A foreigner calls the Filipinos monkeys


You see I thought this would be an ordinary Monday morning.  Like I usually do, I hitched a ride with my sister and brother-in-law from Laguna to Mandaluyong City.  When we reached their condominium compound, I got down and went out to get a cab going to Quezon City.  When I exited the gate, I saw this foreigner in a nursing uniform (I'm not sure what her nationality is) waiting for a cab near the usual tricycle/taxi loading and unloading spot by the right side of the gate.  Knowing better than to join the long line of commuters, I walked the opposite direction until I was at least three houses away and waited for a cab.  Finally, I was able to hail one and got in.

I was about to close the door when suddenly, the foreigner appeared, pulled open the door, and started screaming!  "HEY! I WAS WAITING WAY BEFORE YOU! THIS IS MY CAB!  YOU...YOU...YOU...STUPID FILIPINOS!  MGA..MGA..UNGGOY!"  ("Hey! I was waiting for you! This is my cab!  You...You...You...Stupid Filipinos!  You're...Monkeys!")  And then she slammed the door and walked away.

I was stunned. And so was the driver.  When cab moved forward and passed by her, I rolled my windows down and told her, "There was no line you dumb ass!" And when the cab drove away I could still see her screaming profanities and insults.

It definitely wasn't my finest hour.  And I knew it neither the smartest nor the most civilized retort.  But I was caught off guard.  And this is the first time I've experienced this kind of racial slur.

I felt every blood cell in my body boiling.   My hands shaking, I called up my sister.  I was so mad and insulted I felt like crying.  Insult me, my personality, my looks, whatever, and I would be fine.  But insult my race...God! I can't even begin to describe the varying degrees of anger that I'm experiencing right now.

All throughout the taxi ride I was muttering profanities. 

I know, being seen as an inferior race is a battle that we Filipinos have been weathering through since time immemorial.  But to experience it in our own land...!  Call me naive, call me idealistic, but no one has the right to do that to me or to any other Filipino for that matter.  If you think you're so superior then what are you doing here--taking advantage of the education my country has offer? Enjoying the privileges my government provide for people like you?

I've been to other countries, some of which have habits as distasteful (or sometimes even worse) as some of the traits we Filipinos aren't proud of.  But if there's one thing I've learned from traveling it's that to respect each nationality's idiosyncrasies and appreciate the values that they encompass.

Something that that girl, apparently, with all her first-world attitude, hasn't even begun to comprehend.

I only hope, for her sake, she doesn't come across one of them "tambay sa kanto" people. Let's see how far her superiority complex will take her.
"The world is full of unexpected twists and turns.
And just when you've gotten the lay of the land, the ground underneath you shifts and knocks you off your feet.
If you're lucky, you'll end up with nothing more than a flesh wound.
Something a band aid will cover.
But some wounds are deeper than they first appear and require more than just a quick fix.
With some wounds, you have to rip off the bandage,  
let them breathe
and give them time to heal."
-Meredith Grey

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