the United States on Sept. 30, character Susan Mayer, played by actress Teri Hatcher, told her doctor: “OK, before we go any further, can I check those diplomas? Because I would just like to make sure they are not from some med school in the Philippines.”

Malacañang said the remarks were tantamount to a racial slur and asked the show’s producers to apologize to Filipino medical professionals for putting them down.

Pimentel also slammed the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) for failing to spot the derogatory remark while reviewing the film. With a report from Marinel Cruz

15 comments:

happylittlegirl said...

Please try not to generalize. Not all Manilenyos view those who speak different dialects as "lower" than they are. Just because most of the people in broadcasting are that way it doesn't mean that all of us are.

I'd also like to point out that there are several literary contests in the Philippines that accept works in other dialects (not just Tagalog). I have read several award-winning plays and other works (translated into English) that were originally written in Ilokano. Unfortunately, their titles escape me at the moment.

In a country like ours where several languages are spoken, I'll admit it's really hard not to feel marginalized just for speaking a certain dialect, but your "hating" Manilenyos because they speak their own dialect is no different than the Manilenyos "hating" the Bisaya for speaking Bisaya.

It's unfair for us Tagalog speakers too, to be viewed a certain way, just because of the personalities of majority of the people in the media. Whenever we travel to other places in the Philippines, we also feel discriminated against, just because we're speaking Tagalog in a non-Tagalog-speaking province. You can't expect everyone to learn all the dialects in the country.

Xosé Urretabizkaia y Pujol said...

Oy happylittegirl, I'd kill you for calling Mr. Laxamana's language (a non-Tagalog one) as a dialect. But since I'm a merciful sonofabitch, I'll just asshump you instead.

Lucky for you, I'm in Spain. And here we respect our linguistic diversity. Galician, Calatan and Basque are co-official languages in their home regions. Calling them dialects will earn you an instant rebuke, or worse, a death threat from ETA.

There's a difference between a dialect and a language. This is where all that antagonism starts. Learn it.

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