Last May 12 2009 on The Late Show with David Letterman , Alec Baldwin joked about getting himself a mail-order bride from the Philippines.
“I’d love to have more kids. I’m thinking about getting a Filipina mail-order bride at this point or a Russian,” said Baldwin.
For Alec Baldwin, it is funny, but he did not realized that millions of Filipino thinks it’s an insult.
Philippine Senator Ramon Revilla (former action-movie star) said, “being a celebrity, Baldwin should be more prudent in issuing statements. And he must know what he is talking about. Apparently, he is not aware that here in the Philippines we don’t tolerate mail order bride schemes.”
Philippine Sen. Ramon Revilla called Baldwin arrogant and labeled his remarks insensitive, uncalled for and an insult to millions of Filipinos. In what sounded very much like a threat, he said, “Let him try to come here to the Philippines and he’ll see mayhem.”
Check out the Letterman’s Baldwin video below.
First, it was Filipino doctors when Teri Hatcher questioned the medical certificates of Filipino doctors in one of the episodes of Desperate Housewives. Then, British show Harry & Paul ridiculed a Filipina maid as a sex symbol. And just recently, Chinese columnist Chip Tsao called the Philippines a nation of slaves. And now, Filipinos engaged in the illegal mail-order bride scheme are the latest subject of a purported racial slur.
If I put myself in another’s shoe, maybe I’d laugh about it and shrug it off. However, not all jokes are funny. It was not a good joke especially to the Filipinos like me.
We’re already being discriminated. And we need to do something about it but I believe that anger or rage will not take us somehere. So, we must take things calmly and intelligently.
Maybe correcting them about us, Filipino/Filipina is the first step we have to take. That’s why I support “Yan ang Filipina” (That’s The Filipina!) Filipina Image Online Campaign. Their goal is to reshape the Filipina image online and to create a balance in the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) for the Filipina.
What do they mean by “balance?”
The word “Filipina” on the internet showcases websites that are top-heavy on her physical attributes, dating availability, or marriage suitability. What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing and everything.
If you google or yahoo search the word, “Indian,” there is no reference to an Indian woman in the first 10 results. Likewise with the word, “American” or “Russian.” No woman-related entry either. Type “Filipino.” Chances are that the prominent entry you will find on the first page showcases the keywords, “Filipino girls, Filipina dating, Philippine women.” Search for “Filipina.” You’ll most likely notice that six out of 10 sites are NOT devoted to the advancement and accomplishments of the Filipina.
This is just one of the many ways we can do or support to change our image to the whole world.
If you want to know more about Filipina Image Online Campaign, please visit http://filipinaimages.com
Last words: We hate the fact that we were thrown racial slur on a worldwide program, but should we do the same? We know better than that, right?